TRB from Washington: Matters for Mencken
July 09, 1977
How H.L. Mencken would have skipped his paunchy knee and twinkled his china-blue eyes in cynical rapture over the Neutron bomb as another example of human folly. Really, the thing is wasted without Mencken around. The Neutron bomb, you see, is small, it's "clean"; it's teensy-weensy; it's a cutrate H-bomb that kills all the people in the neighborhood with radiation but lacks the punch to destroy buildings. How economical. What a weapon tor cleaning out cities. And what a plaything for the generals. At last we have invented a humane bomb: humane to buildings.
China Without Mao
September 25, 1976
Both China and the USA during 1976 look to their own body politic, and not much at broad world vistas. Yet from different starting-points. We focus on who the next President will be and now the list is pruned to two. But the election issues are as hard to sight as corks on a choppy sea. In China it is the personnel stakes that are elusive. The issues being debated under the orange tiles of Peking's palaces are, on the other hand, clearer than usual. And the "what" may be as momentous for China's future as the "who." Glimpse six items that reflect what is controversial in China.
Nixon and the World
January 06, 1973
Trying to evaluate the foreign policy of the Nixon administration during its first term, one must, as always in foreign policy, distinguish between rhetoric and policy. Rhetoric and policy may by and large coincide, one reflecting the other, or a wide gap may separate the two. In the latter case, what governments do is more important than what they say they are doing or are going to do.
Mission to China
March 04, 1972
From the Editors: February marks the thirty-eighth anniversary of President Nixon’s landmark visit to Beijing, and, back in 1972, TNR was one of the few media outlets able to get a first-hand report from the trip. John Osborne’s report, “Mission to China,” provided a snapshot of a country far removed from the modern economic power it is today. “China, feared though it has been and mightier now than it has ever been before, is still a poor country and, in the scales of world power, a weak country,” Osborne wrote.
Reinhold Niebuhr Discusses the War in Vietnam
January 01, 1970
A conversation with The New Republic.
September 10, 1966
Six poems by Reed Whittemore from the September 10, 1966 issue of the magazine.
Interview with Mao
February 26, 1965
Peking—In a rare interview which lasted about four hours, Mao Tse-tung conversed with me on topics ranging over what he himself called shan nan hai pei, or “from south of the mountains to north of the seas.” With China’s bountiful 200-million-ton 1964 grain harvest taxing winter storage capacities, with shops everywhere offering inexpensive foods and consumer goods necessities, and with technological and scientific advances climaxed by an atomic bang that saluted Khrushchev’s political demise. Chairman Mao might well have claimed a few creative achievements.
Setting Up the Scapegoat Who Will Be Blamed for Cuba?
March 13, 1961
For nearly 20 months a subcommittee of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary has been holding hearings, ostensibly on "the Communist threat to the United States through the Caribbean," presided over by James O. Eastland of Mississippi. He is assisted by Senators Dodd, Johnston of South Carolina, McClellan, Ervin, Hruska, Dirksen, Keating and Cotton. How many witnesses have been called has not been disclosed. The testimony of only a few has been released, and that has been edited before publication.
Chester Bowles' Optimism
November 16, 1959
In our relations with Russia and China, he does not believe that any settlement of the fundamental issues can be expected “for some time,” although local adjustments, such as the Austrian peace treaty, are possible. We need, therefore, to maintain “a tough, but flexible defense barrier” to deter both massive nuclear attack and localized aggression. We should work steadily and constructively for a meaningful disarmament agreement.
Thoughts on Negotiating With Russia
August 18, 1958
IT MAY BE unrealistic to expect that the Communist powers could explicitly admit that their past record over observing agreements has been bad. In the present international system few governments would be willing to incur the loss of face involved in such an admission. It would, however, be possible for the Communist powers (if they are sincere in wanting negotiations to reduce world tensions) to admit implicitly that there is a lack of trust in the value of promises of future performance and to work for agreements which would go as far as possible in providing guarantees for performance.