Colin Kaepernick, Kneeling, and the Meaning of Gratitude

In some ways, the current wave of African-American football players kneeling during the National Anthem replicates the Bebop revolution that changed the public persona of the black male jazz musician. Now it is black players demanding that audiences recognize that their attitude is not the same as their white peers.

Fugitives From Sheol

In every decade since the Sheol, the films that resulted reveal wider, prevailing attitudes toward Jewishness, history, memory, and psychological trauma.

Bernard Malamud’s The Natural

In his early work Bernard Malamud used Yiddish constructions and words reminiscent of the Jewish folk tradition of Eastern Europe. But with his first novel, The Natural, he embraced a Midwestern hero, the American pastoral, and a pastime he loved: baseball.


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The Common Reader, a publication of Washington University in St. Louis, offers the best in reviews, articles and creative non-fiction engaging the essential debates and issues of our time.