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Operation Paperclip children in summer school at Fort Bliss, 1947. Image: courtesy of Jonna Perrillo.

Reading List December 17, 2022

Ten Essays You Might Have Missed

Don't let these pieces pass you by!

This year has been exceptionally busy at Boston Review! In addition to our four print issues, in 2022 we published thirty-eight essays on race, twenty-two philosophy pieces, thirty-four poems, and twenty-four contributions to our class and inequality section—not to mention hundreds more essays across our other sections and special projects.

Given this wealth of great writing, there’s a chance you might have missed some of our excellent essays! Before we launch our countdown of this year’s twenty most-loved pieces, we wanted to highlight ten essays that may have flown under your radar. From a look at the legacy of the War on Terror and a moving recollection of Barbara Ehrenreich to an analysis of populism and a memoir of Black boyhood in Birmingham, here are some of our editors’ favorites.

Baher Azmy

The lawless—and ongoing—administration of the prison by four American presidents underwrites the broader democratic crisis we face today.

Brian Teare
Narrative medicine claims to champion the experience of patients—but it does so by requiring that the sick “earn” their care by telling a redemptive tale about what is wrong with them.
Jonna Perrillo

Laws controlling what schools teach about race and gender show an awareness that classrooms are sites of nation-building. During the Cold War, El Paso public schools knew this too when they taught the children of former Nazis how to be white Americans.

Katharine S. Walter
Until COVID-19, tuberculosis killed more people each year than any other infectious disease. Its rising toll is increasingly fueled by mass incarceration.
Randall Horton
Every city I’ve lived in has been filled with racism, whether out in the open or hidden in an invisible dialogue of economics and housing. Birmingham taught me to never question what it meant to be a Black American.
Max Haiven
With the invasion causing a global shortage of sunflower oil, palm oil is back on the rise. But the commodity’s bloody history is instructive of how global capitalism can and can’t be fixed.
Catarina Dutilh Novaes, Silvia Ivani

Building public trust requires far more than the conveyance of facts and instruction in scientific thinking.

Lynne Segal

Remembrances of the late author have focused on her best-selling Nickel and Dimed with only rare acknowledgement of the major roles she played in women’s liberation and U.S. socialism.

Lenore Palladino

The passage of the administration’s Inflation Reduction Act should be celebrated, but without explicit corporate guardrails it’s doomed.

Alberto Polimeni

Rather than seeking to quash "populism," we should broaden our vision of politics and make democracies more responsive to citizens.

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