1. Over at The New Republic, our book critic Maureen Corrigan has a truly wonderful defense of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby as “America’s greatest novel about class.” Because of the new Baz Luhrmann film (which David Edelstein reviews on today’s show), Gatsby has been getting another moment in the media spotlight lately and part of that has included some Gatsby backlash ("I find Gatsby aesthetically overrated, psychologically vacant, and morally complacent.”). Maureen thinks these contrarians are missing some of the finer points that make the novel so complex:

Simultaneous with Fitzgerald’s delight in fine commodities, however, there’s always a vigorous resentment of those who don’t have to work hard to acquire them. Throughout his writing, Fitzgerald betrays the scorn of the poor relation, the self-made man, railing against—and envying—those trust fund babies who take their privilege for granted. Nick cautions readers against identifying with this smugness on the very first page of the novel, telling us that his father always reminded him of the obligations of the rich to the less fortunate. Fitzgerald may not have been overtly political in his life or writing the way that contemporaries like Hemingway, Dos Passos, or Edmund Wilson were—he quietly voted for Roosevelt and privately recommended Das Kapital as extracurricular reading to his college-aged daughter, Scottie—but his class-consciousness was intense and enduring.

Image of Fitzgerald and Scottie via Lists of Note View in High-Res

    Over at The New Republic, our book critic Maureen Corrigan has a truly wonderful defense of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby as “America’s greatest novel about class.” Because of the new Baz Luhrmann film (which David Edelstein reviews on today’s show), Gatsby has been getting another moment in the media spotlight lately and part of that has included some Gatsby backlash ("I find Gatsby aesthetically overrated, psychologically vacant, and morally complacent.”). Maureen thinks these contrarians are missing some of the finer points that make the novel so complex:

    Simultaneous with Fitzgerald’s delight in fine commodities, however, there’s always a vigorous resentment of those who don’t have to work hard to acquire them. Throughout his writing, Fitzgerald betrays the scorn of the poor relation, the self-made man, railing against—and envying—those trust fund babies who take their privilege for granted. Nick cautions readers against identifying with this smugness on the very first page of the novel, telling us that his father always reminded him of the obligations of the rich to the less fortunate. Fitzgerald may not have been overtly political in his life or writing the way that contemporaries like Hemingway, Dos Passos, or Edmund Wilson were—he quietly voted for Roosevelt and privately recommended Das Kapital as extracurricular reading to his college-aged daughter, Scottie—but his class-consciousness was intense and enduring.

    Image of Fitzgerald and Scottie via Lists of Note

  2. Maureen Corrigan

    Fresh Air

    The New Republic

    The Great Gatsby

  1. We’re not thinking about, ‘Wow, we have this need out there. We need trained professionals to help fill it. We’re thinking, ‘Oh yeah, someone’s got to watch the kids. Let’s pay ‘em like babysitters.

    — Jonathan Cohn tells Terry Gross about the problem with how Americans think about day care.

  2. Fresh Air

    Interviews

    Jonathan Cohn

    The Hell of American Day Care

    The New Republic

  1. Journalist Jonathan Cohn on one of the central problems with day care in the United States:

One of the tragedies of the situation is that parents need these day cares to work, to make a living. You’re talking about single parents a lot of the time. You’re talking about families that aren’t making a lot of money. They desperately need someone to watch the kids or they’re not going to be able to make it and there are just not a lot of options out there.

    Journalist Jonathan Cohn on one of the central problems with day care in the United States:

    One of the tragedies of the situation is that parents need these day cares to work, to make a living. You’re talking about single parents a lot of the time. You’re talking about families that aren’t making a lot of money. They desperately need someone to watch the kids or they’re not going to be able to make it and there are just not a lot of options out there.

  2. Fresh Air

    Interviews

    Jonathan Cohn

    The Hell of American Day Care

    The New Republic

  1. France spends more on care per child than the United States—a lot more, in the case of infants and toddlers. But most French families pay far less out of pocket, because the government subsidizes child care with tax dollars and sets fees according to a sliding scale based on income. Overall, the government devotes about 1 percent of France’s gross domestic product to child care, more than twice as much as the United States does.

