YUP Highlights

Eclipses and the Lessons of History

Anthony Aveni— “Celestial source of life and light on earth! What envious rival intercepts thy rays? Dares thy own satellite intercepts thy blaze, Or stay thy stream of empyrean birth?…”   The first four lines of a sonnet “tweeted out” by the sixth president of the United States, John Quincy

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Writing as Witness: A Conversation with Claudio Magris

Anne Milano Appel— Translating Claudio Magris’ Blameless was not the first time I had the honor and happy privilege of working with this magnanimous author (a word I use in the Aristotelian sense, which, according to its Latin etymology—magnus as “great,” and animus, “soul”—connotes a true generosity of spirit). An earlier conversation with

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Podcast: A Brief History of the Reformation

Noted historian and author Carlos Eire breaks down some of the myths about Martin Luther and the Reformation and provides an insightful look at the history of the Catholic and Protestant religions from medieval to modern times. Subscribe: iTunes Stitcher

The Talmud and Rabbi Akiva

Barry W. Holtz— What does it mean to live in a culture that is rooted in a foundational document, a document from an earlier time written in a language that is both archaic and at times obscure? Americans have grappled with this question for over two centuries and the prospect

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A Multimedia Exploration of Thomas Wilfred’s Art of Light

“[G]limmers of unfathomable light” … a “yolk-colored blob” … “a sensuous array of abstract composition moving in suspended and unknowable sequence” … “vivid tendrils and clouds, soaring and seeping like magma” … “bruises seen in time-lapse”. All of these descriptions represent attempts to capture in words the strange beauty of

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When Healthcare Is About ‘Parts and Money’

Abraham M. Nussbaum— As you become a physician, you feel as if you are learning to see people as a compendium of parts and a source of income: parts and money. No one pulls you aside during training and tells you this plainly. Just the same, you learn, as I

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Why Should Speech Be Free?

Timothy Garton Ash— The fact that most states in the world have signed international treaties guaranteeing freedom of expression, and make such promises in their constitutions, does not answer the question: why should speech be free? As soon as we start trying to hold governments to their word, or debate

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William H. Gerdts on Two Centuries of American Still-Life Painting

As many who are attentive to art world goings-on are aware, collectors Frank and Michelle Hevrdejs recently promised to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, a trove of spectacular still lifes by American artists; the works span the years from 1817 to 2012.  A book on the collection, Two Centuries

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Closing the Courthouse Doors to Challenges to the Trump Presidency

Erwin Chemerinsky— The first weeks of the Trump presidency demonstrate that the federal judiciary must be available as an essential check to enforce the Constitution. Already many lawsuits have been filed against President Trump and his administration, such as for violating the “emoluments clauses” of the Constitution, for the travel

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An A to Z of Economics: Part 1

Niall Kishtainy— To celebrate the publication of A Little History of Economics, we asked its author—writer, economist and historian Niall Kishtainy—to explain some of the most important staples of economic terminology for us in a handy A-Z of Economics. This post originally appeared on the Yale University Press London blog.  Read on

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