There is no greater obstacle to progressive change than the idea of austerity. It has dominated economic policy in Europe, resulting in continued slow growth (or outright contraction) and high unemployment. These conditions have produced demoralized electorates that lack faith in all politicians—a cynicism that has only deepened when leftist parties have attained power and failed to revive growth. In such an environment, progressive change is not possible, and the left is reduced to purely defensive actions. READ MORE >>
The President promised not to undercut the rule of law for expedience's sake. He did. Now we face the consequences.
In the conflict against Al Qaeda that began in 2001, American military forces have conducted operations in more countries than in any war except World War II. Most of these countries are probably in the Middle East and North Africa, and the number (based on press reports) is likely in the ten to thirty range. But the public doesn't know, because the government hasn't told it. READ MORE >>
Pity the poor soul who one day decides to write a biography of Janet Malcolm. She has little patience for “the arrogant desire to impose a narrative on the stray bits and pieces of a life that wash up on the shores of biographical research.” But oh, what tantalizing bits are on offer! READ MORE >>
The wisdom of a poet in nature and in war
“We are at the beginning of another ‘Georgian period,’ which may take rank in due time with the several great poetic ages of the past,” wrote Edward Marsh in 1912. And for a brief moment, such confidence seemed plausible. READ MORE >>
The Birth of Political Rhetoric in an Ancient Democracy
Greece has had a troubled history since the start of the debt crisis in 2009. The people of the country, quite understandably, feel resentful at having to defer to the bureaucratic power of the European Union: it represents an undignified loss of their autonomy and freedom. The current troubles have re-opened old, even ancient wounds. READ MORE >>
Politico's piece about Mark Leibovich's book is exactly what's wrong with 'this town'
It's not fun, having to apply a therapeutic reading to some of the Washington press corps's most inscrutable minds. We really don't want to know—and don't have the requisite time to learn—about the fears haunting Politico senior writer Mike Allen, a man in his 40s who refuses to show or tell any of his friends where he lives. READ MORE >>
Startups are morale boosters for our economic self-image. The entrepreneurs behind them are like lottery winners and gold prospectors combined: self-made but lucky, glamorous but hardworking, delusionally optimistic by definition. READ MORE >>
How a team of sneaky librarians duped Al Qaeda
One afternoon in March, I walked through Timbuktu’s Ahmed Baba Institute of Higher Studies and Islamic Research, stepping around shards of broken glass. Until last year, the modern concrete building with its Moorish-inspired screens and light-filled courtyard was a haven for scholars drawn by the city’s unparalleled collection of medieval manuscripts. READ MORE >>
Is abundance really the solution to our problems?
“The future is better than you think” is the message of Peter Diamandis’s and Steven Kotler’s book. Despite a flat economy and intractable environmental problems, Diamandis and his journalist co-author are deeply optimistic about humanity’s prospects. “Technology,” they say, “has the potential to significantly raise the basic standards of living for every man, woman, and child on the planet.... Abundance for all is actually within our grasp.” READ MORE >>
Since publishing her first book, The House of the Spirits, in 1982, the Chilean writer Isabel Allende has written ten novels, four memoirs, and three young adult novels. She writes a lot. READ MORE >>