Ghosts at the Riverbank

Outside Vicksburg, Mississippi, but just over the river on the Louisiana side, is a dive bar in a shack with LOTTO written on its sloping roof – in the middle of some fields, unreasonably close to some railway tracks, and not far from a levee where alligators were at the time of my visit beginning to emerge from hibernation […]

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Dems in Vegas

Nevada is the least talked about and least visited of the early states, despite being the biggest general-election battleground, and the most ethnically diverse. The reason for this seems to be that Nevada is so dominated by Las Vegas, and the wider American public simply doesn’t consider Las Vegas to be a real place […]

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Fernanda Melchor – Hurricane Season

In 1950 Octavio Paz wrote about “a magical word” with “innumerable meanings” in Mexican culture. This was chingar, for which the English verb “to fuck” provides a dull shadow of a translation. “Who is the Chingada [the fucked one]?” Paz asked rhetorically. “Above all, she is the Mother.” Carlos Fuentes’s The Death of Artemio Cruz (1962) contains a long […]

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Tony Horwitz – Spying on The South

In the early 1850s, as America slid towards civil war, a young reporter for what was then the New-York Daily Times journeyed through the slave states. He hoped to gain a “reliable understanding of the sentiments and hopes & fears” among their people, and “promote the mutual acquaintance of the North and South”. What he saw of […]

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Dangerous Animals

One day in September last year, John Kartsounis was gazing down from a plane window at Cape Cod, the sandy peninsula that juts from the state of Massachusetts into the North Atlantic in the shape of a clenched arm. It was a clear day, and he thought he could make out the public beach where […]

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Down the Road from Charlottesville

As a young boy, he would go into the woods to hunt squirrels and rabbits with pellet guns. He would fish in a river right next to the family home. His father wasn’t an especially passionate hunter, but they would go together once a year, in deer season. “I grew up in nature,” he said. “That’s one of the reasons I wanted my own kids to grow up with acreage around them.” […]

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The Dead Pimp, and Other Lessons

Dennis Hof was no run-of-the-mill pimp. He had starred in Cathouse, an HBO reality series set in one of his brothels, and authored a memoir, The Art of the Pimp. He was also the subject of rape allegations by multiple former employees. But Chuck Muth had realised the obvious: that, in the age of Trump, rape allegations against a famous TV pimp could be dismissed […]

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Trump Rides West

On September 6th last year, President Donald Trump kicked off the autumn campaign season with a rally in Billings, Montana. He’d campaigned throughout the spring, and almost non-stop over the summer as well – indeed, he’d never really stopped campaigning since his own election victory – but now the primaries were over and the country was […]

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