AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

The New Yorker

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Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

How not to write about Duke Ellington: a reader’s guide

A week ago, my friend KLW, a distinguished New York jazz critic, called to ask if I had read Adam Gopnik’s New Yorker essay on Duke Ellington (and the Beatles). I had not, nor did I plan to. The prospect of Gopnik writing on something you care passionately about is always more than mildly dispiriting.

Friday, July 19th, 2013

The New Yorker’s Jon Lee Anderson Goes to “Mali”

Where to begin with the foolishness that is Jon Lee Anderson’s recent article on Mali in the New Yorker? Maybe with my own disclosure. Before it was published, one of the magazine’s fact-checkers called me about the...

Monday, February 13th, 2012

When Rick Ross went to South Africa and Gabon

For some odd reason the latest issue of The New Yorker ran a profile of rapper Rick Ross. Lots of good, clever writing by Sasha Frere Jones on familiar controversies about Ross (for example, Frere Jones calls...

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

Skin Deep Politics

I finally had a chance to read Charlayne Hunter-Gault’s profile of Jacob Zuma that appeared in “The New Yorker” on the eve of the World Cup final. You need a password to read the piece. But don’t...