How Gary Coleman taught me to read

by David Alm April 11, 2014

There’s an episode in the final season of Diff’rent Strokes in which Arnold (Gary Coleman) acts up in class and is challenged by his teacher, played by Kareem Abdul Jabbar, to teach a lesson one day. His topic is to be A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, and he doesn’t want to do it. But he forces […]

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Writing and risk

by David Alm November 9, 2012

Writing ranks pretty low on the list of guaranteed paths to success — down there with sculpting and growing exotic plants. No one goes into it because it’s a sure thing. And I’m not just talking about being a novelist or writing for the New Yorker. Writing, like acting, can take many forms: you can […]

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Criticism for sale, critical thought be damned

by David Alm August 31, 2012

Not long ago, a middle-aged man made a great deal of money by selling book reviews directly to authors and publishers. He realized that — surprise! — people like it when you say nice things about them, and in many cases, are willing to pay for it. So he started a business writing positive book […]

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David Carr on Atavist, good as gold

by David Alm May 22, 2012

Leave it to David Carr to let us know what’s what. Yesterday’s New York Times featured a classic Carr piece (no pun intended, honestly) about Atavist, a new Web-publishing platform that allows publishers to “seamlessly weave together their text, video, audio, photos, maps, interactive graphics, and timelines” in a multimedia “environment.” Atavist also produces its […]

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The paradox of global education

by David Alm October 3, 2011

When I started college, in 1993, there was a notion going around that education was subversive. It allowed those of us lucky enough to be studying the liberal arts to engage with serio us texts, ask serious questions, and develop critical perspectives on the world. It allowed us to exist, mentally at least, outside the […]

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Sullivan to join the Daily Beast

by David Alm March 1, 2011

Andrew Sullivan, one of the more sought-out bloggers in the great big blogosphere, is leaving his prestigious post at the Atlantic online to write for the Daily Beast. Launched by Tina Brown in 2008 as an alternative to the Huffington Post, the Daily Beast has since become not just a juggernaut of the Web, but an […]

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How the internet saved reading

by Jeff McMahon February 26, 2011
Image of a book and an Amazon Kindle reader.

Last week when my friend David Alm published his lament of digital publishing in these pages, I happened to be writing an introduction for a visiting writer. I recognized in my draft a soft rebuttal to David’s post, but I decided it had to complete its original mission before I could post it. This introduction […]

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Online? Expect to be read

by Marilyn Kallet February 20, 2011

A young friend of mine who works for a hip magazine in a super-hip city recently Tweeted a negative reference to her workplace. A few hours later, her boss called her in to the office, and told her she was lucky to be working at such a great place, and to NEVER say negative things […]

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