The Saturday Essay

  • imageAndy Potts

    A Tale of Two Africas

    The Saturday Essay: As West African countries try to battle Ebola with their public health systems in shambles, countries such as Uganda provide a model for improved detection and prevention.

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    WSJ Guide to Wine

    Is there a right way to drink wine? Download the new ebook by Wall Street Journal wine columnists Will Lyons and Lettie Teague for your primer on everything from choosing a bottle to creating your ideal cellar, at wsj.com/guidetowine.

From Review

From Leisure & Arts

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    The Men of Autumn

    Football is now the national pastime—its fast, violent, telegenic nature captures the spirit of our times. It's easier to bet on, too.

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    A Secret History of Rock

    Tripping through time to discover what connects Buddy Holly, Beyoncé, Ben E. King and the Sex Pistols.

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    Put It on the Paper's Tab

    An expense claim from a trip to a Phnom Penh opium den was reclassified to describe the purchase as whiskey.

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    The Man Behind the Age

    Thucydides praised Pericles for his ability to tame and control the wild beast of democracy.

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    At Home in Number 10

    In the midst of World War I, the prime minister's wife made sure her husband got in his rounds of golf.

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    Everyday Life in a Landscape of Death

    For British soldiers in World War I, a grueling war on friendly territory produced tensions of the kind associated with hostile occupations.

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    Rush Chair Turns on Dartmouth Bros

    I knew the brothers of Dartmouth's Sigma Alpha Epsilon as having a taste for pastel critter pants, not sadism.

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    Children's Books: Lessons From Life, and From Books

    Jacqueline Woodson writes vividly about growing up as a 'brown girl' in 1960s South Carolina.

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    Apocalypse Without End

    A novel that refuses to domesticate the Holocaust, even by crafting a satisfying narrative around the horror.

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    Ghost Stories for Grown-Ups

    Robert Aickman was a master of the creepy, the uncanny and the strange.

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    Fiction Chronicle: That Way Madness

    Is a husband's odd behavior the symptom of a struggling marriage or the first sign of a terrible disease?

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    Five Best: Robert H. Patton

    The author of "Hell Before Breakfast," a history of America's first war correspondents, recommends books on war's transformations.

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    Motley Crew at the Helm

    Egalitarianism was being acted out at sea by pirates half a century before it became a catch-cry of the French Revolution.

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    The Credentials Arms-Race

    Students sacrifice all to grades and resume building—'I might be miserable,' a Yalie noted, 'but were I not miserable, I wouldn't be at Yale.'

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    Presidents and Punch Lines

    In every election since 1992, the GOP presidential nominee has been the butt of more jokes than the Democrat. Surprised?

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    Witness for the Prosecutor

    On an early date, Lucinda Franks took Robert Morgenthau to a Village coffeehouse to hear a reading of 'Howl,' Allen Ginsberg's long, obscenity-filled poem.

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    Philanthropists Fight Back

    The Robertson family gave millions to ensure more Princeton grads would work in government. When they didn't, the Robertsons sued.

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    How to Organize Your Brain

    Our minds were designed to succeed in an environment utterly unlike the information overload we now face.

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    An Education in a Time of Terror

    "Having taught the world how to live," an Athenian newspaper declared, "we will now teach it how to die."

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    A Mother Who Never Condescended

    "You are the nastiest little pig I know and I despise the school for not urging you to be a little less beastly."

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    The Truths of History

    A biography and a novel together give us a unified portrait of Augustus, Rome's first emperor.

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    Fiction Chronicle: Hearts Linked by Pain

    The plainness of Murakami's writing accentuates a story of finding things to live for after traumatic loss.

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    Mysteries: Lessons in Revenge

    Piecing together the murder of a young Japanese girl by two schoolboys.

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    A Future Held in Hock

    A novel about Memphis, where hustling runs in the blood and gallows humor
    is the lingua franca.

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    The Postmodern Metropolis

    In Berlin, an old power plant houses a club where the partying starts on Friday at midnight and lasts well into Sunday.

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    The Murderer Who Invented Vegas Poker

    A vicious gangster run out of Dallas, Benny Binion became a Vegas icon and hero to poker players.

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    Children's Books: Of Dogs and Men

    On farm after farm, a predator is slaughtering sheep by night, a killer so wily and swift that it can only be a sheepdog gone bad.

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    Five Best: Ben Macintyre on the Cambridge Spies

    The author, most recently, of "A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal" recommends books about the Cambridge Five.

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    Frontier Religion

    If Gov. Rick Perry responds to a drought by asking Texans to pray for rain, that doesn't mean he is counting on divine intercession.

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    Dark Lady of Letters

    Sontag cultivated an aura of genius that tipped over into condescension. 'She could not talk to stupid people,' noted one contemporary.

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    Making Hope Happen

    At an orphanage in Cambodia, countering the effects of disease with chants, prayers and the help of far-flung 'seekers.'

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    It's Broke. Fix It.

    MelaFind's breakthrough optical technology promised earlier, more accurate detection of melanoma. Then the FDA got involved.

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    All Worn Out

    The best-kept secret is that it makes a world of difference to avoid using clichés. It should go without saying.

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    Is Notre Dame Football Too Demanding?

    The recent academic scandal involving four Fighting Irish football players has raised a difficult question: Are Notre Dame's academic expectations too high for the football players it is admitting?

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