Paul Berman

The Ambiguous Revolt

What kind of revolution is the Tunisian uprising?

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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

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Learned

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? ...

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Resolved

@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.

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A Child of His Century

The epic tale of Sandinista poet Pablo Antonio Cuadra.

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Under the Bridge

A reaction to September 11.

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