Luke Mitchell

Luke Mitchell teaches at New York University and City University of New York.

What killed the Neanderthals?

Luke Mitchell, 8 May 2014

In​ 1739, Captain Charles Le Moyne was marching four hundred French and Indian troops down the Ohio River when he came across a sulphurous marsh where, as Elizabeth Kolbert puts it, ‘hundreds – perhaps thousands – of huge bones poked out of the muck, like spars of a ruined ship.’ The captain and his soldiers had no idea what sort of creatures the bones had supported,...

Burning Up the World: ExxonMobil

Luke Mitchell, 8 November 2012

In November 1902, Ida Tarbell published ‘The Birth of an Industry’, the first of 19 reports for McClure’s Magazine about the organisation that had come to control 90 per cent of the business – still new at the time – of producing oil. Collected two years later in her History of the Standard Oil Company, the series did little to celebrate the company or its...


Ravishing Atrocities

7 January 1988

SIR: Patrick Maynard’s review of my book Iconology (LRB, 7 January) is based upon a basic misunderstanding of the book’s central thesis. Mr Maynard takes me to be denying the rather unextraordinary view that there are irreducible differences between pictures and verbal descriptions – between, i.e., representational pictures and words in a text. My position, as I repeatedly state it in the book,...
SIR: I’m pleased to learn that Gerald Graff (Letters, 3 September) regards his position as sympathetic to the view of critical theory I expressed in ‘The Golden Age of Criticism’ (LRB, 25 June), but chagrined at the possibility that I may have misrepresented his views as more antagonistic to theory than they actually are. If I have been guilty of a misrepresentation, I hereby apologise. Certainly...

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