The Shah of Venezuela
April 01, 2009
The ideas that keep Hugo Chavez in power.
The Need for Nations
June 27, 2005
Law Without Nations?: Why Constitutional Government Requires Sovereign States By Jeremy A. Rabkin (Princeton University Press, 350 pp., $29.95) Jeremy A. Rabkin's book is a forceful defense of the virtues of national sovereignty, and of the claim that American constitutional government places strict limits on the reach and authority of international law. In part, Rabkin is responding to critics of the unilateralism of the Bush administration--its rejection of the Kyoto Treaty, its refusal to join the International Criminal Court, its invasion of Iraq without explicit U.N.
Body of Evidence
February 14, 2005
There are many iconic photographs of Marie Curie: Early on with her husband, Pierre, with whom she shared the first of her Nobel Prizes; and, after his death, standing alone with her instruments in the lab. But there are other, more telling, images as well: With her peers--among them Michelson, Rutherford, Millikan, Poincare, Kapitza, Pauli, Bohr, Fermi, and, of course, Einstein--always the lone woman. In a 1911 photograph, she is surrounded by 23 men at the Solvay physics conference in Brussels. In a photograph at Lausanne, she sits, front-row, dead center, between Einstein and Fermi in a con
The Ungreat Washed
July 07, 2003
The Future of Freedom: Illiberal Democracy at Home and Abroad By Fareed Zakaria (W.W. Norton, 286 pp., $24.95) I. Midway through Fareed Zakaria’s attack on democracy, one realizes that his animus toward popular government is not only theoretical but also personal, and in some ways it is even quite understandable.
March 03, 2003
Perceptions, perceptions. The great debate about the war in Iraq-- does anybody imagine that the United States has dispatched 180,000 troops to the Gulf not to send them into battle?--has dissolved into another debate about debates, another collision of perspectives, Washington, Paris, Berlin, New York, Brussels, Vilnius, Riyadh, the streets, the halls of power, as if there were no real threats that must be met, no conclusive answers that can be given to some of the urgent questions, and all that is needed now is a tolerance for other people's opinions.
Plottings, Real and Otherwise
July 02, 2001
Radical political figures attract film-makers. Those figures seem the available equivalents of saints or idealistic heroes; and since a good number of them ended badly they have some of the aura of tragedy. But in most cases such figures are cinematic snares--not because of the character or the heroism, but because of the politics. Warren Beatty's Reds (1981) is the best film he has made, but it never became much more complex than a biography of John Reed's love life against a revolutionary background.
July 20, 1998
Michael Walzer on why the EU might not build an all-European democratic public.
The Shot Heard Round The World
July 18, 1988
"Here once the embattled farmers stood And fired the shot heard round the world." —Hymn sung at the completion of the Battle Monument, Concord, July 4, 1837 The claim in Emerson's line is expansive. Can it be true that the shot was heard round the world—when there were no satellites, no television, no radio, no telephone? Let us see. It then took from five to six weeks for news to cross the Atlantic.
Wogs and Louts
July 01, 1985
Oxford: In “violent” Britain, plagued with soccer hooliganism, one of the more peaceful spots for a summer Saturday afternoon picnic is the bank of the River Thames where it winds through the Oxfordshire countryside.
It's Even Worse in Brussels
July 09, 1977
Twenty years ago, in the majestic Piazza de Capitole Marcus Aurelius in Rome, the treaty was signed establishing the European Economic Community. For Europeans, it is as discomforting today to reread the Rome speeches of 1957 as it is for Americans to reread the Kennedy inaugural address of 1961. Like diaries written in childhood, they embarrass by their blend of naivete and self-importance. The ringing call of 1957 for a United States of Europe is mocked by a Europe in 1977 more fragmented and uncooperative than at any time since 1950.