Tragedies give pleasure because they make room for art. Published in "Missing Character," Vol. 26, No. 1.

Why today's storytellers are so bad at imagining the future.

The saving grace of Jewish-American comedy. Part of the Shadow Play article series.

The future of A.I. in Hollywood -- and beyond. Part of the Shadow Play article series.

What Pleasants found in the Afro-American idiom was a body of music intended to comfort the afflicted. Published in "Theological Variations," Vol. 25, No. 2.

James Cameron's new Avatar meets Xi Jinping's new China. Part of the Shadow Play article series.

TV's Yellowstone and the conditions of freedom.

The BBC series Wolf Hall is as beautifully cut, fitted, embroidered, and bejeweled as the heavy, intimidating garments of the Tudor nobility. Part of the Shadow Play article series.

Borgen, the celebrated Danish TV series about power, politics, and media, puts Hollywood in the shade. Part of the Shadow Play article series.

Putin continues to play the Third Rome card that has brought him this far. Published in "The Use and Abuse of History," Vol. 24, No. 2.

The ghost of Neville Chamberlain. Part of the Shadow Play article series.

Spielberg's West Side Story is a masterpiece based on a masterpiece. Part of the Shadow Play article series.

The satirical Netflix series The Chair is not sharp enough to draw blood. Part of the Shadow Play article series.

The film Nomadland expands the scope and meaning of the book that inspired it. Part of the Shadow Play article series.

Are America's cultural exports worse than junk food? Part of the Shadow Play article series.

The great novel of the Western Front, adapted for television. Part of the Shadow Play article series.

Big problems with Greta Gerwig's Little Women. Part of the Shadow Play article series.

Rewatching HBO's masterpiece, The Wire. Part of the Shadow Play article series.

Every society in history has limited speech in some way, yet some have remained freer than others. Published in "America on the Brink," Vol. 22 No. 3.

The new head of the U.S. Agency for Global Media, ostensibly dedicated to
furthering American principles, is now endangering brave journalists who
have spent their careers defending them.

(Co-Authored with Jeffrey Gedmin)

A former President of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and a longtime
observer of America’s public diplomacy weigh in on Michael Pack’s
“Wednesday night massacre.”

Normal People puts a postmodern twist on a classic tale of passion. Part of the Shadow Play article series.

Is China’s brand of coercive “soft power” a contradiction in terms? A new edited volume helps cut through the morass.

Correcting the record on Clarence Thomas -- again. Part of the Shadow Play article series.

Why the TV adaptation of My Brilliant Friend is better than the book. Part of the Shadow Play article series.