On-the-ground reporting from the journalist who was just released after a year in captivity.
Why There’s Still Space—and Time—For Another GOP Contender
September 30, 2011
This weekend in Little Rock, Bill Clinton and an all-star cast of political alumni will celebrate the twentieth anniversary of his formal entry into the 1992 presidential race. But the candidate decision that did the most to bequeath Clinton the Democratic nomination did not occur until December 20, 1991.
What Will Obama's Speech Accomplish?
September 08, 2011
It always seemed clear to me, though it has not seemed clear to many liberals, that the exquisite care President Obama takes to establish his reasonableness and moderation is the first step of a two-step process.
July 06, 2011
--Shutdown Minnesota government fires the people who could tell them how shutdown they are --Stiff upper lip: David Cameron celebrated Christmas season and went horse-riding with embattled tabloid editor Rebekah Brooks. --Elizabeth Samet untangles Joseph Heller --David Leonhardt on the business lobby's faux-roundtable on the deficit --And Jim Sleeper probably isn't a fan of twitter townhalls
David Hajdu on Music: The Afterplace
May 19, 2011
Paul Simon So Beautiful or So What It appears that Paul Simon has been thinking about going somewhere unlike all of the many lands around the globe that he has visited over the years in search of musical inspiration. He is giving thought to the final expedition, the big trip across the divide to the only place that even he cannot plunder. Simon will turn seventy in the same year as both Art Garfunkel, the creamy-voiced journeyman who stood placidly at Simon’s right side for years, and Bob Dylan, the peer of Simon’s whose towering specter has always hovered near Simon’s other side.
Why Are There No Great Easter Songs?
April 22, 2011
Although I don’t have time to count them, since life expectancy in the United States is only 78.2 years, I suspect that the number of winter holiday songs—and I refer ecumenically not only to Christmas music but to tunes broadly celebrating the wintery season—must be around a zillion kazillion. From the morning after Halloween until New Year’s Day, they are inescapable, and singers in innumerable styles (and of varying religious and cultural backgrounds) keep making CDs of songs still widely thought of as Christmas music.
Did Anne Frank Really Have An ‘Infinite Human Spirit’?
March 09, 2011
“The concentration camps are a dangerous topic to handle,” the British critic A. Alvarez once wrote. “They stir mud from the bottom, clouding the mind, rousing dormant self-destructiveness.” This has perhaps never been more true for anyone than for Meyer Levin, the author of middlebrow Jewish-American novels such as The Settlers who is now better known, alas, for an obsession with the diary of Anne Frank that seems to have sent him over the edge of sanity.
David Thomson on Films: The 2011 Best Picture Oscar
February 24, 2011
For a while in this awards season, The Social Network seemed to be the favorite for the Best Picture Oscar. But the later opening of The King’s Speech has served it well. In the crucial nomination and voting period, The Social Network’s domestic box office slowed down, and it has earned less than $100 million. The picture has been hard to find in theaters, in part because it appeared on DVD in January.
David Thomson on Films: ‘Just Go With It’
February 23, 2011
The columns I’ve written so far in this space may suggest that going to the movies these days is a happy experience. That is, in part, because of the time of year: We have learned that the only movies the business has any pretense of respect for open as a year closes—because Christmas is a rich season that builds towards the Academy Awards nominations. It is also because I prefer to praise films, or to send you in search of watchable stuff.
Small Urban Manufacturers Make it in the U.S.A.
February 11, 2011
Last year, my then-six-year-old daughter went through a period of being enamored by all things made in China.