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Ellen Garrison on ‘All the Sad Young Literary Men’

Are Keith Gessen and his posse really the voice of the Zeitgeist, the intellectual heirs to Norman Mailer and George Plimpton? Or just the highbrow version of Judd Apatow?

Posted on Jul 10, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Kevin Sanders, file

Surviving the Fourth of July

I survive the degradation that has become America—a land that exalts itself as a bastion of freedom and liberty while it tortures human beings, stripped of their rights, in offshore penal colonies, a land that wages wars defined under international law as criminal wars of aggression, a land that turns its back on its poor, its weak, its mentally ill, in a relentless drive to embrace totalitarian capitalism—because I read books.

Posted on Jul 7, 2008 READ MORE


On Black Patriotism

The fact that African-American patriotism is never simple doesn’t mean it’s in any way halfhearted; to the contrary, complicated relationships tend to be the deepest and strongest.

Posted on Jul 3, 2008 READ MORE


Obama’s Leap of Faith

Barack Obama keeps trying to end the wars over culture and religion, and good for him. The 1960s are so 40 years ago. But Obama’s opponents, as well as some of his friends, won’t let him do it.

Posted on Jul 3, 2008 READ MORE


Bush’s Loose Ends

George W. Bush’s presidency seems exhausted and irrelevant, but that’s a dangerous illusion.

Posted on Jun 30, 2008 READ MORE


Battle for the Bench

If the long conservative era that began with Ronald Reagan’s election is over, will the judges appointed during the right’s ascendancy be able to block, frustrate and undermine the efforts of a new progressive majority?

Posted on Jun 30, 2008 READ MORE


This Summer’s Trilogy of Truth

Books have survived radio and television for the same reason they will survive the Internet. Human life is simply too complex to be represented by a news spot or a blog post.

Posted on Jun 26, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Henry Arvidsson / United Nations

The Nuclear Expert Who Never Was

As a former U.N. weapons inspector, Scott Ritter knows a thing or two about nuclear threats around the world. So when so-called experts go on television or appear in print to help make the case for war with Iran, it gets his attention.

Posted on Jun 26, 2008 READ MORE


‘Did I Mention He’s Black?’

The question isn’t whether race will be an issue in the general election campaign between Obama and McCain. Race is already an issue, even if largely confined to the shadow world of implication and coded language.

Posted on Jun 23, 2008 READ MORE


A Revolutionary Campaign

Republican presidential nominee John McCain officially kicked off his general election campaign today, promising to bring his race for the White House to “all 13 colonies.”

Posted on Jun 22, 2008 READ MORE


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Tony Platt on American Eugenics

Here’s a story, both chilling and inspiring: how prisoners at an Oklahoma prison in the aftermath of the Depression led a struggle to limit the practice of compulsory sterilization.

Posted on Jun 20, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Brennan Linsley

A Government of Law, Not Fear

John McCain and Barack Obama’s differences over the Supreme Court’s recent Guantanamo decision speak volumes about the two candidates and their competing visions for America.

Posted on Jun 19, 2008 READ MORE


McCain and Obama
AP photo / Dennis Cook

The Vice Presidency: Hype and Flourishes

For two centuries, selecting vice presidential candidates was at best a mere afterthought. Hardly anyone knew of the process, if indeed one existed aside from a brief huddle by the presidential candidate with a few advisers and friends. The presidential nominees usually settled on lesser-known figures, deserved obscurities in American history.

Posted on Jun 15, 2008 READ MORE


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Richard Flacks on Tom Hayden

For 50 years, Tom Hayden has been an indefatigable organizer on behalf of the disenfranchised, and now, with the publication of his “Writings for a Democratic Society,” we have a chance to trace the arc of activism of an American original who continues to make history.

Posted on Jun 12, 2008 READ MORE


Barack Obama
AP photo / Alex Brandon

The Iran Trap

The failure by Barack Obama to chart another course in the Middle East, to defy the Israel lobby and to denounce the Bush administration’s inexorable march toward a conflict with Iran is a failure to challenge the collective insanity that has gripped the political leadership in the United States and Israel.

Posted on Jun 8, 2008 READ MORE


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Nicholas von Hoffman on ‘The Big Squeeze’

A new book by New York Times reporter Steven Greenhouse argues that the plight of American workers, both white-collar and blue-collar, is growing worse, putting the American dream out of the reach of tens of millions of citizens.

Posted on Jun 6, 2008 READ MORE


From Slavery to Obama

There will be plenty of time to chart Barack Obama’s attempt to navigate a course between the exigencies of the old politics and the promise of the new, between yesterday and tomorrow, youth and experience, black and white. For now, take a moment to consider the mind-bending improbability of what just happened.

