Best of January

Dear members, supporters, readers, and friends:

January is (nearly) over, and it’s been a doozy. There were some awesome parts, a fair number of not-so-awesome parts, record-setting rains and snowfalls, some giant elephant sweaters, and lots of heated debates. We present you with the Best of January; at least, according to us, your friends at the Los Angeles Review of Books.

Lost in Trumpslation: An Interview with Bérengère Viennot
By Robert Zaretsky
Robert Zaretsky interviews Bérengère Viennot, who is tasked with translating Donald Trump’s speeches into French.

The History of Popularity
By Rayyan Al-Shawaf
Rayyan Al-Shawaf on David Hajdu’s “Love for Sale: Pop Music in America.”

On Payment
By Melissa Chadburn
Melissa Chadburn on writing and teaching, not as a luxury or art, but as her weapon of choice.

Art in the Age of Masculinist Hollywood: Damien Chazelle’s “La La Land”
By Morgan Leigh Davies
“La La Land” is in all ways a sunny film, and one that wants badly to please.

A Smuggling Operation: John Berger’s Theory of Art
By Robert Minto
Robert Minto examines the theory of art expounded in “Landscapes: John Berger on Art.”

America, America
By Jonathan Kirshner
How did it come to this? Jonathan Kirshner on Trump’s ascent to power.

What Charlie Hebdo Taught Me About Freedom of Speech
By Jacob Hamburger
Jacob Hamburger reflects on his time at the controversial French comic newspaper “Charlie Hebdo.”

Apology: On Jonathan Chait’s Obama
By Emmett Rensin
Emmett Rensin reviews Jonathan Chait’s “Audacity: How Barack Obama Defied His Critics and Created a Legacy That Will Prevail.”

Minimal Care in Kenneth Lonergan’s “Manchester by the Sea”
By Alicia Christoff
Alicia Christoff on the politics of grief in “Manchester by the Sea.”

Provocations
By Viet Than Nguyen, Adrian Nicole LeBlanc. Héctor Tobar, David Ulin, Pardis Mahdavi, Jeffrey Wasserstrom, and Barbara Demick
“Provocations” is a series produced in conjunction with “The Future of the Truth,” a UCI Forum for the Academy and the Public conference taking place in Irvine on February 3 and 4, 2017. The series probes the question: what is the future of truth in today’s political world and media environment?

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