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This heroic Brandeis professor explains how sexual-harassment law derives from civil-rights law: “There was the sense that, OK, now we’ve tackled one area of equality, we’ve prevailed to some extent, let’s build on it.” One right leads to another. Or used to. In ancient days. (Sigh.) Plus, the difference between baggage and luggage.…
 
Pairing a concert pianist with a stage magician means merging distinct performance traditions and can include tensions as well as triumphs. Perhaps that’s why their act is sometimes billed as Magic versus Music—a joke that is not entirely a joke. But what a show! Presented with Ralph Farris of the quartet Ethel.…
 
He’s made a lot of films about war, from the Civil War to Vietnam, but his great themes are not death and destruction, he says: “Most of my films, despite the particular subject matter, besides the tragedy or the conflict, are ultimately about love.” He’s currently working on the Revolutionary War. It’s complicated. And delightfully so.…
 
This naturalist and writer is wary of “bad people having their names attached to perfectly good birds.” Audubon’s warbler evokes not just an ornithologist but also a slave-owner. “We should remove all human names from birds and let the birds tell us who they are—by their appearance, their behavior, their song.” Bluebird, woodpecker, whippoorwill. E…
 
New York City’s health commissioner during the first two years of the pandemic—he stepped down on March 15—says he sees something admirable in our response: “We have gotten vaccinated not just to protect ourselves but to protect our communities.” Well, yes, if we have gotten vaccinated, says dour me, who sees something else. Produced with the New Y…
 
He did much of the research for What it Took to Win: a History of the Democratic Party, in the Manuscript Reading Room at the Library of Congress. “I don’t believe in heaven, but, if there’s a heaven for historians, this would be right in the center of it.” Plus some thoughts on the late Richard Hofstadter and the early Bob Dylan.…
 
Drawing for The Nation, Vanity Fair, and The New Yorker, he created stinging caricatures of powerful people. You’d think they’d complain. You’d be wrong. “These people are delighted to be made fun of by the ridiculous people who think that they’re so funny. They know just how powerless we are.” Reflections at age 92 on the happy life of the powerle…
 
When I moved to New York, in 1973, The Village Voice was at the center of downtown life, and her weekly photographs were at the center of the Voice, capturing not just the way things looked but also the way they felt. Today? “Now I’m in my seventies, and I no longer have a community.” Art, aging, and angst—presented with Pratt Institute.…
 
Founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, a human-rights organization in Montgomery, he embodies the radical power of hope, of working for social change, even when there is no evidence that you will succeed: “Hope is kind of an orientation of the spirit; it’s how you position yourself in places where there’s a lot of despair.”…
 
In his 91 years (admittedly, some spent a baby), he’s worked with Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, Allen Ginsberg, Langston Hughes. He scored The Manchurian Candidate, was composer in residence for the New York Philharmonic, and made an omelet for Charlie Parker. Another in our series “On Collaboration,” presented with violist Ralph Farris.…
 
Does learning more about music increase a listener's pleasure? This esteemed violinist is wary of any barriers to an audience. “We can all be touched by music. Music is something that belongs to all of us.” Sure. But I’m not proposing an admission’s test at Carnegie Hall, just asserting that knowledge is rewarded with joy. But hey, she’s Midori, an…
 
This Times journalist is particularly astute about New York’s Puerto Rican neighborhoods, so you’d think he’d be eager to see the new West Side Story. You’d be wrong. “I don’t like someone who doesn’t know my culture, doesn’t know my language, doesn’t know my community . . . I don’t really need to see West Side Story. I really don’t.” Who gets to t…
 
Since he achieved widespread acclaim for his trilogy of novels about Toussaint Louverture and the Haitian Revolution, his admiring readers have sent him all sorts of gifts—artwork, a meteorite. But has anyone sent him pie, and did he eat it? “I’m not recalling anything right now; I would have eaten it, though.” The weirdly intimate connection betwe…
 
A high-school science teacher had him time the swing of a pendulum at various lengths. He found that graphing his measurements formed a parabola. “I got an uncanny chill. There’s something secret that I have just seen, that if you don’t know math, you can’t see.” A mathematician is born. Plus, life with Murray the dog. Music: Bobby Sanabria. Presen…
 
She won a Tony for the musical The Life, an Emmy for Sesame Street, and is the voice of Calliope in Disney’s Hercules. She’s just wrapping up a Broadway run—at age 70—in Chicago. And this: “They put me up on top of the dining room table, and I would sing and dance for my family.” In 2017. No, no, no: as a child. From entrée to encore!…
 
He became widely known playing Rafael Solano on Jane the Virgin and went on to direct a series about young people facing terminal illness and create a podcast challenging ideas of masculinity. Busy guy. Then he had an unsettling insight: “What’s actually making me happy is preventing my own happiness.” Changes were made. A conversation courtesy of …
 
In describing her profession, the dean of Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health cites Adam Smith, the dean of private property: “He said the role of government is to create the public good that we can only create together, in which everybody gains but nobody profits. And public health to me is the most salient, most personal, exempl…
 
In 1976, Milton Glaser sent him to a Brooklyn disco for New York magazine, to illustrate an article that would become the movie Saturday Night Fever. Jim showed his paintings to editor Clay Felker. “Clay looked at them and he said, ‘Jim, what are you showing me here? I don’t get it. Nothing’s happening.’” But it all worked out. And not just for Joh…
 
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