    — From "The Hell of American Day Care" by Jonathan Cohn in The New Republic. Cohn will be on the show today talking about the article.

  2. Fresh Air

    Interviews

    Jonathan Cohn

    The New Republic

    The Hell of American Day Care

  1. The New Republic has a photo gallery of Mayor Bloomberg being the world’s best straight man and it’s pretty hilarious. View in High-Res

    The New Republic has a photo gallery of Mayor Bloomberg being the world’s best straight man and it’s pretty hilarious.

  2. Make Bloomberg smile

    The New Republic

    Straight men

  1. Of the five or six guns I’ve gathered over the decades (IF YOU KNOW HOW MANY GUNS YOU HAVE, YOU DON’T HAVE ENOUGH read a t-shirt I saw once) only one is designed to use on human beings: a .38 revolver of the type that burdened policemen’s sagging belts once, before the adoption of sleeker 9mms. The gun is a stodgy old classic, Smithsonian-worthy, that evokes the Made-in-USA age and also speaks of my distance, I like to think, from the cult of maximum firepower that draws harder-boiled folks to stores and gun shows to handle Bushmasters and similar weapons with death-dealing, quasi-military designs. Such ominous firearms hold no allure for me, in part because I doubt they’d do much good against a maniac carrying one or a hypothetical goon squad equipped with their vastly superior big brothers. Ban those guns. Neuter them. I’m fine with it. I can hunt with my shotguns and my deer gun (although I’ve grown tired of hunting), and I can protect myself from miscreants with my trusty .38.

    — 

    From "What Gun Owners Really Want" by Walter Kirn.

    Also, THE must-watch for today: Former Rep. Gabby Gifford’s testimony on gun violence.

    Fresh Air interviews with Walter Kirn and with Tom Diaz from the Violence Policy Center.

  2. Fresh Air

    Interviews

    Guns

    Gabrielle Giffords

    Walter Kirn

    Violence Policy Center

    Tom Diaz

    The New Republic

  1. Judith Shulevitz talks to Terry Gross about the dilemma she faced as a woman who wanted to become both a respected journalist and a mother:





There’s kind of either-or here. There’s an either you become a respected journalist by working your head off, or you go and start a family, and what I’m saying is we have to start thinking about combining those two, because I found myself in a situation where I worried that my advanced maternal age was endangering my children and even threatening my chances of having any, which is what drove me to the fertility doctor. … If [having children younger] had been something other people were doing, I might have started to think about it and if it had been something that my bosses would have thought was fine, then I might have started to think about it. I mean my bosses — who are part of the same system — would have looked askance. They would have said, ‘Well, she’s not serious.’






Image by beckslrdt via Flickr

    Judith Shulevitz talks to Terry Gross about the dilemma she faced as a woman who wanted to become both a respected journalist and a mother:

    There’s kind of either-or here. There’s an either you become a respected journalist by working your head off, or you go and start a family, and what I’m saying is we have to start thinking about combining those two, because I found myself in a situation where I worried that my advanced maternal age was endangering my children and even threatening my chances of having any, which is what drove me to the fertility doctor. … If [having children younger] had been something other people were doing, I might have started to think about it and if it had been something that my bosses would have thought was fine, then I might have started to think about it. I mean my bosses — who are part of the same system — would have looked askance. They would have said, ‘Well, she’s not serious.’

    Image by beckslrdt via Flickr

  2. Fresh Air

    Judith Shulevitz

    Interviews

    The New Republic

    fertility

  1. Publishers initially passed on Lionel Shriver’s satire on terrorism, The New Republic. The manuscript languished in a drawer until now, but can a work written 13 years ago remain relevant today? View in High-Res

    Publishers initially passed on Lionel Shriver’s satire on terrorism, The New Republic. The manuscript languished in a drawer until now, but can a work written 13 years ago remain relevant today?

  2. lionel shriver

    the new republic

    maureen corrigan

    book review