Posted on Jun 5, 2008 READ MORE


The Populist Uprising

American history is the history of populist uprisings. From the Revolutionary War to the coalfield wars, from labor organizers to anti-tax crusaders, from the New Deal to the current conservative era, backlashes to the status quo have defined every major political era.

Posted on Jun 5, 2008 READ MORE


Economist cover
The Economist

I’m The Economist and I Approve This Election

The storied British mag is making no bones about it: America’s long primary battle, judging by the candidates it produced, was a major success. According to a new cover story, ” ... On the face of it, this is the most impressive choice America has had for a very long time.”

Posted on Jun 5, 2008 READ MORE


The More Things Change, the More They Smell the Same

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Posted on Jun 5, 2008 READ MORE    


Campaign Soundtrack

Crank up your iPods, everyone. Herewith, a musical guide to the endgame of the epic contest for the Democratic nomination.

Posted on Jun 2, 2008 READ MORE


fighter plane
AP photo / LM Otero

Indefensible Spending

What should be the most important issue in this election is one that is rarely, if ever, addressed: Why is U.S. military spending at the highest point, in inflation-adjusted dollars, than at any time since the end of World War II?

Posted on Jun 1, 2008 READ MORE


The Corporate State and the Subversion of Democracy

Chris Hedges gave this keynote address on Wednesday, May 28, in Furman University’s Younts Conference Center. The address was part of protests by faculty and students over the South Carolina college’s decision to invite George W. Bush to give the May 31 commencement address.

Posted on May 31, 2008 READ MORE


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Gary Indiana on Hobsbawm?s ‘On Empire’

Eric Hobsbawm, one of our most celebrated historians, looks at what makes the American Colossus uniquely dangerous in its imperial overreach at the dawn of the third millennium.

Posted on May 30, 2008 READ MORE


The Lamont Lesson

Though he lost in the general election, Ned Lamont showed that representing the public’s anti-war sentiment and ignoring Washington’s self-appointed gurus wins national elections. And as the current campaign unfolds, the Lamont Lesson is resurfacing.

Posted on May 29, 2008 READ MORE


Israel’s Self-Destruction as a Jewish State

Israel’s colonization and annexation of the Palestinian territories over the last 40 years, and opposition to the creation of an independent Palestinian state, have turned Israel into an Arab-Jewish state under Jewish control.

Posted on May 28, 2008 READ MORE


Utah Phillips Has Left the Stage

“Utah” Phillips died this week at the age of 73. He was a musician, labor organizer, peace activist and co-founder of his local homeless shelter.

Posted on May 28, 2008 READ MORE



HBO

‘Recount’ Gets It Right, Even if America Didn’t

Leading election integrity journalist Brad Friedman reviews HBO’s portrayal of the 2000 Florida recount and wonders whether we’re not headed for another stolen election.

Posted on May 28, 2008 READ MORE


The Pornography of Power

Robert Scheer discusses his new book, “The Pornography of Power: How Defense Hawks Hijacked 9/11 and Weakened America,” with USC’s chair of history on the “Politics of Culture” radio show.

Posted on May 27, 2008 READ MORE


McCain’s Shocking Discovery

Perhaps the senator hasn’t been paying attention for the past few decades, for he somehow seems to have surrounded himself with exactly the kind of Washington hustlers he professes to despise.

Posted on May 21, 2008 READ MORE


Bush poster
AP photo / Kevin Frayer

Bush?s Commitment Problem

George W. Bush’s attempt to juggle Israel’s 60th anniversary, Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts and his hostility toward Iran means that Palestinians lose again.

Posted on May 20, 2008 READ MORE


Pacifying Dr. King

The U.S. Commission of Fine Arts has rejected a statue intended to stand at the memorial of Martin Luther King. The members expected a more passive depiction. Clearly the commission has some brushing up to do on American history.

Posted on May 19, 2008 READ MORE


The Gay Marriage Paradox

Imagine what it would be like not to be able to marry the person with whom you want to spend the rest of your life. Then imagine how tens of thousands of gays and lesbians in California must have felt last week when the California Supreme Court declared that homosexuals have a right to marriage under the state’s constitution.

Posted on May 18, 2008 READ MORE


book cover
press.princeton.edu

Chalmers Johnson on Our ‘Managed Democracy’

Sheldon Wolin’s new book offers a controversial but ultimately convincing diagnosis of how America’s democracy has succumbed to an unacknowledged totalitarian temptation.

