zuzana valkova

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Wall Street

London Debating Societies

<b>Debating societies</b> emerged in London in the early eighteenth century, and were a prominent feature of society until the end of the century. The …

The Speculative Society

<b>The Speculative Society</b> is a Scottish Enlightenment society dedicated to public speaking and literary composition, founded in 1764.[1] It was mainly, …

Edinburgh University to review 'historic relationship' with secretive all-male society after students cry sexism

The University of Edinburgh is set to investigate its “historic relationship” with an all-male secret society after students have complained it …

Named head speechwriter for the president before he'd even turned 30, Jon Favreau couldn't have scripted a headier rise to the circles of power.

Obama’s Ghost<p>Named head speechwriter for the president before he'd even turned 30, Jon Favreau couldn't have scripted a headier rise to the circles …

'Yes we can' – Barack Obama's lesson in American rhetoric

This year sees a deluge of anniversaries of major American speeches. In August, the world marked the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech to the 1963 March on Washington. This month is the 150th anniversary of Lincoln's Gettysburg address, and the 50th anniversary of …

Yes we can: speeches fit for a president

The speech on President Barack Obama's lap as he rides tonight in "the Beast" – his armoured limousine – to a joint session of Congress will not have …

Is Writing Torture?

Are writers happy they became writers? Until someone conducts a survey—and I hope they will—it remains an open question. At the moment, it is at the heart of a quarrel between Elizabeth Gilbert and (indirectly) Philip Roth. It all started a few months ago, on the Paris Review Daily, when one Julian …

In Prague

On April 30th, Philip Roth received the Literary Service Award at the PEN Gala. He made the following remarks:<p>From 1972 through 1977, I travelled to Prague every spring for a week or ten days to see a group of writers, journalists, historians, and professors there who were being persecuted by the …

The Intelligent Plant

Scientists debate a new way of understanding flora.<p>In 1973, a book claiming that plants were sentient beings that feel emotions, prefer classical music to rock and roll, and can respond to the unspoken thoughts of humans hundreds of miles away landed on the New York <i>Times</i> best-seller list for …

Danse Macabre

A scandal at the Bolshoi Ballet.<p>Sergei Yurevich Filin, a man of early middle age and improbable beauty, sat behind the wheel of his car on a winter night driving toward home. It was 10 degrees Fahrenheit in the center of Moscow, a light snow in the air, snow on the rooftops, snow piled up in the …

The Cult of Overwork

For decades, junior bankers and Wall Street firms had an unspoken pact: in exchange for reasonably high-paying jobs and a shot at obscene wealth, young analysts agreed to work fifteen hours a day, and forgo anything resembling a normal life. But things may be changing. Last October, Goldman Sachs …