New York Review Of Books
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50 of 51 people found the following review helpful
on September 26, 2003
A playground for the mind. Covers a wide range of subjects. Each review is a full essay on the subject of the book. Many reviews compare and contrast several recently published books on the same subject. Learned and sophisticated yet fully accessible. An on-going liberal arts education and the easiest way I know to keep the eclectic learning that a liberal arts education aspires to.
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on October 25, 2003
Sometimes I read all the reviews in the NYRB, even reviews of things I'd probably never buy, or art exhibitions I wouldn't go to. They are so well written that I learn a lot. I have some favorite writers who show up there a lot, such as Garry Wills.
In magazines like Time the reviews are so consumer-oriented that you really wouldn't bother with them unless you were actually considering buying the book or recording that they're talking about. But in the NYRB, they really talk about interesting stuff. There are also a lot of essays that aren't reviews, exactly, but just reflect on the state of the world. The New Yorker used to have long essays like that, but since Tina Brown started running it, they don't do that any more. (Basically, with the New Yorker you used to get free "books", because some of those essays were as long as short books. Now you don't. There are still longish essays like that in the NYRB, sometimes published in parts.)
There is also something aesthetically pleasing about the size and layout of the magazine. It's tabloid-sized on newsprint (but not newsprint that yellows with time) and is very readable. No glossy trash.
I checked my last issue and the new-subscriber price listed there is $64/year. So Amazon's price is OK. If you get an issue on the newsstand for $4.50 and then subscribe, you'll pay $68.50.
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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
on April 11, 2009
New York Review of Books is the best publication in the United States for serious readers. But as any of us who have them stacked up for years know they we need to get it on Kindle. What's the delay?
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on May 15, 2005
NYRB is among my favorite subscriptions (I used to love the Atlantic Monthly; but, it has been rather disappointing over the last several years since they dumbed it down); In terms of sheer intellectual depth and range, it is very tough to beat the NYRB. While I do not read the NYRB cover to cover (and you do get articles that are sub-par), I end up spending at least 5 hrs on each issue.

I receive the print edition as well as access the content online. While I love the convenience of online access, I look forward to the print edition every month simply to browse though all the books that are advertised by various publishers. Over the last several years, I have found many great books through this avenue (and the some through Amazon's recommendations)! I hope NYRB introduces personalized recommendations (only from the traditional inventory of books it advertises in the print edition) in recommending additional books online - both old and new.

The main strength of this magazine is the fact that a typical review article is written by an expert with deep knowledge of the subject (some times opinionated; but always intelligent and engaging). While the article draws on more than a single book, I like the fact that the article is typically written as a commentary around a theme and is more than a summary of the books under review.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on January 24, 2005
THE NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS is published 20 times a year, biweekly except in January, July, August and September. It is a respected publication which is devoted mostly to reviews of current books and an occasional movie. It also contains articles of social or political interest. The Letters section is usually brief with little waste.

Contributors to a recent edition included Mark Danner, Sister Helen Prejean and Daniel Mendelsohn. Reviews covered such diverse items as a collection of short stories by Graham Greene and two books about the actress Anna May Wong in addition to ALEXANDER, a film directed by Oliver Stone.

THE NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS consistently offers provocative writing in a highly readable style. It definitely deserves its reputation for excellence.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on September 29, 2004
NYRB features long, in-depth articles about recent books and events. The "reviews" frequently take the book under discussion as a starting point for a wide-ranging essay which then becomes a work in its own right. Indeed, I've seen articles in NYRB referred to in academic papers. Don't fear that NYRB will bore you, however. I've often found a NYRB article to be a great introduction to an area of thought or literature previously unknown to me.

The only negative is a rather tedious Michael-Mooreish political stance. I have no objection to seeing Bush bashed, but wish that NYRB could do so in a more creative and less repetitive manner. Maybe once in a while we could hear from someone who actually likes the man?

Nevertheless I find NYRB an indispensable periodical. I find it a great complement to The Economist, which features a more pro-business and pro-free trade economic stance and wider, but less deep, coverage of the world.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on November 25, 2008
I have heard this magazine/periodical described as "the best magazine in the world" and I have to agree with this statement. In fact, this may sound ridiculous, but it is so good that I can't even subscribe to it because I end of spending so much time reading it that I neglect my other work and duties. A sad comment on our increasingly hectic/modern lives (or at least mine).
I keep telling myself I will reward myself with a new subscription. I guess I need to do something to earn it:-)
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39 of 51 people found the following review helpful
The New York Review of Books is somewhat of a mixed bag. If you have objections to pretentious pundits passing judgment on anything that comes their way, or are irritated by insipid intellectualia, there will be something in every issue to drive you crazy. But if you can get past that, you'll find some high quality writing about some of the most important new ideas out there.

As far as I can tell, the NYRB does two things. Sometimes it gets a great new book and sends it out to someone who is deservedly prominent in the field and then you get a wonderful combination of a recapitulation of someone's argument, a critical examination of this argument, and references to other related pieces. The other thing the NYRB does it get one of their usual suspects--freelance intellectuals, i.e., retired something-or-others, i.e., has beens--to write about whatever they want, whether they know much about it or not. So you will get preachy articles in foreign affairs written by someone who hasn't been out of Sardi's restaurant in Washington in 30 years, telling you what "the real scoop" is on country X. Except for those written by Gary Willis, these articles are usually sub-par, and those who read them aren't well informed--they're just regurgitating whatever is the received wisdom among the involuted circle of greying New York intellectuals that runs this paper. (The worst is reviews of biographies--watch out for the little footnote that goes something like this: "In the interests of complete honest disclosure, I must say that famous person, subject of this biography, always was chummy with your humble reviewer, and we once split a six pack of malt liquor while riding the rails across Wyoming." Oh please!)

But the reviews--and sometimes the debates--are usually stellar. I wonder why they don't just switch to all reviews. Of course, I bet some of those big names wouldn't be willing to write reviews--why, then they'd have to actually READ something they hadn't written, and they might come across a new idea. And actually, I do understand that. It is a lot of work to do a thoughtful and balanced review. And while people will always faun all over some pseudo-reportage with plenty of name-dropping flashbacks (oh my! he just let slip that he once smoked a cigar with Franco!), reviewing isn't always rewarded. I certainly know the hurt of spending a great deal of time on a serious review, and learning that "0 out of 5 people found this review helpful." Why bother? And it goes deeper--if you find something seriously problematic with some product, keep it to yourself! An honest review...or interference with interstate trade? Someone in the pocket of the company is likely to be the judge! [22]
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on March 11, 2013
I would be very careful about ordering a subscription to The New York Review of Books. I subscribed to the magazine last year, got only a few copies and have had a hard time getting this corrected. They initially sent me two copies, then I got none, then I received a renewal notice that was sent to the wrong adress. I provided them with two different addresses but was still not able to get the magazine. The worst part of all this was that my e-mails to them often went unanswered - and when they finally did reply they said I should have notified them earlier about the problem, even though I had but they did not answer. Beware. Daniel
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on January 8, 2007
I love the New York Review. While I do not agree politically with many of the articles, that's a small price to pay for the overwhelming number of pieces written, as an earlier reviewer said, by experts who really care about what they're writing about. America needs to celebrate its public intellectuals and, if most of them don't like Bush (another reviewer's complaint), well, it's tough to be open minded and smart, like most of the writers in the Review, and also be a Bush supporter. I mean, this is the Bush administration, which has shown about as much respect for the truth as a cat for a wounded sparrow. Which is obviously antithetical to the mission of (most of) the Review writers: to really try to figure stuff out.
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