James Woods' Classic Takedown of Faux-Dickensian 'Hysterical Realism'
August 14, 2014

The legendary castigation of big, bouncy novels that lack humanity.

Welcome to the Traffic Capital of the World
July 02, 2014

There are only 650 major intersections here—but somehow only 60 traffic lights.

Photos: Street Life in the Traffic Capital of the World
July 02, 2014

Pictures from the world's fastest-growing city.

The Guilt Index: Tag Check
June 03, 2013

Just how guilty you should feel when your new shirt says “made in X.”

How to Make Garment Factories Safer
May 02, 2013

The disaster in Bangladesh didn't have to happen. Here's what needs to happen next.  

How Ravi Shankar Paved the Way for the Concert for Sandy Relief
December 14, 2012

Ravi Shankar--who died this week at 92--established the model for the all-star benefit concert.

Is Microfinance Pushing the World’s Poorest Even Deeper Into Poverty?
December 14, 2011

Dhaka—In August, Bangladeshi police broke up a ring of human organ dealers operating in Joypurhat, a district in the north of the country. Investigators say that three local “brokers” preyed on a large pool of indebted farmers, who agreed to part with a kidney or a chunk of their liver for a couple thousand dollars—enough for them to pay down their debts. Mosammat Rebeca and her husband sold their kidneys to help pay back 180,000 taka ($2,358) owed to five separate lenders—a massive sum in a country where the per capita annual income hovers around $1,700.

Conservatives, Nostalgia, and Racism
August 19, 2011

[Guest post by Isaac Chotiner] Reihan Salam, in a column today: One thing that is undeniably true is that American conservatives are overwhelmingly white in a country that is increasingly less so. As the number of Latinos and Asian-Americans has increased in coastal states like California, New York and New Jersey, many white Americans from these regions have moved inland or to the South.

Poetry and Reason
June 09, 2011

The Essential Tagore By Rabindranath Tagore Edited by Fakrul Alam and Radha Chakravarty (Harvard University Press, 819 pp., $39.95) In his book Raga Mala, Ravi Shankar, the great musician, argues that had Rabindranath Tagore “been born in the West he would now be [as] revered as Shakespeare and Goethe.” This is a strong claim, and it calls attention to some greatness in this quintessentially Bengali writer—identified by a fellow Bengali—that might not be readily echoed in the wider world today, especially in the West.

How NGOs Became Pawns in the War on Terrorism
August 03, 2010

Independent humanitarian action, commonly if not entirely accurately thought to have begun with the so-called ‘French Doctors’ in Biafra in the late-'60s, was never as independent as either relief groups like Oxfam, Doctors Without Borders, or the International Rescue Committee, themselves liked to claim or as the general public assumed them to be. U.S. organizations in particular, despite their efforts to develop an individual donor base, were always and remain too dependent on American government funding for the claim to stand up to scrutiny.