The Mini-review: 'Away We Go'
June 16, 2009

“No one’s in love like us, right? It’s so weird,” Verona (Maya Rudolph) tells Burt (John Krasinski) early in Sam Mendes’s Away We Go. The two are an unmarried but deeply committed couple crisscrossing the United States in search of the perfect place to raise the baby Verona is expecting. The proximate cause of her amorous observation is an encounter with an old co-worker (Allison Janney) negligently raising a red-state family in Phoenix, Arizona.

Princeton Diarist: Military Academy
January 29, 2007

A few weeks ago, Andrew Delbanco wrote eloquently in The New Republic about the strange silence of his university in this time of war ("War College," December 11, 2006). Most people don’t think of Columbia University as an island of stillness and detachment. In Morningside Heights, as in Israel, any four people usually have eight opinions and express them with articulate fury. Yet Columbia holds its peace about Iraq—and, according to Delbanco, shows few traces of its active participation in America’s other wars. Princeton University, where I work, does feel like an island, "rising," as F.

Inside Man
November 15, 2006

On Monday, Nancy Pelosi made an announcement that was buried amid the tumult over the Steny Hoyer-Jack Murtha battle for House majority leader. It was the appointment of Representative Michael Capuano, a Massachusetts Democrat, to be the head of Pelosi's "transition team" as she assumes the job of House speaker.

Safed Diarist
July 31, 2006

`Turn right after the central bus station," says Yaffa Smolensky, a new immigrant from Phoenix, Arizona, giving me phone directions to her home. "Then look for the staircase going up the hill--if it's still there." Yaffa and her husband, Moish have counted four katyushas whizzing over their home. In the first three days of the war, Safed was one of the hardest-hit towns in the Galilee, with several dozen katyushas fired, leaving two dead and many wounded. But the Smolenskys don't intend to seek refuge farther south, as many of the town's 27,000 residents have done.

Letting Go
July 10, 2006

At dawn, the sky over Baghdad turns red for a few minutes before sunlight breaks through the dust. Combat engineers have been clearing IEDs from the streets of Amiriyah since 3 a.m., but the 500 American soldiers about to descend on the western Baghdad neighborhood wait for the sun. Just as it rises, Apache helicopter gunships arrive overhead, and, in the blinding light above them, two F-15 attack aircraft begin circling in a wide arc. The radio chatter quickens as the Bradley Fighting Vehicles on the ground and the aviation units above check in with one another.

Border Wars
January 16, 2006

A battered yellow school bus rumbles up a bumpy dirt road on the outskirts of Sasabe, a small Mexican town just over the border from Arizona. At the top of the hill, the bus winds around brick and mud huts. Ragged children stand in the doorways, and emaciated dogs forage for scraps. The bus passes dented pickups and old cars without wheels and stops in a dusty clearing, where it disgorges about 40 teenagers dressed in blue jeans and carrying small knapsacks. One boy’s t-shirt features a picture of Che Guevara. A girl’s pale blue top says ADORABLE in sequined letters.

Border War
January 15, 2006

John B. Judis: What Arizona teaches us about immigration in America.

June 24, 2002

THE FACE OF EVIL: There are two things about the Daniel Pearl video that are unforgettably shocking. The first, of course, is the sight of his murder.

The End of Deference
November 06, 2000

The Warren Court and American Politics by Lucas A. Powe, Jr. (Harvard University Press, 600 pp., $35) The presidential campaign this year, the discussions of the Supreme Court have followed a familiar script. The Republican candidate has promised to appoint "strict constructionist" judges who will interpret the law rather than legislate from the bench.

The Hero Myth
May 24, 1999

David Grann profiles then U.S. Republican Presidential candidate, John McCain.