Print as the Pauper (on The Gutenberg Elegies: The Fate of Reading in an Electronic Age by Sven Birkerts and The Electronic Word: Democracy, Technology, and the Arts by Richard A. Lanham)

Black Rage/White Guilt: Act II (on Faces at the Bottom of the Well: The Permanence of Racism and Confronting Authority: Reflections of an Ardent Protester by Derrick Bell)

A Walk on the Wilde Side (on Mother of Oscar: The Life of Jane Francesca Wilde by Joy Melville and The Stranger Wilde: Interpreting Oscar by Gary Schmidgall)

“A Million Million Suns”: Poetry and Science (on Light at the Edge by Devreaux Baker; Night Thoughts and Henry Vaughan by David Young; Inventing Angels by Gary Fincke; Fermi Buffalo by Louise McNeill; & Science and Other Poems by Alison Hawthorne Deming)

Doggy Doggerel

The Boys Have Guns & Our Generation

American Theater Watch, 1994–1995

Gerald Weales’s “American Theater Watch” appeared in these pages from 1978 until 2010, and we have also featured on occasion his essays and reviews on topics that have included World War II and the early-career political cartoons of one Theodore Geisel (a.k.a. Dr. Seuss). In addition to his distinguished career as an author and drama specialist, Weales was a longtime professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania, from which he retired in 1987; a senior Fulbright scholar at the University of Sri Lanka; and the recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship.


Billy Collins’ latest collection of poetry is Horoscopes for the Dead (Random House, 2011). A former U.S. poet laureate, he is a Distinguished Professor at Lehman College (CUNY) and a Distinguished Fellow of the Winter Park Institute at Rollins College.

Influenza 1918

In ordinary times, the bankers, lawyers, and mill owners who lived on Tower Hill opened their doors to a quiet broken only by the jostle of a laden milk wagon, the first stirrings of a wind in the elms, or …