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Published and Forthcoming

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Peer-Reviewed Articles

"Meritocracy in America, 1932-1978," American Historical Review, revise and resubmit.


"Serfs of Academe," review of eleven books about the academy, New York Review of Books, 67 (4), March 12.

"Attraction Pricing," on the history and future of democratic access to New York's Metropolitan Museum, Art in America, 106 (3), March 2018

“On the Trail,” on the environmental history of hiking, New York Review of Books, 64 (13), August 17, 2017

"No President," co-authored editorial, n+1, 27, Winter 2017

"Must We Mean What We Say?,” on Stanley Cavell, n+1, February 11, 2013

“Lions in Winter,” on the New York Public Library, n+1, 14, Summer, 2012

“West from Home,” on Marilynne Robinson, Bookforum, 18 (5), Feb/March, 2012

“The Politics of the Poor,” on Occupy Wall Street, co-authored with Benjamin Kunkel, n+1, 13, Fall 2011

“Google and Money!,” on Google and internet privacy, New York Review of Books, 57 (19), December 9, 2010

“Unsettled,” on eight books about the Great Plains, The Nation, 291 (14), October 4, 2010

“Addled: What’s Killing The New York Times?,” n+1, 9, Spring 2010

“American Pastoral,” on The National Parks by Ken Burns, n+1, February 26, 2010

“In the World of Facebook,” on Facebook and MySpace, New York Review of Books, 57 (3), February 25, 2010

“Christian Science,” on Home by Marilynne Robinson, n+1, January 13, 2009


Liberty and Coercion: The Paradox of American Government from the Founding to the Present, Gary Gerstle, Bookforum, Feb/Mar 2016

The Googlization of Everything by Siva Vaidhyanathan, Bookforum, 18 (1), April/May 2011

“Seeing King Lear,”The Utopian, August 15, 2011

Everything Flows by Vasily Grossman, Los Angeles Times, March 14, 2010

Memoir: A History by Ben Yagoda, San Francisco Chronicle, December 29, 2009

Yours Ever: People and Their Letters by Thomas Mallon, Wall Street Journal, November 18, 2009

The Big Burn by Timothy Egan, Wall Street Journal, October 21, 2009

Crossing the Sierra de Gredos by Peter Handke, The Village Voice, June 26, 2007


“‘In Defense of the New York Public Library’: An Exchange,” New York Review of Books, 59 (10), July 12, 2012

“Public Forum on the Central Library Plan,” panel discussion with Tony Marx, Joan Scott, Robert Darnton, David Nasaw, and Mark Hewitt, The New School, May 22, 2012

“Part of a Long-Term Plan to Cut Research,” New York Times, May 17, 2012

“The Future of the NYPL,” n+1 podcast, May 22, 2012

I am pictured above in Redwood National and State Park and below in Carrizo Plain National Monument.

A man walking into purple wildflowers with mountains in the distance.