The Plank is Back
June 12, 2013
They say that blogging is over—in fact one of our own writers recently made the argument. That it was just a fleeting moment in the history of opinion journalism, ultimately doomed by far more efficient modes of expression.
Barack Obama Is Not Pleased
January 27, 2013
The president holds forth about his enemies, the media, and the future of football. And skeet shooting, too.
Putting the President on the Couch
November 16, 2012
How has Obama changed in the last four years? To find out, Franklin Foer talks to three Obama-ologists: Barney Frank, Ron Suskind, and David Maraniss
August 02, 2012
It seems an historical accident that The Washington Post op-ed page—home to George F. Will, where Henry Kissinger comes to muse—gave birth to one of the great underground comics. But the legendary curator of that page, Meg Greenfield, had a rare (for an editorialist) streak of adventure that occasionally pointed her in the opposite direction of bow-tied bloviating.
June 08, 2012
Some years, the calendar unfolds beneficently. The summer comes wide and open, leaving many hours to peel away from work to watch the World Cup or the Euros. Then, there are other summers, like this one, when you have a new job that chews away all possibility for furtive ventures to the Lucky Bar to watch Poland play Greece. Since I’ve only been back at The New Republic for a few weeks now, I’d be committing professional malpractice to fully cave to the implacable desire to watch every minute of this coming tournament.
November 23, 2011
Masscult and Midcult: Essays Against the American Grain By Dwight Macdonald Edited by John Summers (New York Review Books, 289pp., $16.95) Dwight Macdonald, the greatest American hatchet man, applied his merciless craft also to himself. When he collected his essays, he added footnotes, appendices, and other forms of addenda taking issue with his own writings.
Democrats Beware! Occupy Wall Street Could Sink Obama’s Re-Election
October 21, 2011
Franklin Foer on how Democrats should triangulate against the protests.
When the commentators on ESPN describe our women’s World Cup team, they talk about “grit” and “heart.” Of course, any ESPN listener understands that these words are code. What they are really saying is, the U.S. keeps winning, and stands poised to tally its third title on Sunday, despite being not that great. The particular iteration is weaker than the Mia Hamm era teams. They barely qualified for this tournament and have rarely looked like the world’s best.
The Libelous Truth
July 13, 2011
Just Words: Lillian Hellman, Mary McCarthy, and the Failure of Public Conversation in America By Alan Ackerman (Yale University Press, 361 pp., $35) Mary McCarthy preferred the old-fashioned way. You might not know this from her three divorces and the anatomical precision of her bedroom scenes, but she had a strong streak of cultural conservatism. She rejected feminism and lamented the disappearance of Latin from the schoolhouse. The modern fascination with technology annoyed her.
Ideas Rule the World
March 17, 2011
The Neoconservative Persuasion: Selected Essays, 1942-2009 By Irving Kristol (Basic Books, 390 pp., $29.95) Daniel Bell, now of blessed memory, used to enjoy recounting a piece of lore from the 1930s, back when New York was said to be the most interesting part of the Soviet Union. It was about the travails of a young member of the Revolutionary Workers League named Karl Mienov. When Mienov’s doctrinal differences with that small party became too great to bear, he split and formed his own cell, the Marxist Workers League. His party even launched a theoretical organ, called Spark.