The Child That Books Built: A Life in Reading by Francis Spufford (Metropolitan Books, 224 pp., $23) Francis Spufford's memoir of a reading childhood opens with a fine description of his seven-year-old self submerging into text: My ears closed. ... Deep in the mysterious ductwork an adjustment had taken place with the least possible actual movement, an adjustment chiefly of pressure. There was an airlock in there. It sealed to the outside so that it could open to the inside.
For decades, Republicans have attacked Democrats' alliance with labor, slamming union "bosses" as corrupt and undemocratic. It's more than a touch ironic, then, that as the Bush administration tries to make political inroads with labor, it continues to favor unions whose recent record on these scores has been particularly problematic. The most notorious of these are the Teamsters, who appear to be currying favor with the administration in the hope that it will lift the Independent Review Board that has overseen the union since 1992 (see "Dirty Deal," April 1 & 8). But, fond as George W.
The death threats began shortly after September 11, 2001. Every few days, for about four months, Khaled Abou El Fadl would receive an angry, anonymous phone call at either his San Fernando Valley home or his UCLA office. In his e-mail inbox, he found ominous messages from obscured sources with warnings such as, "You know what we're capable of." At first, the pudgy, 39- year-old professor of Islamic jurisprudence dismissed the calls as harmless outbursts at a tense moment.
On october 25, one week after CIA Director George Tenet warned that the United States now faces a terrorist threat every bit as grave as it did the summer before the September 11 attacks, the Council on Foreign Relations issued the most sobering report to date: "America remains dangerously unprepared to prevent and respond to a catastrophic terrorist attack. In all likelihood, the next attack will result in even greater casualties and widespread disruption to American lives and the economy." The key to preventing that kind of calamity, most experts agree, is intelligence.
If you happen to believe the only good terrorist is a dead terrorist, you are quite possibly a member of the U.S. government. I realized this while visiting the home of a U.S. official in Pakistan one Sunday afternoon. Security guards are always stationed outside his residence.
Two types of people win the Nobel Peace Prize. The first are the more obvious: People who resolve international conflicts. In 1926, Aristide Briand and Gustav Stresemann won for the Locarno Pact, which supposedly guaranteed the borders of Germany, Belgium, and France. In 1929, America's Frank Kellogg won for the Kellogg-Briand Pact, in which the great powers renounced war. In 1973, Henry Kissinger and Vietnam's Le Duc Tho won for ending the Vietnam War.
The Bush administration is threatening to attack Iraq and has been doing so for many months now. But it is hard, even after the president's U.N. speech, to see the point of the threat. It might be intended to deter the Iraqis from developing weapons of mass destruction, but it seems more likely to speed up the work they are already doing--especially since George W. Bush has repeatedly insisted that his goal is not just to stop weapons development but also to overthrow the regime of Saddam Hussein.
If the Bush administration’s preparations for war with Saddam Hussein were proceeding appropriately, the president would probably be curling up right now with something called a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) for Iraq. An NIE is a document pooling all the information on a particular country that U.S. intelligence services have collected from overheard phone calls, satellite photos, decrypted e-mails, defectors, paid informants, foreign intelligence services, diplomat tipsters, newspaper articles, and official speeches.
The brazilian electorate has rebuffed Luiz Inacio "Lula" da Silva three times over the last 13 years. The last time, in 1998, the presidential candidate of the Partido dos Trabalhadores (P.T., The Workers' Party) lost by 22 percent. But this year may finally be his moment.
If the Bush administration's preparations for war with Saddam Hussein were proceeding appropriately, the president would probably be curling up right now with something called a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) for Iraq. An NIE is a document pooling all the information on a particular country that U.S. intelligence services have collected from overheard phone calls, satellite photos, decrypted e-mails, defectors, paid informants, foreign intelligence services, diplomat tipsters, newspaper articles, and official speeches.