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ROAMIN’ LEGIONS David Ulin looks at the long road behind Jack Kerouac’s journey on the fiftieth anniversary of On the Road. “Kerouac is among the most misunderstood of American writers, and the misunderstanding stems, in many ways, from On the Road.”

WARS WE HAVE SEEN Denis Johnson’s National Book Award–shortlisted novel, Tree of Smoke, is the literary event this fall. James Gibbons looks at Johnson’s Vietnam epic and the war’s cultural echoes in the American psyche.

IT TAKES A CRISIS In her new book, The Shock Doctrine, Naomi Klein indicts the involvement of free-market dogmatists in a growing number of natural and economic disasters. Eric Klinenberg asks whether Klein’s thesis holds water–and if so, what its implications might be for our faith in government.

ALL MADE UP Edmund White’s new work of fiction, Hotel de Dream, imagines the novel Stephen Crane might have written. Morris Dickstein considers White’s idiosyncratic and winning story.

PLUS: Arthur C. Danto says farewell to Richard Rorty; Richard B. Woodward looks at Ben Ratliff’s critical biography of John Coltrane; John Lichfield travels the continent with Geert Mak’s In Europe; reviews of titles by Janet Malcolm, Susan Howe, Francis Picabia, Ha Jin, Junot Diaz, and Zakes Mda; New Yorker music critic Alex Ross profiled; and much more in fiction, art, and culture.

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October 18, 2007