New York Times

NY Times Writer Researches Michelle Obama’s Ancestry in ‘American Tapestry’

Cynthia Gordy

In her new book, American Tapestry: The Story of the Black, White, and Multiracial Ancestors of Michelle Obama, Rachel L. Swarns digs up the first lady's family roots. Throughout the meticulously researched tome, Swarns, a New York Times correspondent, uncovers a diverse history that Mrs. Obama hadn't even known herself. Swarns speaks  about what struck her most about the project, her extensive research process and what she hopes readers will take away from learning about a family that went from slavery to the White House.

99 Percent to NYT’s David Brooks: Get Real

Paul Kleyman

In his January 9 New York Times  column, “Where Are the Liberals?”  conservative commentator David Brooks chides the venality of Democrats, as well as Republicans, for “perpetually soiling the name of government for the sake of short-term gain.” In his presumptively even-handed tone, Brooks declares that is corrupted by “renters,” special interests who have mired America’s leaders in conflicts of interest. And who are the renters? Along with Wall Street—you know, the 1 percent most of us think of as the owners, not the renter--Brooks pillories old people.

 

Rediscovering the Joy of Quiet: Thank You, Pico Iyer

Sandip Roy

When a friend forwarded me Pico Iyer’s recent New York Times essay, “The Joy of Quiet,” I was squashed in the back of a Maruti shuttle van on the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass of Kolkata....The honking din of traffic around me was deafening. The construction happening on the bypass added its grating groan to the general bedlam. The Maruti rattled and creaked, the FM radio non-stop hits swelling and garbling with each bump on the road. Every single person in the shuttle was shouting into their cell phone. I wanted them all to stop, take a deep breath and read what Iyer had to say.

Video Verdict (Week of October 17)

Forrest Hartman

Writer-director Kevin Smith’s latest project has probably attracted more attention due to Smith’s pre-release antics than for the movie itself. Leading up to the Sundance film festival, the filmmaker promised to sell “Red State” in an auction at a special festival event. Then, at that event, he announced that he was purchasing the movie for self-distribution. This created controversy in the industry, and the film ultimately received an extremely limited theatrical release before becoming an on-demand option Sept. 1. This week, “Red State” is getting a wider rollout on DVD, Blu-ray and digital download. 

Sam Sifton's Greatest Hits

Tara Taghizadeh

Sifton, who has been the New York Times restaurant critic since October 2009, has a certain flair for the written word. His reviews are frequently, for lack of a better word, flowery, and replete with vivid descriptions –sometimes apropos, other times downright odd – that add a certain flavor to his prose (pun intended). 

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