Progress and Protest

U.S. Army Soldiers attached to Alpha Company, 1st Brigade Support Battalion, prepare to shoot at targets at a range in Kirkuk, Iraq, on Dec. 1 2010

Former New York Times foreign correspondent Chris Hedges tells us what he calls “the myth of human progress” and looks at the underlying causes of global conflict. Jonathan Lethem talks about L. J. Davis’ 1971 novel, A Meaningful Life, for our summer Underappreciated reading series. Helen Schulman discusses her new novel, This Beautiful Life, about the scandal that erupts when a teenage boy forwards a racy video sent to him by a girl. New Yorker contributor Wendell Steavenson tells us about her recent trip to Syria, in the midst of the protests and government crackdowns.