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The New York Review of Books

Peter Beinart's been taking some criticism for publishing his essay on Israel in the New York Review of Books, which is apparently an anti-Israel publication because it occasionally publishes left-wing Jews. Beinart scoffs at this, and so do I. In an interview with Tablet, he says that the essay was originally slated for the New York Times Magazine, but "stylistic" arguments scotched that deal, and there weren't many other outlets open to him. "There are not very many places anymore where one can write long, serious essays," he writes.

Interestingly, one of the outlets where you can occasionally do that is Beinart's old magazine, The New Republic. I guess there's some reason that he or they thought a long critique of Israel wouldn't fit there. But putting that aside, Beinart's right: There are not many places left for long, thoughtful essays. Which is why I renewed my subscription to the New York Review of Books after reading Beinart's piece last night. In recent weeks, they've also published a long piece by Paul Krugman and Robin Wells on the banking crisis, Mark Lilla's deep examination of the Tea Parties, and Rory Stewart's important article on the path forward in Afghanistan. It's all good stuff, and you might think about subscribing.

By Ezra Klein  |  May 17, 2010; 3:00 PM ET
 
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Comments

I've been a subscriber for, well, for longer than Ezra's been alive I guess. It's never occurred to me not to resubscribe. They've long published Tony Judt's essays and reviews, and have lately been publishing his shorter essays and reflections as he copes with fully blown ALS. His archive there is at http://www.nybooks.com/contributors/tony-judt/ some of the pieces are freely available.

Posted by: bdballard | May 17, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Ditto bdballard.

I think he's writing for the kids here. Condescends to his readers.

Writing down, like a blogger-professor here-to-teach-us type. Never occurs to him to throw a "if you don't already" in there, since we all be dummies reading him online here.

When he learns new words, he teaches us. Nevermind if it's a word that's been around quite awhile. If he learns to make a new recipe, he has to share since we don't know how. Heck today, he even introduced us to the Middle East conflict, and explained that young people just don't know Israel's history and why they act that way.

About the only thing lil Ez doesn't do well, is write opionions that don't make assumptions and present his liberal view as the ONLY one. He's not thoughtfully considering and discussing; he's trying to wise the rest of us dummies up.

Personally, I think this is one of the funnier aspects of the young "experts". When they learn something new or change their minds, it never occured to them that somebody else was already there at that vantage point of greater information/better analysis and prediction skills. Suddenly the game changes because now THEY KNOW. And then, they turn around, and try to teach us what we knew to be true months earlier.

One of these days, he'll get off Krugman's jock too, and realize his mentor isn't all that wise and far-sighted as lil Ez currently believes. Or is he just brown nosing, hoping to pick up the liberal economic mantle and lend Krugman some cred?

And what's up with the linking to the girlfriend/partner thing? Is he the first one to smell himself and think his girl's the smartest thing in the room? Doesn't he understand nepotism, and why you avoid those situations in case you're brain thinking is being affected by other parts? Silly lad.

Still, I better get off here and hop to subscribing. What did you say that new publication was again? New York Review of Books, eh?

Posted by: Mary42 | May 17, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

I, too, have been a subscriber for some 35 years--ever since I came back to grad school from the army--and wholeheartedly endorse the NYRB. Its politics is more liberal than not but it actually publishes fewer political articles than long essay reviews on art, music, lit, history, etc. And even the political essays are thoughtful & footnoted, much more scholarly than ideological or partisan. My kids read & enjoy it, too, & they're both less than 30.

Posted by: davidpancost | May 17, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Just imagine how smart he'd think he'd be if he actually had a law degree, a bit of professional experience, or a few more years experience in him.

To be so wise at his young age -- I'm thinking it must be the outstanding genetics. *snark off*

Posted by: Mary42 | May 17, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

You keep trying to hide behind Peter Beinart, who does not have the long history of vitriol against Israel that you do, and whose thinking is freer and more sensible than your own. Your fine moral sense is not in any way bothered by people strapping bombs on their own children -- apparently. Those familiar with your old blog know what a collection of Israel haters it attracted.

Posted by: truck1 | May 17, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

mary42, seeing a younger person find and come to appreciate something I value (or valorize as they say over at Yglesias' place) makes my heart soar like an eagle. Anyway, I don't think Ezra was announcing anything breathlessly, he was just making a recommendation, one that I happen to endorse. If only they all didn't listen to such dreary music. Although I do like this stuff http://youtube.com/watch?v=zIoZ-2uyZ9s

Posted by: bdballard | May 17, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

I love the New York Review. Its political articles are good but I also appreciate the pieces about art, music, science, history, anthropology, philosophy, etc. etc. Just reading the Review enables me to keep up with major trends in all those fields without having to be an "expert" in any of them and without having to read a bunch of specialized publications.

Posted by: KWeberLit | May 17, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

"You keep trying to hide behind Peter Beinart, who does not have the long history of vitriol against Israel that you do, and whose thinking is freer and more sensible than your own. Your fine moral sense is not in any way bothered by people strapping bombs on their own children -- apparently. Those familiar with your old blog know what a collection of Israel haters it attracted. "

Whatever.

Posted by: PeterH1 | May 17, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

while we're on the subject, the London Review of Books is useful in many of the same ways http://www.lrb.co.uk/

Posted by: bdballard | May 17, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Ezra says of TNR: "I guess there's some reason that he or they thought a long critique of Israel wouldn't fit there."

This must be the understatement of all time.

Posted by: jwellington1 | May 17, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

I'm so heartened whenever I see a positive word for NYRB. I've been a subscriber for three years (about as long as I've been out of college) and could not be happier with a publication. Someone above noted Tony Judt -- his pithy memoir series of late has been a joy. In addition, of course, to the long form political and economic pieces Ezra mentioned.

Posted by: howardclh | May 17, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

The proper response to a well formulated understatement is like the proper response to a well formed body suddenly revealed to passersby on the street: a quiet smile of appreciation, and then move along. No need to point.

Posted by: bdballard | May 18, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

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