Posted on May 15, 2008 READ MORE


Bush
commons.wikimedia.org

Democrats Condemn Bush’s ‘Appeaser’ Comment

While addressing the Israeli Knesset, President Bush referred to the willingness of “some” to speak with unsavory leaders such as Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and he went on to compare them to those who sought to appease the Nazis before World War II. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton set aside their differences on diplomacy long enough to take objection to that statement.

Posted on May 15, 2008 READ MORE


Chicago skyline
Wikimedia Commons / AllyUnion

Taking a Stand Against War

The Chicago City Council is debating a resolution urging the Illinois congressional delegation to oppose a war with Iran. Scott Ritter, who has been called as an expert witness on the matter, explains why the resolution should be supported—and not just by the citizens of Chicago.

Posted on May 11, 2008 READ MORE


stained glass
commons.wikimedia.org

Render Unto Darwin That Which Is Darwin’s

The New Atheist writers from Richard Dawkins to E.O. Wilson to Sam Harris have become the high priests not of science but the cult of science.

Posted on May 11, 2008 READ MORE


Geoffrey Wheatcroft on ‘Muqtada’

In this first-ever biography of the religious leader many predict will take over Iraq after the Americans leave, Patrick Cockburn, one of the most respected correspondents in the Middle East, provides a dramatic look at a man Paul Bremer denounced as a “Bolshevik Islamist.”

Posted on May 9, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Maya Alleruzzo

Mission Impossible

On the fifth anniversary of George W. Bush’s infamous stroll across the flight deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln, The New York Times asked a group of “experts” how they would accomplish the mission in Iraq. Unfortunately, the newspaper turned to some of the same geniuses who thought the war was a good idea in the first place.

Posted on May 6, 2008 READ MORE



commons.wikimedia.org

Us vs. Them

Emira Woods, co-director of Foreign Policy in Focus, argues for a more humane foreign policy and explains why American airstrikes in Somalia and elsewhere are about more than terrorism.

Posted on May 6, 2008 READ MORE


The End of ‘American Idol’?

That might be going too far for a show that still averages 28.7 million viewers, but ratings are down. In part, the cause is the presence of an even more exciting reality show on television, and it’s not even really a show.

Posted on May 6, 2008 READ MORE


Culture of Misogyny

There is a link between the horrific violence committed against the women of the captive Austrian family and the apparent abuse of teenage girls in Texas, and it is the same unbroken chord that connects them tangentially—but significantly—to Hannah Montana’s fall from grace.

Posted on May 6, 2008 READ MORE


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Jeff Madrick on ‘High Wire,’ Peter Gosselin’s Look at the Economic Meltdown

A star reporter for the Los Angeles Times has written a clear, even elegant anatomy of an economy that is much worse than you probably think.

Posted on May 2, 2008 READ MORE


Mythmaking and Democracy

Republicans have had great success in convincing Americans that “voter fraud” is a grave and growing threat to the republic, but the exact crime that they speak of is almost nonexistent.

Posted on Apr 30, 2008 READ MORE


Obama
Flickr / Joe Crimmings Photography

Hope for Corporate America

The corporate state is our shadow government. Candidates who aspire to higher office get corporate money if they promote corporate interests. Barack Obama’s campaign message, filled with lofty promises of change and hope, is also filled with repeated reassurances to the corporate elite.

Posted on Apr 28, 2008 READ MORE


Obama and Clinton
Flickr / Jurvetson / World Economic Forum

Obama and the Other Clinton

Ryan Lizza in The New Yorker quotes a Bill Clinton aide explaining why there has been so much tension between the former president and Barack Obama: “I think this campaign has enraged him. ... He doesn’t like Obama.” Why? Here’s one theory: While Hillary Clinton has adopted her husband’s legacy, Barack Obama has been assailing it.

Posted on Apr 28, 2008 READ MORE


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Troy Jollimore on Martin Amis’ ‘The Second Plane’

When the second plane hit the second skyscraper on 9/11, how many of us knew then just how radically our world would change?

Posted on Apr 24, 2008 READ MORE


Is Pennsylvania Ready for a Black President?

Perhaps it was inevitable: The Democrats’ battle for the presidential nomination has now led us into the thicket of race and religion.

Posted on Apr 24, 2008 READ MORE


The Ritual Flaying of Jimmy Carter

Nobody with a functioning memory should be too quick to condemn Jimmy Carter for daring to speak with the leadership of Hamas, as nearly everyone along the American political spectrum suddenly has felt obliged to do.

Posted on Apr 24, 2008 READ MORE


The Two Obamas

The result of the 2008 election may come down to how voters decide to define Barack Obama. Is he Adlai Stevenson or John F. Kennedy? Updated.

Posted on Apr 21, 2008 READ MORE


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