Paul Berman

The Dominique Strauss-Kahn Shipwreck
May 26, 2011

The Dominique Strauss-Kahn case is headed toward a dismally predictable shipwreck, and I wonder what anyone is planning to do about this. The punctilious fair-mindedness of the trial may well turn out to be obvious to everyone who grants the possibility of such thing.

Deep Impact
May 02, 2011

Paul Berman on understanding the symbolism of Osama bin Laden's death in the history of American democracy.

The Ambiguous Revolt
January 27, 2011

What kind of revolution is the Tunisian uprising?

DISPUTATIONS: Darkness at Noon?
June 03, 2010

Click here to read Stephen F. Cohen's letter, and click here to read Paul Berman's original article. Perhaps I should have emphasized that Darkness at Noon is a novel, and Rubashov is a fictional character, and, as Michael Scammell has explained, Koestler based his fictional character not just on Bukharin but on other Bolsheviks, as well. And Koestler’s Rubashov confesses not just because of his ideas but because his jailers have subjected him to sleep deprivation.

The Prisoner Intellectuals
May 05, 2010

The key to understanding radical Islam and Communism? Prison culture.

John Patrick Diggins, 1935-2009
December 15, 2009

The death of my friend Jack Diggins has led me to look up my edition of Montaigne in search of the essay on friendship, and I am amazed to see what is there. The essay catalogues and describes the various types of intimate relationships that Montaigne notices in the old Greek and Roman authors--sexual relationships between men and women, and between men and boys; the family relationships of parents and children, and between siblings; the relationship of marriage. And among those several kinds of intimacy, friendship looms in Montaigne's eyes as the purest and best.

The TNR Primary: Part Five
January 25, 2008

The contempt and insults thrown at Hillary Clinton have always loomed in my eyes as flattering celebrations of her virtues, which, for some reason, have been presented upside down, with their feet waving in the air. Devious, is she? Unprincipled? Out for Number One?--so many ways of saying, a canny politician. I cannot imagine that, in American politics right now, canniness is something to dread. Too many people I meet regard this year's election as a referendum on Bush's decisions in 2003. But neither Hillary nor any other Democrat is responsible for Bush's irresponsibility.

Who’s Afraid of Tariq Ramadan?
June 04, 2007

The Islamist, the journalist, and the defense of liberalism.

June 28, 2004

ONE: We have learned that Saddam Hussein's Baathist dictatorship was just as bad as everyone said, and worse. We have learned about the 300,000 Shia killed after the 1991 war, the perhaps 30,000 people buried in a single grave, the 40,000 marsh Arabs killed, the millions of refugees, and so forth--mass destruction with and without weapons of mass destruction. We have learned about the survivors. In Baghdad, a woman schoolteacher approached George Packer of The New Yorker and said, "Please, sir, can you help me? ...

March 03, 2003

@font-face { font-family: "Times"; }@font-face { font-family: "Cambria"; }p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; }div.Section1 { page: Section1; } TOCQUEVILLE FIGURED THAT a liberal society could not, in fact, wield power. The vitality of American life confirmed his belief that social equality ("democracy," in his usage) was the wave of the future, even in Europe.