We released the first episode of our Slate Academy series A Year of Great Books on Thursday, in which Laura Miller and Will Oremus talk about The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman. If you read Tristram Shandy with us, you’ve probably listened already. But if you haven’t finished Tristram Shandy, or you once started it, or you saw the movie, or you’re curious about it, you should listen to this charming, funny, insightful conversation about one of the most interesting novels in the English language. And then start reading our next selection for A Year of Great Books, Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, which Laura will be discussing with Slate Group capo di tutti capi Jacob Weisberg in May.
— One of the central findings of psychology—cited in thousands of papers and confirmed by hundreds of experiments—is the idea that “We all have a limited supply of willpower, and it decreases with overuse.” It turns out that’s probably bullshit.
— What’s in a name? Quite a lot, if you’re a dude named Jody.
— The GOP might be heading for a “contested convention.” This exhaustively entertaining FAQ will turn you into someone who understands what that would mean.
— What makes David Schwimmer’s goofy portrayal of Robert Kardashian in The People v. O.J. Simpson so strangely compelling?
Not From Slate
The most important non-Slate pieces you’re going to read this week are Jeffrey Goldberg’s “The Obama Doctrine,” the most complete synthesis to date of the 44th president’s foreign policy, and A. Hope Jahren’s powerful essay on the routine sexual harassment of women in science.
A few more suggestions:
“What It’s Like to Be That Fat Person Sitting Next to You on the Plane” by Your Fat Friend, Medium
This wrenching and infuriating article casts a common experience in an entirely new light, and it’s open-hearted and wise and beautifully written. —Katy Waldman, words correspondent
“12 Things About Being a Woman That Women Won’t Tell You” by Caitlin Moran, Esquire
Moran’s brand of #realtalk feminism shines in this listicle, published this week on International Women’s Day. These truths come from the darkest depths, and every one had me screaming “Yes! Exactly!” between fits of giggles. —Chelsea Hassler, deputy audience engagement editor
Also: Here’s a “devastating, enraging work of reporting,” says Leon Neyfakh. Dana Stevens recommends this Hollywood Reporter feature about the last living silent film star, a 97-year-old former child actor whose family squandered her $14 million fortune. And stop calling Donald Trump a Neanderthal, because that’s an insult to Neanderthals—“no, really,” says Rachael Larimore.
Very Short Q-and-A
This week’s question is for Slate features editor Jessica Winter.
Slate Plus: I’m told you’re halfway through Ivanka Trump’s The Trump Card: Playing to Win in Work and Life. Is it making you more aggressive in your deal-making at work and at home?
Jessica Winter: Ivanka’s life and my life share so few points of commonality that it’s sort of like reading a self-help book by Glinda the Good Witch, or the characters in A Wrinkle in Time. I don’t think I will apply its lessons so much as just bask in its glittery cloud of Ivanka-ness. I just read about how Michael Jackson lived one floor below her in Trump Tower when she was a girl and he came to her ballet class’s performance of The Nutcracker and there was a big controversy among the dancers as to whether or not they should all wear a single white glove on one hand, like Michael. I’ve never had to worry about that, but if ever I do, I shall play to win.
Thanks Jessica! And thank you for your Slate Plus membership, which makes our work possible. See you next week!