Why are more Americans watching a South Korean TV series than any other show on Netflix, a series that looks to become the most popular show on Netflix ever?

Maybe because “Squid Game,” a fable of cruel hyper-capitalist brutality and selfishness, strikes a chord in our own hyper-capitalist country of…


I’m all for complexity and nuance and shades of gray. One reason I’m not much of a sports fan is the fierce binary tribalism it always seemed to require; I never really cared whether or not the Warriors or Cornhuskers or Crimson beat their opponents. …


I’ve always liked maps. As a little kid I loved gas-station state maps and giant atlases, then United States Geological Survey topographical maps and Michelin maps of Europe (and Tolkien’s map of Middle-earth) when I discovered those. As an adult I always look at maps in antique shops and flea…


Kushner in 2008, photo in Vanity Fair by Michael Sofronski

Jared Kushner, a Reuters story recently reported, “is stepping away from politics for the foreseeable future” and “re-entering the private sector.”

Which made me think: re-enter the private sector?

What does that even mean for a real estate heir married to a real estate heiress with a combined inherited fortune…


Dennis Hopper, Peter Fonda and Jack Nicholson in Easy Rider (1969)

We’ve understood for a while now that the right to buy and tote as many guns of any kind as you like, unregistered guns that hold as many rounds as you like and fire as rapidly as you like, is the sine qua non of American freedom. …


The New York Times remains America’s and maybe the world’s single most influential cultural gatekeeper. It’s a last bastion in many ways. As I’m reminded whenever I come across its contortions to avoid…vulgarities.

For instance, after the Supreme Court’s recent ruling that a high school cheerleader was free to Snapchat…


Photo: Getty Images / The Washington Post

Back in 2016, as I finished writing Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire: A 500-Year History, my book about our founding national weakness for mixing fiction and reality in problematic ways, I wondered if I’d attributed too much significance to postmodern professional wrestling. I wrote about how boundaries between entertainment and…


The author in his home office in Brooklyn, photo by Erik Tanner for The New York Times

Say that you — a different you from the one in the headline — own OK Concepts Incorporated, a business employing 250 people. Everyone does nearly all their work sitting at desks and tables, and until a year ago they (and you) did that in the expensive office space you…


A still from David Fincher’s Mank

Mank is a two-hour black-and-white movie about the real-life screenwriter (Herman Mankiewicz) of a two-hour black-and-white movie (Citizen Kane) about a real-life mogul (William Randolph Hearst) who produced movies, many of them starring his movie-star mistress. Scenes in Mank are introduced on-screen as they are in screenplays, with Courier typeface…


I finished writing my book Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire: A 500-Year History at the beginning of 2016, when the leaders of the Republican Party were still desperately trying to keep Donald Trump from winning their presidential nomination. At the end of 2016, when he was president-elect, I retitled my…

Kurt Andersen

Award-winning, bestselling author (Evil Geniuses, Fantasyland, True Believers, Heyday, Turn of the Century) and creator of media (Studio 360, Inside, SPY).

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