Essays & Reviews

Selected Older

Where Have You Gone, Annie Dillard?

Annie Dillard. The Atlantic, March 2016.

Their Struggle

Elena Ferrante, The Neapolitan NovelsThe Nation, October 12, 2015.

Controlled Rapture

John Updike. The New Republic, September 15, 2014.

Dread and Wonder

Ludmilla Petrushevskaya. The Nation, March 5, 2014.

The Jewish Mark Twain

Sholem Aleichem. The Atlantic, January/February 2014.


Anne Beattie, The New Yorker Stories and Mrs. Nixon. The Nation, December 12, 2011.

The Children’s Hospital

David Foster Wallace, The Pale King. The Nation, July 4-11, 2011.

The Whole Human Mess

Saul Bellow. The Nation, December 13, 2010.

The Renunciation Artist

Leo Tolstoy. The Nation, March 1, 2010.

Aracataca and Sucre

Gabriel García Márquez. The Nation, September 21, 2009.

Last Evenings on Earth

Roberto Bolaño, 2666. The New Republic, February 18, 2009.


We Aren’t Raising Adults. We Are Breeding Very Excellent Sheep.

The intersection of wokeness and excellent sheephood. Common Sense, May 24, 2022.

On the Bobos

The political stupidity of the liberal elite. Salmagundi, Spring-Summer 2022.

American Education’s New Dark Age

On campus wokeness (a condensed version of the Nexus essay from fall 2021). UnHerd, March 2022.

Escaping American Tribalism

Learning to question my beliefs more deeply than I ever had before. UnHerd, March 2022.


Growing up Jewish, and identity more broadly. Liberties, Winter 2022.

Disenchantment and Dogma

On the limits, and virtues, of secularism. Salmagundi, Fall 2021-Winter 2022.

Human History Gets a Rewrite

A review of David Graeber and David Wengrow’s The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity. The Atlantic, November 2021.

Wokeness on Campus: The Reign of Stupidity

Nexus 87, Fall 2021.

The Individual Nuisance

On Harold Rosenberg, my latest intellectual infatuation. Liberties, Spring 2021.

Stages of Grief

What the pandemic has done to the arts economy.  Harper’s, June 2021.