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Trump Loudly Insists That He Is Incompetent

Either the Department of Justice is correct that he surrounded himself with lawbreakers, or the people he chose to run the federal justice system are incompetents and rogues.<p>Donald Trump’s supporters insist that the public shouldn’t lose faith in the president as Robert Mueller and the Department …

Donald Trump

An Accounting for the Uncounted

The human cost of the war on ISIS has become too easy for Americans to ignore. We in the Obama administration helped shape that war.<p>Every now and again, an article is published about something you know you should know, but don't want to know.<p>“The Uncounted<i>,</i>”Azmat Khan and Anand Gopal’s …

National Security

What We’re Reading This Summer

<b>“Letterman: The Last Giant of Late Night,” by Jason Zinoman (Harper).</b><p>Every few months, and even more often during the summer, my mind crowds and I lose my ability to concentrate. It lasts three days, or a week, or, catastrophically, two; my reading stalls out and so, soon after, do my sentences. …

Books

The psychological importance of wasting time

There will always be an endless list of chores to complete and work to do, and a culture of relentless productivity tells us to get to it right away and feel terribly guilty about any time wasted. But the truth is, a life spent dutifully responding to emails is a dull one indeed. And “wasted” time …

Time Management

Donald Trump and the hobbling of shame: David Foster Wallace warned us about reality TV and we didn’t listen

In 2004, David Foster Wallace said “only time will tell how far we’ll go” in a post-shame culture. Now we know<p>The best preview of the Donald Trump presidency was the orange billionaire rolling around on the ground with Vince McMahon, owner and operator of World Wrestling Entertainment, while …

Donald Trump

Why Walt Whitman Called America the 'Greatest Poem'

The 19th-century writer believed that the power of poetry and democracy came from an ability to make a unified whole out of disparate parts.<p>Shocked at the election of their next president, many Americans at the end of 2016 turned to social media, petitions, polls, and the streets in protest. A …

Literature

They Said 'Never Again'

Aleppo has been slaughtered right in front of us — almost bomb by bomb, brick by brick, drop by drop.<p>The civilians — women, men, and children, we might remind ourselves — have died by bombardment, shooting and sniper fire, and lack of medical care in the four-year siege of Aleppo, which came to a …

Middle East

Times Critics’ Top Books of 2016

The Italian writer Italo Calvino defined a classic as “a book that’s never finished saying what it has to say.” This year, The Times’s daily critics reviewed nearly 250 titles. What follows are their lists of the fiction and nonfiction books that most moved, excited and enlightened them in 2016 — …

Books

7 Movies That Were Living Hell to Make

The horror.<p>Are you sitting comfortably? Enjoying that popcorn? Good, because there's a chance that a number of people starved, drowned, burned, and wept to entertain you in the cinema for 90-odd minutes.<p>Turns out some movies are a <i>lot</i> more fun to watch than they were to make...<p>1. Apocalypse Now<p>"I …

Marlon Brando

There's Simply No Comparison Between Clinton's Flaws and Trump's

The Democratic nominee’s shortcomings should not blind voters to the catastrophe they’d invite by electing her cruel, undisciplined, erratic opponent.<p>Newspapers and TV newscasts are biased in one way more than any other: They focus on what is <i>new</i>. Lately, they’ve focused on a statement by FBI …

Hillary Clinton

I Watched Eight Hours of Steven Seagal Movies to Understand America

What does the 90s' mumbling, fourth-rate action star say about the country and me?<p>We live in a world where violence seems to be seeping in from all sides. From terrorism, drone bombings, hate crimes, and the constant racist burbling of insurgency from Trump devotees, unrestrained savagery is …

Under Siege

Man Booker prize 2016: the fine line between fiction and literature

The strongest shortlist in years heralds the next generation of great writers. This week’s winner will need to be more than just a good read<p>On 25 October, the Guildhall should witness one of contemporary English-language fiction’s good nights. The shortlist for the 2016 Man Booker prize is among …

Books

‘The Wire’s’ David Simon on the drug war and why he hates ‘Cops’ and ‘Law & Order’

It’s impossible to talk about the depictions of police officers in popular culture without considering David Simon. Simon’s books “Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets” and “The Corner,” written with Ed Burns, and their television adaptations, told groundbreaking stories about policing and the …

Justice
Donald Trump

Mike Pence's Anti-Women, Anti-LGBT Agenda

How Bryan Cranston Transformed Walter White from “Mr. Chips to Scarface”

In an adaptation from his new book, A Life in Parts, the Emmy Award–winning actor reveals the process behind his greatest role, the importance of Walt’s underwear choices, and the original ending for Jane, Jesse’s girlfriend in Season 2.<p>They had an assortment of tighty-whities laid out for me in …

Louis Vuitton

What Makes a Children’s Book Good?

As someone who writes books for children, I am privy to a never-ending debate in children’s-literature circles. (You may now be imagining old ladies in floral dresses sitting around Victorian parlors, knitting and discussing the relative merits of “Johnny Tremain” and “Little House on the Prairie”; …

Books

TIMELESS Cast Insist It’s the Only Time Travel Show You Should Watch

Time travel on TV is all the rage right now. Don’t believe us? Just look at the slate of new and returning shows airing this year that all revolve …

TV
Government

14 great books about sports that will change the way you look at the game

<i>The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we may get a share of the revenue from your purchase.</i><p>This truth is one of the reasons so much great literature has been written about the world of sport.<p>We've seen miracles, heartbreaks, …

Books

F. Scott Fitzgerald quotes, in honor of his birthday

Legendary author F. Scott Fitzgerald, whose stories of Jazz Age glamour and Lost Generation disillusionment are classics of American literature, died …

19 F. Scott Fitzgerald Quotes for Flappers and Philosophers

This week in history — on September 24, 1896 — F. Scott Fitzgerald was born to a wealthy family in St. Paul, Minnesota. The literary impulses of the young Fitzgerald — who’d go on to become the messiah of Jazz Age melodramas — arose with great urgency. By age thirteen, he ‘published’ his first work …

As Faulkner Lay Drinking

A look at the award-winning author’s complex relationship with liquor and writing.<p>A close look at most great 20th-century novelists and playwrights …

Can the Unthinkable Happen?

Seven weeks to go; can the unthinkable happen? We believe that surely it cannot. We can read the polls, which are more reassuring than not, and Nate …

Government

Fall 2016’s Must-See Movies: Marvel Superheroes, Brad Pitt’s Sexy Spy, and J.K. Rowling’s Return

Yes, summer at the cinema was a total bummer—but have no fear, fall is here! See our list of all the movies to get excited about in the coming months.<p>…

Brad Pitt

22 lessons from Stephen King on how to be a great writer

In his memoir, "On Writing," King shares valuable insights into how to be a better writer. And he doesn't sugarcoat it. He writes, "I can't lie and say there are no bad writers. Sorry, but there are lots of bad writers."<p>Don't want to be one of them? Here are 22 great pieces of advice from King's …

Creative Writing