Trying to Dispel a Mist with a Machine Gun

Enter his small office at the Nation Institute only if you don’t mind experiencing a slightly vertiginous feeling. Books are everywhere — in boxes on the floor, on every surface, in, along, and perilously stacked above shelves. If you took a wrong step, you could at least imagine disappearing in a tsunami of tumbling books. "That’s my Hannah Arendt pile up there," he says, gesturing toward a shelf I’m examining. He’s sitting at his desk, his legs up and an iMac perched on his knees. Even here, he wears a jacket

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