Books in Brief: April/May 2021

The Death of the Artist: How Creators Are Struggling to Survive in the Age of Billionaires and Big Tech, by William Deresiewicz (Henry Holt; 368 pp., $27.99). Members of a book club at my highly selective undergraduate business school were stung by William Deresiewicz’s portrait of careerist, grade-grubbing college students in his scathing 2015 book, Excellent Sheep. The club members tended toward the introspective end of a student population known more for ruthless competition than self-reflection or deep thought, and were shaken after gazing into the author’s mirror.

0421-BiB-1Luckily for America’s dwindling cultured remnant, Deresiewicz has struck again. In The...