Best of May

Dearest supporters, readers, and friends:

Spring has sprung, June is nearly upon us, and it’s time to revisit the most riveting, thought-provoking, inflammatory, and amusing writing of the month we just endured together.  We present to you the Best of May; at least, according to us, your friends at the Los Angeles Review of Books.


The Pets’ War: On Hilda Kean’s “The Great Cat and Dog Massacre”
By Colin Dickey
Colin Dickey on Hilda Kean’s “The Great Cat and Dog Massacre: The Real Story of World War Two’s Unknown Tragedy.”

Discipline and Parse: The Politics of Close Reading
By Bruce Robbins
Bruce Robbins reviews Joseph North’s “Literary Criticism: A Concise Political History.”

Was “S-Town’s” John B. McLemore a Poetic Genius?
By Rachel Kraus
With the help of Stanford professor Nicholas Jenkins, Rachel Kraus examines with John B. McLemore from the “S-Town” podcast was a poetic genius.

The Awful Pleasures of Spiritual Pornography
By Alan Levinovitz
A scholar of religion – attacked by conservative Christian authors — tries to understand their pique.

Who’s Afraid of the White Working Class?: On Joan C. Wiliams’s “White Working Class: Overcoming Class Cluelessness in America”
By David Roediger
David Roediger on “White Working Class: Overcoming Class Cluelessness in America.”

The Anatomy of Finickiness: On Alexander Theroux’s “Einstein’s Beets: An Examination of Food Phobias”
By Geoff Nicholson
Who knew Mussolini didn’t like mashed potatoes? Geoff Nicholson enjoys Alexander Theroux’s latest.

Why We Should All Read “Alice in Wonderland” Right Now
By Brad Evans
Brad Evans argues that “Alice in Wonderland” is the political theory and beacon of imaginative hope we all need right now.

The Handmaid’s Tale, “Nolite te Bastardes Corborundorum”
By Jane Hu and Aaron Bady
Dear TV on “Handmaid’s Tale,” Episode 4.

Risk and Reason/The Wrong Side of History: On the Yale University Unionization Efforts
By Sarah Brouillette, Annie McClanahan, and Shenhal Shingavi
Sarah Brouillette, Annie McClanahan, and Snehal Shingavi address the Yale unionization efforts and hunger strike, in response to Amy Hungerford’s recent piece in the “Chronicle of Higher Education.”

Damaging Words: On “Thirteen Reasons Why”
By Jonathan Alexander
Jonathan Alexander reviews the new Netflix series “Thirteen Reasons Why.”