The Global Zeitgeist Checklist: England
May 01, 1989
1. LONG TO REIGN OVER US Her. (No, not the Queen.) Ronald Reagan changed American politics; Margaret Thatcher changed British life. And she's still here, with no end in sight. But on her tenth anniversary, she is perceived as suffering from folie de grandeur, symbolized by her already immortal announcement of a recent family arrival with the words, "We are a grandmother." Her latest free market reforms of the medical and legal professions are seen as either courageous or reckless (take your pick) exercises in intellectual consistency: giving Tories a taste of her favorite medicine.
The Empire Breaks Up
February 20, 1989
Gorbachev’s nationality crisis.
The Afghan Ayatollah
November 21, 1988
Meet America's new fundamentalist allies.
The Shot Heard Round The World
July 18, 1988
"Here once the embattled farmers stood And fired the shot heard round the world." —Hymn sung at the completion of the Battle Monument, Concord, July 4, 1837 The claim in Emerson's line is expansive. Can it be true that the shot was heard round the world—when there were no satellites, no television, no radio, no telephone? Let us see. It then took from five to six weeks for news to cross the Atlantic.
May 30, 1988
Chernobyl – The workers here called it the Red forest, an ironic political joke and an accurate description. In the months after the explosion at Chernobyl hundreds of acres of pine trees surrounding the power plant reacted to the intense radiation that had showered the area by turning red and slowly dying. All of the trees have been removed now except for one surrounded by red flags. The Nazis to hang Soviet partisans during the war, so it is a shrine and scientists have tried to keep it alive. Nearby that tree workers in huge machines continue to cart away radioactive topsoil.
Who’s Killing Haiti?
February 01, 1988
Andrew Sullivan: A democracy expires.
The Barricades and Beyond
November 09, 1987
Octavio Paz on the Spanish Civil War.
Going to Extremes
September 07, 1987
TODAY CHILE IS careening, quietly and in a carefully planned way, toward the greatest political catastrophe of its history. Within the next year or so, its people will be permitted to decide by plebiscite whether or not to accept a president proposed to them by their ruling military junta.
July 22, 1987
Seoul There's no question that something wonderful happened here on June 29. South Korea's authoritarian government had been expected to concoct the narrowest set of concessions necessary to placate its opposition, stop the rioting, and avoid martial law.
March 09, 1987
The Palace File by Nguyen Tien Hung and Jerrold L. Schecter (Harper & Row, 542 pp., $22.95) The literature on Vietnam, so scant in the 1960s, when it was most needed, is now swelling toward flood tide. Much of what is being produced is either redundant or merely memoiristic; but one can now add The Palace File to the relatively short list of important books on this grim and complicated subject.