Today at TNR (November 10, 2009)
November 10, 2009

Don’t Underestimate Europe’s Ability to Integrate Its Muslim Minorities, by Anne Applebaum The Abortion Amendment Debate: What Kind of Power Do Catholics Have in the Democratic Party? by William Galston and Alan Wolfe Why Scientists Are, By Definition, Activists, by Marilyn Berlin Snell Should We Let Health Care Reform Fail So We Can Do It Right Next Time? by Jonathan Cohn Is It Too Early to Call the Fort Hood Shootings an Act of Terrorism? by John B.

November 10, 2009

Reflections on the Revolution in Europe: Immigration, Islam, and the West By Christopher Caldwell (Doubleday, 422 pp., $30)   As its subtitle makes clear, this is a book about immigration, Islam, and the West. But at the same time this is also a book about a particular moral culture, a set of attitudes, habits, and beliefs that has developed in Western Europe over the past sixty years. There isn’t a good shorthand way to describe this moral culture. Sometimes it is called “political correctness,” though politics as such does not define it.

The Freedom Of Europe Commemorated
November 09, 2009

Over the years, my good friend Jacques Rupnik has written commentaries in TNR about the decline of communism in Eastern Europe. Given the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the 53rd anniversary of bloody Budapest, Rupnik, a professor at Science-Pol, has written a longish essay for Le Monde, some about the past, some also about the future. Alas, in French. Point de vue L'Europe de l'Est, vingt ans après, par Jacques Rupnik LE MONDE | 09.11.09 | 14h05 Le 20e anniversaire de 1989 semble marqué par la "confusion des sentiments".

Building Blocs
November 09, 2009

Monday marks the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. It is worth pausing to recall just how momentous, and unanticipated, this event and those that followed were. My students today have no memory of the cold war; to them, Prague and Budapest, just like Paris and Madrid, are simply places to visit or study in Europe.

Worth Reading
November 06, 2009

John Reed apologizes for creating Citigroup. What Europe is getting right in tackling unemployment. Public works projects successful in rural India? Study: Pork-barrel spending a symptom, not cause, of budget woes. Did Malcolm Gladwell cause Lehman's collapse?

Place of Grace
November 03, 2009

Over a decade ago, I trundled my good-natured family across miles of southern Switzerland to see every building I could by Peter Zumthor, who is this year's winner of the Pritzker Prize. Then as now, most of Zumthor's work was off the beaten track, not only literally but metaphorically, little known to the general public although admired by professionals.

Pipeline Politics
November 02, 2009

As the world tries to cut its carbon emissions in the next few decades, natural gas will become increasingly crucial as a stopgap fuel, since it produces less CO2 pollution than coal or oil. At least, that's what the EIA thinks will happen. And the geopolitical implications of this trend are interesting.

Why Read Heidegger
November 01, 2009

German philosopher Martin Heidegger gets a lot of bad press. And for good reason. He was an enthusiastic supporter of the Nazis, he did and said and wrote some nasty things before and after serving as the rector of Freiburg University from 1933-1934, and though he eventually distanced himself from his earlier enthusiasm for Hitler, he seems never to have ceased believing that there was an "inner truth and greatness" (those are Heidegger's own words, spoken in a lecture from 1935) to the National Socialist movement. That sounds bad, and it is.

Seeing and Believing
October 30, 2009

Are representations of the Prophet Muhammad permitted in Islam? To make or not to make images of the Prophet: that is the question I will try to answer. It is an unexpectedly burning question, as the newspapers regularly demonstrate. But both the answer to the question and the reasons for raising it require a broader introduction. There have been many times in recent years when one bemoaned the explosion of media that have provided public forums for so much incompetence and ignorance, not to speak of prejudice. Matters became worse after September 11, for two additional reasons.

Containing a Nuclear Iran
October 28, 2009

The strategy that dare not speak its name: The Obama administration is quietly laying the groundwork for long-range strategy that could be used to contain a nuclear-equipped Iran and deter its leaders from using atomic weapons. U.S. officials insist they are not resigned to a nuclear Iran and are pressing negotiations to prevent it from joining the world's nuclear club.