Mark G. Brennan

Mark G. Brennan is the books editor of Chronicles and writes from New York.

Latest by Mark G. Brennan in Chronicles

Results: 45 Articles found.
  • <em>Books in Brief</em>
    July 2020

    Books in Brief

    Mark G. Brennan reviews How Dead Languages Work by Coulter H. George.

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  • What the Editors Are Reading
    April/May 2020

    What the Editors Are Reading

    Reviews of Nassim Nicholas Taleb's Antifragile and Diego Gambetta's The Sicilian Mafia

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  • Singin' the Publishing Blues
    March 2020

    Singin' the Publishing Blues

    I like a traveling circus. The American Historical Association’s annual conference periodically sets up its tent at the New York Hilton. Since I live nearby, I subject myself to its clown car of characters every half decade. But this year, I saw the confab’s book fair as an opportunity to introduce myself to the editors of several university presses, peruse forthcoming titles, and gauge the attendees’ interest in the latest offerings. On a cold Saturday morning in January, I limped one block to the nearest subway stop to ride to the big top.

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  • Simple Answers for Hateful Minds
    December 2019

    Simple Answers for Hateful Minds

    When did Americans become the stormtroopers of irrational simplification? Not a moment passes when a tweet, Facebook post, or Instagram picture doesn’t rip through our amber waves of grain and drive a social justice warrior to attack the nearest deplorable. Take this recent example from The New York Times of a mentally deranged reductionist.

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  • October 2019

    NY Cops Retreat From the Heat

    The English actor Beatrice Lillie had no inkling of 2019’s sweltering summer heat in 1931 when she debuted Noël Coward’s ditty “Mad Dogs and Englishmen” in the Broadway musical The Third Little Show. The song’s mocking refrain, “Mad dogs and Englishmen/ Go out in the midday sun,” expressed a sentiment normal Americans subscribed to during this past July’s scorching heat waves.

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  • August 2019

    Five Modest Swamp-Draining Proposals

    How many times will naive voters fall for the old “When elected I will shrink the federal government” lie? If our Solipsist-in-Chief can’t “drain the swamp,” you can bet your last VHS Jazzercise tape that myriad new laws, middle-class tax cuts, and feeble protests will never stem the federal Leviathan’s metastasis. With that reality in mind, let me propose a five-point plan designed to make political freeloaders live like the rest of America. I can only hope their newfound empathy will ignite a drive to limit the federal government’s inexorable growth.

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  • July 2019

    Books in Brief

    I read Dan-el Padilla Peralta’s memoir of his illegal residency in the United States last week while on vacation in Germany, another country arguing about immigration.

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  • June 2019

    College Admissions and Other Rites of Fragility

    Think of the angst the recent college admissions scandal has caused in wealthy households from Greenwich to La Jolla, and nowhere in between, except maybe Winnetka.

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  • Healthcare in a Humane Society
    May 2019

    Healthcare in a Humane Society

    The night had started off great. A few weeks earlier I had agreed to speak at the New York premiere of the American Enterprise Institute President Arthur Brooks’s forthcoming documentary The Pursuit.

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  • Borders and Other Silly Concerns
    April 2019

    Borders and Other Silly Concerns

    My housekeeper personifies the American Dream. Her journey from rags may not have ended in riches. But she now enjoys a solid middle-class existence after decades of backbreaking labor. Born and raised in the Mexican state of Puebla, Laura married her first and only boyfriend, Daniel, in her late teens.

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  • March 2019

    Breeze Over the Border With Me

    Let’s conduct a thought experiment. Imagine that you have just landed at New York’s JFK International Airport after a 15-hour flight from Mumbai.

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  • An Infrastructure of Crumbs and Bananas
    February 2019

    An Infrastructure of Crumbs and Bananas

    The current American cultural and economic transformation, which arguably started in the late 20th century, is now approaching its nadir. Americans will more likely mourn this transition than celebrate it.

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  • Trump’s Razor
    January 2019

    Trump’s Razor

    Blame everything on Trump. Your car won’t start? It’s Trump’s fault. Your dog threw up in the living room? It’s Trump’s fault. The media have lost their collective mind. That’s definitely Trump’s fault. And the blame game seems to get worse by the day.

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  • December 2018

    Citizen Sunflower and America’s Future

    Cancer imposes innumerable indignities on its victims. In addition to possible death, the disease, its complications, and its treatment also force patients through the most inhumane gauntlet of our health-care system.

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  • What Leads to What
    November 2018

    What Leads to What

    When Adam Tooze’s latest book, Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World, hit bookstores this past August, I suggested I review it to Chilton. He immediately agreed. Within days the gargantuan review copy landed with a thud like a stack of foreclosure notices on my doorstep.

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  • October 2018

    Double-Blind in Academia

    There are many ways to commit suicide in academia today. Bret Weinstein, a biology professor at Evergreen State College, opted not to take part in the school’s annual “Day of Absence” celebration.

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  • Selling Them the Rope
    September 2018

    Selling Them the Rope

    The United States recently came under an attack by an activity so insidious that Democratic leader Chuck Schumer and his Wisconsin colleague Tammy Baldwin joined forces in an effort to demand it be “reined in.”

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  • August 2018

    Uber Über Odor

    My wife and I obey a simple rule regarding our leisure travel: She makes the plans; I follow them. Since she enjoys researching hotels and locations, and my tastes overlap with hers, we find it easier for her to do all the planning without any inputs or complaints from me.

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  • Syria and Our Deaths of Despair
    June 2018

    Syria and Our Deaths of Despair

    Just two days after the alleged April 9 chemical attack in Douma, Syria, TV host Tucker Carlson asked Mississippi Republican Sen. Roger Wicker, “What is the American national security interest that would be served by regime change in Syria?”

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  • Hogging the Guns

    Hogging the Guns

    Facts ruin bad arguments. So let these facts sink in for a minute. According to the FBI, in 2016 murderers using handguns killed 7, 105 Americans. That same year, murderers using any kind of rifle killed only 374 Americans.

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Results: 45 Articles found.