Crime Fiction Is Ready to Meet the Moment 

Saving the Hard-Boiled Detective From a Century’s Worth of Individualism

In early July, the Guardian reported that sales of crime fiction have boomed during the pandemic, with readers “pouncing on stories of murder and revenge.” Crime fiction has dominated United States bestseller lists for years, and this summer is no exception.

Why? Crime fiction has long flourished in periods of social and political friction, when we hunger for both justice and escape. But it feels especially intriguing now. Today, the genre once dominated by white male detectives features more main characters from all genders, ethnicities, races, classes, and abilities. Its …

TKTK | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Confused About Journalism’s Goals? You Must Be American

Reporters Here May Be Social Justice Warriors, Corporate Victims, or Targets—Or All of the Above

Journalists seemed to be heroic figures when they covered civil rights, poverty, pollution, the Vietnam War, and Watergate. But more recently that story has become confused.

Journalists are sometimes victims …