Josef Stalin

Bishkek Blunder

Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan—Smiling in a conference room of her aging Soviet-era office suite, Roza Otunbayeva appeared confident—possibly for the first time in her short presidency. It was only two weeks after June 10, when ethnic violence had begun engulfing the south of her country, but Kyrgyzstan's diminutive leader, a bespectacled former diplomat with a bob cut and the good-natured manner of a high-school principal, announced that the bloodshed had failed to discourage people from participating in a nationwide referendum.

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New Deal

It was a perfect day for a provocation. In late August, Norbert Vollertsen, a German human rights activist, traveled in a chartered bus from Seoul to Cholwon, just a few miles from the border with North Korea. His mission was simple: to launch a flock of hot air balloons, each bearing a small cargo of radios, that the day's brisk wind would carry into the North, where everyone but the elite is deprived of radios that would enable them to listen to foreign broadcasts. In addition to the balloons, the bus contained roughly a dozen journalists.

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The Week

PRESIDENT Roosevelt’s overwhelming victory promises to change the face of American political life. Even those expert observers who predicted a landslide did not envisage the unprecedented majority, both in popular vote and the electoral college, that he rolled up. As early as eleven o’clock on election night, when the first returns indicated a Roosevelt victory in every one of the doubtful states, and a popular majority of perhaps 9,000,000, leading Republican politicians and newspapers began to concede that their cause was hopeless; only the incredible John D. M.

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