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 02, 2001
George w. Bush's trip to Europe last week offered America's highbrow press something delicious: a big, new foreign policy idea. Europe and the United States, we were told over and over, are drifting apart because of a conflict over values. During the cold war, Europe resented America for what it did; today, Europe resents America for what it believes. Global warming, missile defense, the death penalty, economic policy--each dispute further illustrated this transatlantic cultural gulf. A clash of civilizations! What fun. Too bad it probably isn't true.
May 14, 2001
Mario Vargas Llosa on the premature obituary of the book.
December 18, 2000
The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath edited by Karen V. Kukil (Anchor Books, 732 pp., $18) Saturday exhausted, nerves frayed. Sleepless. Threw you, book, down, punched with fist. Kicked, punched. Violence seethed. Joy to murder someone, pure scapegoat. But pacified during necessity to work. ... Baked a lemon meringue pie, cooled lemon custard and crust on cold bathroom windowsill, stirring in black night and stars. Set table, candles, glasses sparkling crystal barred crystal on yellow woven cloth ...
April 17, 2000
As Bosnian Croat General Tihomir Blaskic waited limply in the dock last month, Claude Jorda, the French judge who serves as president of the U.N. War Crimes Tribunal, lingered over his judgment before a crammed courtroom gallery. He described village upon Muslim village that Blaskic's Croat forces had ravaged. He conceded that Muslim forces had also committed abuses but rejected the argument--so often made by defendants in these courtrooms and by belligerents on the ground--that one group's crimes excused another's.
August 09, 1999
Richard Oldfield on why the euro's bad for Europe.
The Hero Myth
May 24, 1999
David Grann profiles then U.S. Republican Presidential candidate, John McCain.
An Illusion for our Time
October 20, 1997
This week’s TNR cover story by James Mann deals with the vexing problem that China poses to the community of nations—and to the young Obama administration. Mann observes that, even as China has opened up economically, it has pursued an aggressive foreign policy. Writing in TNR thirteen years ago, Peter Beinart anticipated this situation.
Hostility in America
August 25, 1997
Wilson reviews Crime is Not the Problem: Lethal Violence in America in 1997.
Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Thomas Jefferson
March 10, 1997
Thomas Jefferson a film by Ken Burns (PBS) The Long Affair: Thomas Jefferson and the French Revolution, 1785-1800 by Conor Cruise O'Brien (University of Chicago, 367 pp., $29.95) Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy by Annette Gordon-Reed (University Press of Virginia, 279 pp., $29.95) American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson by Joseph J. Ellis (Knopf, 351 pp., $26) I. Especially during his troubled second administration, Thomas Jefferson received a lot of hate mail.