August 28, 1983
He looked like an old man—perhaps seventy, although we had learned during our journey that age comes quickly in Afghanistan. He squatted across the room from us, holding a rifle that had seen other wars. We had traveled ten thousand miles to find out about the war in Afghanistan and the people who fought it. But the old man, learning we were Americans, decided that our own country was to be the subject of discussion. "Why do Americans claim they are friends of the Afghan nation?" he demanded through our translator.
The Light in the East
September 20, 1980
During the last week in August in 1980 a new kind of light appeared in Poland, illuminating the world scene in an unexpected way. An eerie sentence swam into my mind, the one that Winston Churchill wrote about 1914 when the pall of the parochial Irish crisis hung over the warm summer evening of the British Empire; and when the parishes of Fermanagh and Tyrone faded into the mists and squalls of Ireland, "and a strange light began immediately, but by perceptible gradations, to fall and grow upon the map of Europe." That strange light, in 1914, was the glimmering advent of World War I.
Purging the Posters
February 23, 1980
Back in the good old days—when Mao Zedong was always right and Deng Xiaoping was a capitalist roader—wall posters were all the rage in China. In one frenzied week during the Cultural Revolution in 1966, students at Peking University churned out 100,000 posters, enough to cover the Great Wall from end to end. Communist party cadres had to string wires along factory and office corridors so workers could hang up their latest attacks against revisionist superiors, “Anything goes,” a Communist party official told a group of factory workers. “The main thing is to get the discussion going.
December 29, 1979
The Soviet Union’s greatest mythological figure is 100 years old this week.
No New Bedfellows
April 01, 1971
The big surprise of the French elections is that the new National Assembly is virtually a carbon copy of its predecessor. The governing majority retains control over 290 of the 300 seats it had in the outgoing parliament. The left opposition, with a gain of 17, now has 201 deputies. This outcome is surprising because for the past 12 months a chorus of political commentators and pollsters has been predicting a dramatic change.
Liberals and the Marxist Heresy
June 24, 1970
Grappling with the fellow travelers--and McCarthy.
The Profession of Perjury
July 05, 1954
Most Americans were shocked when they read, in the newspapers on May 27 and 28, that Nobel Peace Prize winner Ralph Bunche was being subjected to a long and arduous loyalty probe by the International Organizations' Employees Loyalty Board, created by President Eisenhower to examine the loyalty of American citizens employed by the United Nations. It was a closed hearing; the evidence remains secret. The New York Times and other newspapers, however, disclosed the names of his accusers: Manning Johnson and Leonard Patterson. Of the latter I have nothing to say.