Books

Getting It Wrong
September 10, 2008

'Bad Money: Reckless Finance, Failed Politics, and the Global Crisis of American Capitalism' By Kevin Phillips (Viking, 239 pp., $25.95)   Turmoil in the financial market and insecurity in the labor market--we have plenty of both--bring out good and bad books, like good and bad mushrooms after a rain. In the instance before us it is the financial market that is in turmoil, and this is definitely not a good book. The only nice thing I can say about Bad Money is that taking critical aim at our complex, overblown, and now evidently dangerous financial system is a fine idea.

The Darker Side
September 10, 2008

The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism: From Sacred Texts to Solemn HistoryEdited by Andrew G. Bostom(Prometheus Books, 766 pp., $39.95)Icon of Evil: Hitler's Mufti and the Rise of Radical IslamBy David G. Dalin and John F.

The First Founder
September 10, 2008

'On Religious Liberty: Selections From the Works of Roger Williams' Edited by James Calvin Davis (Harvard University Press, 288 pp., $19.95)   I. Religious difference drives otherwise sane people crazy. The fact that some of my neighbors pursue salvation in a way that differs from my own is hard to contemplate without anxiety. Could it be that they are right and I am wrong? If I am right, as I think I am, shouldn't I try to save them?

The Feather Against Which My Heart Will Be Weighed
September 10, 2008

The crow feather I found was not an idea.The crow feather was a black slash on the green lawn.It was a way of counting. One. One. The crow feather seemed to be waiting for me.It rested, abided, as though placed just sofor the one time I would walk to its threshold. I believe the crow feather when it is in my hand.I know that it is a feather in my hand,black quill, inkless, for writing out the gospel.   Subscribe to The New Republic for only $29.97 a year--75% off cover price! By Michael Chitwood

The Truth Will Not Set You Free
August 27, 2008

Why we didn't prevent the genocide in Darfur.

Falling
August 27, 2008

Long before daybreaknone of the birds yet awakerain comes down with the soundof a huge wind rushingthrough the valley treesit comes down around usall at the same timeand beyond it there is nothingit falls without hearing itselfwithout knowingthere is anyone herewithout seeing where it isor where it is goinglike a moment of greathappiness of our ownthat we cannot remembercoasting with the lights off --W.S. Merwin   Subscribe to The New Republic for only $29.97 a year--75% off cover price! By W.S. Merwin

In Defense of Looseness
August 27, 2008

Richard Posner on why District of Columbia v. Heller, which invalidated the District's ban on the private ownership of pistols, is an appalling mistak

Dumb
August 27, 2008

Fleabane again and I have another yearto take up its redness and what the wayside is likewith or without it and I have another yearto charge across the wooden bridge and shake itagain and take on the animals and fightthe stupid bikes and the bikers who ride acrosswith their legs spread out instead of walking their bikesso we didn't have to be pushed against the rails,they are so dumb and their bikes have so many dumband useless gears like a dumb idiot boxwith 2,000 stations, only dumb ancientboxing and ancient movies worth anything,Jack Johnson or Marciano, evenOrson Welles too much, give me t

The Arrow and the Poem
August 13, 2008

CLAY SANSKRIT LIBRARY New York University Press Toward the end of the Sakuntala, the most famous of the three surviving plays by Kalidasa--the poet usually considered the finest in ancient India--the hero Dushyanta offers this poignant self-analysis: Like someone staring at an elephantwho says, "There is no elephant here,"and who then, as it moves away,feels a certain doubtand later, seeing its footprints,is certain: "An elephanthas been here"--such are the subtleworkings of my mind. Or of any mind--the rueful king speaks for all of us. We almost always miss the elephant in front of us.

Malice
August 13, 2008

Oily, wily.Whip-tailed. Fairy-handed, reaching into skim the soul's fat. Rat in the mouth of the manwho calls you niggeras we exit the cab. Making its nest of shreds in my bellyas I scream back. Whiskered, feverish.Or maybe winged, maybe beaked--ravening over the suffering, glad for the shiny scraps, gleeful.Self-lovely thrill of the higher reaches of air-- then getting beyond even pleasure.Just doing the necessary work of creating(mite-riddled, death-mottled) the hell down there.  --Kim Addonizio Subscribe to The New Republic for only $29.97 a year--75% off cover price! By Kim Addonizio

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