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The legacy of the Russian revolution can still be felt today

HE LIES under bulletproof glass, lit up with red rays. He has hardly changed since a Pravda essayist, seeing him dead in 1924, wrote: “His face is calm, and he is almost—almost—smiling that inimitable, indescribable, sly childlike smile of his…His upper lip with its moustache is mischievously lifted and seems very much …

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The Las Vegas Golden Knights are hitting hockey’s jackpot

CALL it the fundamental law of expansion teams: when new franchises join North America’s closed team-sports leagues, they aren’t supposed to be very good. Cobbling together their initial rosters from the detritus incumbent clubs choose to make available, expansion teams typically need several years to develop young talent and acquire …

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At 50, “The Graduate” still has much to say about youth

IN JANUARY 1967, Time announced that its “Man of the Year” for 1966 was not an individual, but the generation of “Twenty-five and under”: “Never have the young been so assertive or so articulate, so well educated or so worldly.” The cover featured a young man in a suit, attractive …

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The rich get richer as a home-run champion moves to New York

THE PAST decade has been a resounding success for Major League Baseball’s (MLB) efforts to promote competitive balance. Back in 2000, when the New York Yankees, the sport’s richest team, were en route to winning their fourth championship in five years, MLB hired a “blue-ribbon panel” to propose reforms that …

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The surreal and hyper-humane humour of “Lady Dynamite”

“IF I keep the ice-cube trays full, no one will die.” So goes the opening line of “Anxiety Song”, a bit from a stand-up routine by Maria Bamford. She stands behind the microphone, her usually quavering voice oddly steady as she sings in monotone: “As long as I clench my …

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What is it about “Cat Person”?

SHORT stories are uniquely unpopular sources of entertainment. Book publishers avoid them, as fiction buyers prefer novels. Magazines have largely cut them from their pages (perhaps because truth lately has become stranger than fiction). So it is odd, to say the least, for a short story to suddenly trend on Twitter. …

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A gripping history of New York

Greater Gotham: A History of New York City from 1898 to 1919. By Mike Wallace. Oxford University Press; 1,196 pages; $45 and £35. NEW YORK has never been a city to do things by halves. And so it is perhaps not surprising that on New Year’s Eve, 1897, the metropolis …

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The importance of pauses in conversation

MARGARET THATCHER was known for a voice that brooked no disagreement. While still in opposition, she had taken elocution lessons to sound more forceful. Despite this, she was often interrupted in interviews as prime minister, and in 1982, three researchers set out to understand why. They played clips from one …

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The problem with prisons in America

Layers of uniformity Blind Injustice: A Former Prosecutor Exposes the Psychology and Politics of Wrongful Convictions. By Mark Godsey. University of California Press; 264 pages; $29.95 and £24.95. Inside Private Prisons: An American Dilemma in the Age of Mass Incarceration. By Lauren-Brooke Eisen. Columbia University Press; 336 pages; $32. To …

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Businesses’ investment decisions can have unexpected consequences

Capitalism without Capital: The Rise of the Intangible Economy. By Jonathan Haskel and Stian Westlake. Princeton University Press; 278 pages; $29.95 and £24.95. RICH economies are full of puzzles. What has caused them to become so unequal? Why is their rate of business investment so low? When will real wages …