After the Tsunami
March 12, 1998
Until the East Asian miracle went up in a cloud of smoke, most East Asian specialists and comparative political scientists were optimistic about the prospects for democracy in the region. That's because nearly everyone subscribed to the “modernization thesis” first proposed by Stanford University Professor Seymour Martin Lipset in 1959. According to this thesis, economic development produces a new urban middle class--professionals, entrepreneurs, managers, and so on--motivated to challenge authoritarian rule.
TNR Film Classics: ‘Titanic’ (January 5 & 12, 1998)
January 05, 1998
Surely someone has counted all the books and films about the Titanic, and I'm glad I don't know the result. A Broadway musical about it is now running. And here is the latest film. Titanic (Paramount-20th Century Fox), reportedly the most expensive picture ever made. Reasons for the story’s interest are not obscure. The luxurious Titanic was called unsinkable, the safest ship ever built; and it went down on its maiden voyage in April 1912, four days after it had sailed from Southampton for New York.
November 27, 1997
Over a thousand delegates gathered in early October at the Sheraton Chicago for the fifteenth annual Hispanic leadership conference. The gleaming hotel, towering over the Chicago River and Lake Michigan, seemed emblematic of Hispanics' growing political heft. Speakers at the conference included former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Henry G. Cisneros, AFL-CIO President John Sweeney, and Secretary of Labor Alexis Herman.
October 06, 1997
John Sweeney's name rarely appears in print without the word "militant" attached to it. Sweeney first gained national prominence in 1995, when, as president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), he led striking janitors in a sit-in that blocked morning rush-hour traffic on Washington, D.C.'s Fourteenth Street Bridge for two hours. Later that year, Sweeney burnished his reputation as a confrontationalist by running (and winning) an insurgent campaign in the first-ever contested election for the presidency of the AFLl-CIO. Heavy-set and balding, Sweeney comes across like central c
Hostility in America
August 25, 1997
Wilson reviews Crime is Not the Problem: Lethal Violence in America in 1997.
July 07, 1997
On a recent afternoon in Washington, D.C., a group of Christian evangelicals and social activists met at the offices of the conservative Family Research Council to watch a short home movie. The twenty-minute film, smuggled out of the People’s Republic of China, depicted Chinese Christians involved in the illegal faith known as the home church movement. The audience watched scenes of hundreds of worshipers at passionate prayer— swaying, chanting—in the caves and fields where they secretly meet.
Hud Sucker Proxy
June 23, 1997
Upon hearing that I was planning to write about the proposed changes in federal housing policy, a press secretary at the Department of Housing and Urban Development graciously offered me an interview with the secretary, Andrew Cuomo. This was slightly odd. It's usually the reporter's job in these matters to solicit access to the Cabinet secretary and the flack's job to deny it. And I am the sort of reporter who quite properly would be denied; the story I wanted to write, examining public policy, didn't require access to anyone so grand as a member of the Cabinet.
The Numbers Game
May 19, 1997
During the blustery first week of March, New York was talking of nothing but riches. No matter that the stock market was slipping from its dizzying perch, New Yorkers were spending fortunes in their heads. "I would buy a big house and get lots of maids so I never have to clean again," one young woman told a local reporter. "If I win, I want to take my family to see Howard Stern’s movie this weekend," William Boutilette told the New York Post. Boutilette had come from New Jersey for a shot at the jackpot. The hopeful stood in endless lines, swarmed through newsstands at the rate of over 8,000
Out of Order
May 05, 1997
When renowned conservative radio talk-show host Armstrong Williams offered Stephen Gregory a job as his personal trainer in 1994, Gregory assumed his new boss was simply interested in shaping up. But when Gregory later became a producer for the radio program, occasionally traveling to speaking engagements with Williams, Williams allegedly began showing an interest that Gregory took as more than merely professional. In a complaint filed on April 10 in D.C.
The Bloods and the Crits
December 09, 1996
During the past decade, an academic movement called critical race theory has gained increasing currency in the legal academy. Rejecting the achievements of the civil rights movement of the 1960s as epiphenomenal, critical race scholars argue that the dismantling of the apparatus of formal segregation failed to purge American society of its endemic racism, or to improve the social status of African Americans in discernible or lasting ways. The claim that these scholars make is not only political; it is also epistemological.