August 02, 2012
Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937–1948 By Madeleine Albright with Bill Woodward (Harper Collins, 467 pp., $29.99) MADELEINE ALBRIGHT, née Korbel, is the first woman and the second foreign-born person to have attained to the highest-ranking Cabinet position in the American government, that of secretary of state. She is also the first East European to have served in any Cabinet position.
Whether or not Mitt Romney’s multiple gaffes in London end up hurting his presidential campaign, they’re a good opportunity to remember that political skirmishes have always been part of the world’s premier international sporting event. Which should come as no surprise: Given that the athletics are themselves considered displays of national prowess, it’s only natural that they become proxies for grander geopolitical struggles. But which events would compete for the gold (so to speak) for most outlandish Olympics political conflict ever?
Europe's 1960s protest movement sought to chart a path to political power in the interest of a socialist agenda—a “long march through the institutions” is what they called it.
The Limits of Feeling
July 12, 2012
Across the Land and the Water: Selected Poems, 1964–2001 By W.G. Sebald Translated by Iain Galbraith (Random House, 166 pp., $25) THE REPUTATION OF an important writer will continue to swell in his or her absence, nourished by the unceasing attentions of friends, scholars, and devoted readers unwilling to forget an artist who changed the way they perceive the world. And so it is with W.G. Sebald.
The Solution For Europe? Scott Walker.
June 15, 2012
It’s small consolation for the pain and havoc being experienced across much of Europe, and for the economic fallout that is hitting us over on this side of the Atlantic, but there is a bit of amusement to be had these days in the confusion that the European crisis is causing on the American right.
“They say we’re a lost generation. But it’s more like we’re a paralyzed generation,” Mario tells me over a beer on a sweltering Monday afternoon in Toledo. He is a twenty-five year-old Spaniard, and already his future prospects look unsalvageable. He holds a degree in visual communications, but irregular work and a negligible income have forced him to move back in with his parents. At the moment, he scrapes by working as a temp at regional post-offices, hoping each day that some employee might call in sick. “I’m basically tied to my cell phone,” he starts to say.
When Francois Hollande, the newly elected president of France, arrives today in Berlin for his first meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, it will kindle memories of the long history of Franco-German partnership in leading the European Union. In France, it may even trigger the traditional condescension Parisian politicians feel towards their neighbors: the lumbering German economic giant that relies on French diplomatic, military, and nuclear savoir faire to achieve political clout. Increasingly, however, such sentiments are mere nostalgia.
Vienna Offers a Glimpse of the ‘Next Metropolis’
May 03, 2012
“Smart cities” is the urban buzz phrase of the last few years, and fans often turn to European cities for inspiration. From Amsterdam’s bike lanes to Copenhagen’s wind power, from Barcelona’s 22@ innovation district to Berlin’s dramatic redevelopment, European examples abound.
Does Crossroads’ “Cool” Ad Cross The Line?
April 27, 2012
Four years ago, the McCain campaign decided that the only way to overcome Barack Obama’s star power was to try and turn it into a negative. The campaign made up its “Celebrity” ad, which, amid images of Obama being cheered by a huge throng in Berlin, compared him to Brittany Spears and Paris Hilton. The ad’s narrator asked: “He’s the biggest celebrity in the world—but is he ready to lead?” This tack wasn’t enough to bring Obama down in 2008, but the opposition had decided to try it again this year—with a bit of a twist.
April 20, 2012
Parallel Stories By Péter Nádas Translated by Imre Goldstein (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1,133 pp., $40) Péter Nádas’s novel begins with the most formulaic kind of narrative device: the discovery of a corpse.