A Hero Dies in Afghanistan
October 05, 2009
One could now accurately write that headline more than once a day, unfortunately. But this one stands out for me, mostly because he came from roughly where I grew up, and also because he was an acquaintance of someone close to me.
Unquiet Flows the Don
October 05, 2009
Maurice Bowra: A Life By Leslie Mitchell (Oxford University Press, 385 pp., $50) As warden of Wadham College in Oxford, president of the British Academy, the author of well-known books on ancient Greek literature, and a conversationalist of legendary brilliance, Maurice Bowra seemed, in the middle of the last century, the very embodiment of Oxford life. Enjoying a huge international reputation as a scholar, a wit, and an administrator, he was duly elected into prestigious academies and awarded honorary degrees in both Europe and America. George VI knighted him in 1951.
Today at TNR (October 1, 2009)
October 01, 2009
Earth to Obama: You Can’t Negotiate With the Planet, by Bill McKibben Benched: Why the Supreme Court Is Irrelevant, by Barry Friedman Everything You Need to Know About the Senate’s New Climate Bill, by Bradford Plumer Dionne: Why Are Democrats Being so Timid in Defending the Public Option? by E.J.
The Usefulness of Cranks
September 30, 2009
Paradise Found: Nature in America at the Time of Discovery By Steve Nicholls (University of Chicago Press, 524 pp., $30) American Earth: Environmental Writing Since Thoreau Edited by Bill McKibben (Library of America, 1,047 pp., $40) Defending The Master Race: Conservation, Eugenics, And The Legacy Of Madison Grant By Jonathan Peter Spiro (University of Vermont Press, 462 pp., $39.95) A Passion for Nature: The Life of John Muir By Donald Worster (Oxford University Press, 535 pp., $34.99) A Reenchanted World: The Quest for A New Kinship With Nature By James William Gibson (Metropolitan Books,
Another Story About Ron Artest and Hasidic Jews
September 22, 2009
David Roth is a writer living in New York. They cruise through cities, klezmer pumping from the speakers of RVs emblazoned with the image of the late Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson. They approach even vaguely Semitic-seeming pedestrians with the question, "Are you Jewish?" and are known for their expansionist approach to growing their congregations.
Zbigniew Brzezinski: Shoot the Israeli Jets Out of the Sky
September 21, 2009
No, not without cause. But if Israel flies over Iraq to destroy Iranian nuclear installations ... precz z Z'hydani. Poor Zbig! The only publication that seems to be interested in his views on anything is The Daily Beast. But not a single print publication carried it, save for Ha'aretz and two Jewish outlets, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency plus Yid With Lid. Plus the canny television journalist, Jack Tapper, on ABC. I've known Zbig, sort of, for roughly 45 years. But we were never really friends. You see, my Ph.D.
Call of the Wolf
September 16, 2009
Long before Martin Wolf became the chief economics columnist for the Financial Times, he wrote the newspaper letters--lots and lots of letters. It was the early 1980s, the height of the Thatcher era, and Wolf was running research at a think tank in London that was sympathetic to the government's pro-trade agenda.
Why Health Reform Matters: Some Personal Illustrations
September 09, 2009
Want a hint about what the president will say tonight? Check out the guest list for the First Lady's box, which the White House just published.
Charles in Charge
September 09, 2009
Tonight the GOP response to Obama’s prime-time health care speech will be delivered by Louisiana Congressman Charles Boustany, Jr., a little-known former heart surgeon who has been serving the state’s 7th district since 2005. Boustany is an interesting choice for the GOP considering the hype surrounding the speech and that the last rebuttal to the president came from high-profile 2012 contender Bobby Jindal. So who is he? Boustany, 53, was born in Lafayette, Louisiana to Lebanese immigrant grandparents and a Democrat father who served as Lafayette Parish coroner for 16 years.
Jane Fonda, Mary Robinson, Jimmy Carter, Desmond Tutu: They're All Back and They are All Malicious... and Dangerously Malicious at That
September 08, 2009
OK, the Bertrand Russell psychodrama is also malicious but maybe not dangerously so. About six months ago, I came across a web posting announcing the formation of a Bertrand Russell Tribunal on Palestine. Yes, it was one of those false kangaroo courts in which, from the Stalin era on, convenes not to evaluate evidence but to condemn. In loads of cases the verdicts brought quick impositions of the death sentence. One such process is now unfolding in Tehran, and its backers are Muslim millenarians and western leftists who are prone to support every revolution even if it is decidedly and objecti