Fighting Back
One professor's statistics-driven screen is reshaping the way domestic violence is policed in Maryland
April 20, 2012

Almost half of female homicide victims are killed by their husbands, boyfriends, and exes. Jacquelyn Campbell is trying to change that.

A Brief Audit of Politicians’ Tax Problems
April 17, 2012

If you’re still filling out your tax forms, it may be tempting to cut some corners and tell a few white lies. But as the ethics-deficient politicians listed below can tell you, tax evasion doesn’t end well. Here’s a guide on “what-not-to-do,” courtesy of political figures, past and present.  Spiro Agnew. The only vice president to resign due to criminal charges, Agnew left office in 1973 just ten months before Richard Nixon’s departure would have made him president.

In Memoriam: Former TNR Literary Editor Reed Whittemore (1919 - 2012)
April 14, 2012

Reed Whittemore, who died last week at the age of 92, was a poet laureate of the United States, a professor of English at the University of Maryland, and the literary editor of The New Republic from 1969 until 1973. Below is a selection of the many reviews, essays, and poems he wrote for TNR. "A Few Ways of Pulling Apart a Poem" "Two Ruthless Pieces." Whittemore’s poetry published in a 1958 issue of the magazine. "Reed Whittemore on Verse." A review of The Beatles Illustrated Lyrics. "Housmaning Into the Seventies." A review of The Confines of Criticism by A. E.

Does Romney Have a 'Southern Problem'?
March 07, 2012

After just barely pulling out a win in Ohio, Mitt Romney has “won Super Tuesday” by most media accounts. But even with his successes (wins in Virginia, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Idaho, and a decent shot in Alaska), you’ll likely hear some people echo a recent claim by Newt Gingrich: that Romney can’t be confident of the nomination if he can’t win anywhere in the South. This concern didn’t suddenly present itself: Mitt’s first real stumble in the race, of course, was in South Carolina, where he got righteously stomped by Newt.

Just How Influential Is the Christian Right?
February 18, 2012

My old student, that is, my former student from four-plus decades ago, Michael Kazin, has written that the long life of the Christian Right has come to an end. It certainly has lost its old “failsafe” battles. I have no nostalgia at all for the hardened hearts and mellifluous voices which judged intricate human dilemmas through dogma, through harsh dogma, at that. It’s odd, though—isn’t it?—that black churches, rarely labeled as “right anything,” are among the places where same-sex marriage, even the idea of same-sex sex, runs into trouble, big trouble.

Thus Spake Still
February 08, 2012

Clyfford Still Museum Denver, Colorado I have never been strongly attracted to the feverish visionary heights that can be reached by a prophetic voice. Of course I feel the power of the Book of Lamentations, and Michelangelo’s Last Judgment, and Wagner’s Ring, and Blake’s apocalyptic extravaganzas. But there are other registers that touch me more deeply, or at least more directly. I think a convincing argument can be made that the prophetic mode does not come naturally to the visual artist, surely not to the visual artist in the modern world.

The Mobility Myth
February 08, 2012

When Americans express indifference about the problem of unequal incomes, it’s usually because they see the United States as a land of boundless opportunity. Sure, you’ll hear it said, our country has pretty big income disparities compared with Western Europe. And sure, those disparities have been widening in recent decades. But stark economic inequality is the price we pay for living in a dynamic economy with avenues to advancement that the class-bound Old World can only dream about.

No Bribe Left Behind: Putting Newt's Zaniest Education Policy to the Test
December 28, 2011

It’s unlikely that Newt Gingrich will ever enact his plan to transform impoverished youth into salaried janitors, but 20 years ago, he did briefly manage to pay underprivileged kids for more edifying work. “Earning by Learning” (EBL), a literacy program that Gingrich founded in 1990, paid students two dollars per book to do their summer reading. At its height, the program was operating in at least 17 states.

What Mitt and Tommy Carcetti Have In Common
December 20, 2011

Martin O'Malley, the Maryland governor who is now head of the Democratic Governors Association, is occasionally mentioned as a prospect for a national ticket and is the model for Tommy Carcetti on "The Wire," is now sparking fierce Republican opposition in Maryland with his push to limit sprawl development. From today's Washington Post: Maryland Gov.

The Collector
December 14, 2011

On a warm Saturday in early July, an employee at the Maryland Historical Society placed a call to the police. He had noticed two visitors behaving strangely—a young, tall, handsome man with high cheekbones and full lips and a much older, heavier man, with dark, lank hair and a patchy, graying beard. The older man had called in advance to give the librarians a list of boxes of documents he wanted to see, saying that he was researching a book. At some point during their visit, the employee saw the younger man slip a document into a folder.