February 07, 2005
Breaking Ground: Adventures in Life and Architecture By Daniel Libeskind (Riverhead, 288 pp., $27.95) I. 'The most conspicuous thing about memorials is precisely that one does not notice them," Robert Musil famously wrote. We can walk along a street every day for months, getting to know each crack in the sidewalk, and yet be astonished one day to discover a plaque announcing that "from eighteen-hundred-something to eighteen-hundred-something-else the unforgettable Someone-or-other lived and worked here." Yet memorials, Musil continues, must not be allowed to fade into the background, because t
September 06, 2004
The scene has unfolded at least a dozen times over the past year. In some huge sports arena in a large U.S. city, a second-tier pop singer performs a series of patriotic anthems. After a pause, a burst of horns and the gossamer voice of Frank Sinatra fills the stadium. Start spreading the news ... A maelstrom of red, white, and blue confetti fills the air. Now, a roar surges through the crowd--Rudolph Giuliani has come into view. The standing ovation that greets him might last for a full minute before Giuliani finally cuts it off.
April 21, 2003
Last week, Michael Kelly, who edited The New Republic from 1996 to 1997, died while traveling as an embedded reporter with the Army's 3rd Infantry Division in Iraq. Michael's association with TNR began when he covered the first Gulf war, for which he won a National Magazine Award. It was through his courageous, eloquent reporting that this magazine came to understand the importance, for the United States and the world, of a free Iraq at peace with its neighbors.
September 09, 2002
The United States added a critical ounce of prevention to its war on terrorism last week. One hundred pounds of prevention, actually, in the form of bomb-grade, highly enriched uranium airlifted from Serbia to Russia for safekeeping. The nuclear material had been sitting around for more than a decade at Belgrade's Vinca Institute of Nuclear Sciences—a decrepit civilian nuclear reactor—in small, low-radiation canisters that would have been easy to carry off without special equipment. The site was protected by little more than a barbed-wire fence and a few lightly armed guards.
Murder, I Wrote
September 15, 1997
I used to cover crime on the late shift in Baltimore for The Sun. It was a living measured, by and large, in four-paragraph installments. You’d call the cops, ask what was going on, and then, when they emitted a handful of facts about which body fell on which corner, you’d write it up briefly and send it to the night editor.
Here We Go Again
August 19, 1996
"G children, and of the United States," the Russian-born political scientist Moisei Ostrogorski remarked in 1902, on the subject of our presidential nominating procedures. Ostrogorski, like many high-minded reformers of the Progressive era, thought America's boss-ridden, coalition- based, two-party system drained the country of responsible and principled leadership.
Just a Quirk
March 18, 1996
On January 29, in the Lehrman Auditorium at the Heritage Foundation, Pat Buchanan delivered a lecture called "Ending Judicial Dictatorship." The published version of the speech contains no footnotes, and Buchanan never indicated at the time that the ideas were not his own. In fact, the speech was written by William J. Quirk, a law professor at the University of South Carolina and co-author of Judicial Dictatorship (Transaction, 1995). It's a cut-and-paste job in which Quirk reproduced entire paragraphs from his book, and Buchanan cheerfully repeated them.
Yankee, Stay Home
October 29, 1995
Saving urban baseball from George Steinbrenner.
Field Of Kitsch
August 17, 1992
Is nostalgia wrecking baseball?
The INS Mess
April 13, 1992
"No, no, I do not know what is the number of the form. It is the one for a person who has a family to bring to the country. Do you have that one? The one for relatives?... No. I tell you. I do not know the number of the form." It was early afternoon on a Wednesday in December, and the line at the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service's regional office in Northern Virginia was backed up to the door.