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December 8, 2018 | Vol. 33, No. 23

Beyond platform shoes

WORLD’s 2018 Books of the Year

FEATURES
Wizards and prophets SCIENCE: Our book of the year shows a worldview clash
War on Poverty: Nearly won (and lost) UNDERSTANDING AMERICA: Our book of the year focuses on the war for work
Peopling a war UNDERSTANDING THE WORLD: Profiling the Syrian war’s rebels, jihadists, and casualties
Crises R Us HISTORY: Examining the Civil War, immigration, and other great divides
What price hope? ACCESSIBLE THEOLOGY: Finding true comfort, sustenance, and redemption
The fortnight that was Death, arrogance, grace, and taxes
California apocalypse In a California town struck by a mass shooting and a wildfire, stunned neighbors and churches offered comfort to one another
Memento mori A citywide reckoning with death in New York shows Americans may be ready to talk about a topic they once sought to avoid

CULTURE
MOVIES & TV

Homecoming

Bad language and depictions of adultery mar an otherwise compelling series

Beautiful Boy

Story of a drug-abusing boy and his relentless father is painful to watch

Oddball

A dog with an untraditional task provides fodder for a traditional family film

Criminal speech

The Crimes of Grindelwald isn’t a good movie, but it fits our thought-policing times
Music

New or recent releases

Selective sets

A multidisc Imagine benefits more from slimming down than does a Kinks edition
 
Q&A
Science vs. Darwinism

Science vs. Darwinism

Challenging the evolutionary establishment
Books

Science fiction novels

From China to heaven

Eastern oppression and timeless wisdom
Children's Books

Proceed with caution

New novels booksellers are promoting to teens

NOTEBOOK
Politics
Power of the purse
Will the U.S. use its economic weight to force respect for religious freedom?
Technology
English on the go
Mobile learning apps could help workers or immigrants hone language and literacy skills
Lifestyle
Starting over
Surviving the most destructive fire in California history