George Milhous Bush
February 14, 2008
Last week the Bush administration reached its Nixonian climax, as CIA director Michael Hayden confirmed that the government had nearly drowned some people on purpose using techniques that American military men have long known as torture. Attorney General Michael Mukasey said the Department of Justice could not investigate these alleged crimes. White House spokesman Tony Fratto explained why the President may authorize them again. Vice President Dick Cheney declared them a good thing.
February 13, 2008
John B. Judis: The psychology behind America's immigration hysteria.
The Vital Centrist
February 13, 2008
Journals: 1952-2000 By Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. Edited by Andrew Schlesinger and Stephen Schlesinger (Penguin Press, 894 pp., $40) I. FEW HISTORIANS write personal journals that deserve publication, which is not surprising. How much interest can there be in the academic controversies and petty jealousies that dominate the lives of working historians, much less in the archives, the private libraries, and the lecture halls where they spend so much of their time?
Damn Dirty Hippies!
December 12, 2007
The key moment in the History Channel's "1968 with Tom Brokaw" comes when Brokaw interviews my onetime colleague, the historian Alan Brinkley. Brokaw prompts Brinkley, "The left went too far, excessive in its behavior on a daily basis?" Brinkley replies, obligingly, "Well, there were excesses on the left, needless to say--" and then: Wham! Down comes the editor’s digital X-Acto knife.
Black On Nixon
August 08, 2007
If like 99% of all reasonable people you dislike either Conrad Black or Richard Nixon, it's worth reading Anthony Holden's hilarious review in The Times Literary Supplement of Black's new Nixon biography (which comes in at only 1152 pages). Black loves Nixon (both men were victimized by The Establishment, after all) and Holden has fun doing some psychologizing. But it's Black's writing that comes in for the most abuse: His exasperating prose style throbs with such phrases as the "boosterish scatology" of Nixon's school and the "rubesville environment" of his home town.
Nixon, Nixon, Nixon
July 11, 2007
More Richard Nixon tapes were released yesterday, and, as usual, there are some goodies: In the document, written in December 1970 to H. R. Haldeman, a top aide, Nixon expresses both anger and pain that his aides have not been able to establish an image of him as a warm and caring person.
The End of the Journey
July 02, 2007
I. In late 1988, when I set out to write a life of Whittaker Chambers,the cold war had reached its ceremonial endgame: Mikhail Gorbachevacknowledging the autonomy of peoples long after they had liberatedthemselves, valiant students halting tank columns in TiananmenSquare. It was an impressive, if occasionally hollow, spectacle,and it inspired a chorus of sweeping pronouncements in the UnitedStates.
May 21, 2007
IT WOULD BE hard to find three families who have supported democratic principles around the world with more resolve than the Sulzbergers, the Grahams, and the Bancrofts. The first two scarcely need introduction. The Sulzbergers, of course, control The New York Times Company; Arthur Sulzberger Jr., the family’s current sovereign, is both chairman of the board and publisher of its most prized asset, The New York Times.
March 19, 2007
Although he remains the most eminent conservative in the United States, his face and voice recognized by millions, William F. Buckley, Jr. has all but retired from public life. At the apex of his influence, when Richard Nixon and, later, Ronald Reagan occupied the White House, Buckley received flattering notes on presidential letterhead and importuning phone calls from Cabinet members worried about their standing in the conservative movement.
Binge and Surge
January 22, 2007
IN IRAQ, SADLY, the troop surge planned by George W. Bush probably won't make much difference. After all, the United States has already surged—the military sent several thousand more troops to Baghdadlast summer—and the violence only got worse. Moreover, theintellectual architects of a new surge—retired General Jack Keane and the American Enterprise Institute's Frederick Kagan—say itwill require 30,000 more troops over 18 months to have a chance of success.