France

Slaves and Slaughter
March 10, 1986

David S. Landes: Haiti's horrible history.

Griefbusters
October 21, 1985

We can't prevent earthquakes. But technology and techniques now exist to save lives after such tragedies, and that is why it has been so disturbing to witness trained rescue workers arriving in Mexico City too late to help many trapped in collapsed buildings. Members of a French team complained bitterly that they could have saved dozens, if not hundreds, of additional lives if they had been called to the scene promptly after the disaster struck.

Linebacker Labor
November 01, 1982

Nicholas von Hoffman: Football strikes, capitalism, and American life.

Stop Financing Terrorism
July 08, 1978

It has begun to occur to our leaders, at last, that the Western nations are helping to finance the international terrorism of which they are the victims. Recent steps by the Carter administration, prodded by Congress, to use America’s economic muscle in the battle against terrorism are long overdue. Several anti-terrorism bills have been introduced in Congress in recent years. One—the Omnibus Anti-Terrorist Act, sponsored by Senator Abraham Ribicoff—has been winding its way through Congress and is likely to become law.

Hitler's War
July 09, 1977

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Jacques Prévert, 1900-1977
July 09, 1977

Jacques Prévert, France's most popular poet of the 20th century, died this past spring, and there should be some memorial or festival of his work to mark not his death but his aliveness. What a remarkable person he was. Known in America principally as a pop lyricist ("Autumn Leaves" and "Ne Me Quitte Pas" in particular) and as screenwriter for the film classic Les Enfants du Paradis, he was truly a people's poet.

It's Even Worse in Brussels
July 09, 1977

Twenty years ago, in the majestic Piazza de Capitole Marcus Aurelius in Rome, the treaty was signed establishing the European Economic Community. For Europeans, it is as discomforting today to reread the Rome speeches of 1957 as it is for Americans to reread the Kennedy inaugural address of 1961. Like diaries written in childhood, they embarrass by their blend of naivete and self-importance. The ringing call of 1957 for a United States of Europe is mocked by a Europe in 1977 more fragmented and uncooperative than at any time since 1950.

The Revolving Door
July 09, 1977

There is realty only one industry of any consequence in Washington, DC. Whatever else that goes on spins in some orbit around the federal government. So when an incumbent President is turned out of office, the revolving door starts spinning too. Nobody leaves town, they just trade places. It occurs at every level. Members of congressional and committee staffs who spent the last several years developing legislative programs and engaging in "oversight," as it's called, have now moved with the new administration into the agencies they previously oversaw to direct the programs they created.

Slouching Towards America
October 02, 1976

The hero sails to far exotic shores, returns in triumph with a princess and a prize. This is the archetypal European Quest whose classic formulation is the Myth of Jason and the Golden Fleece. The theme has minor variations—as when the fleece becomes a Holy Grail—but the center remains: despite the setbacks and the losses he may suffer on the way, the hero brings his treasure-laden Argo back to port. The quest succeeds. Thus when the Renaissance explorers left to seek great riches in the lands beyond horizons on the west, their ultimate success seemed foreordained.

Life Among the Refuseniks
August 24, 1974

After eight days without food, the Sinologist Vitaly Rubin had an alert, rapid, feverish way of explaining things. "I am no parasite, what they call. I work at Hebrew University, only I am still in Moscow. I was summoned to KGB to fill out a form: What is your working place? and I answered: Hebrew University." Odd to discuss such matters with men deliberately starving themselves to death. "It is possible to live here," Vitaly Rubin was saying, "but not if you have any dignity. I am specialist in eighth and ninth century China." He was laughing a fierce, feverish little chuckle.

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