Features Archives

European Insecurity

12:00 AM, Nov 30, 2015
If Europe doesn’t get serious about protecting its borders, it’s going to head back to the days of barbed wire and concrete walls. That’s what President François Hollande warned when he went before a rare joint sitting of France’s National Assembly and Senate to argue for an extended three-month... Read more

The Long War Continues

12:00 AM, Nov 30, 2015
I n many ways, the reaction to the horrific attacks in Paris has been familiar. There were the expressions of solidarity: flowers at French embassies; social media avatars changed from silly selfies to photos of the French flag snapping defiantly in the wind; buildings across the Western world... Read more

Judging Roberts

12:00 AM, Nov 23, 2015
I s John Roberts a good judge? Ten years ago, President Bush appointed him chief justice of the United States. His anniversary, coinciding with the Supreme Court’s reconvening last month, naturally caused lawyers, scholars, and politicians to reflect upon his legacy on the Supreme Court.... Read more

So You’re Getting a Ph.D.

12:00 AM, Nov 16, 2015
E very few years in the Northeast, biologist John Cooley gets famous—because he’s the man who discovered the mating secrets of one of the insect world’s weirdest and most-publicized species: Magicicada septendecim , the 17-year cicada. True to their name, and unlike the bottle-green “annual”... Read more

Climate Politics

12:00 AM, Nov 16, 2015
A t the end of this month representatives of some 200 nations will gather in Paris for the opening of a United Nations-sponsored conclave to prevent the cataclysm that President Barack Obama, backed by the moral authority of Pope Francis, believes will befall the world if we do not slow the... Read more

She Botched It

12:00 AM, Nov 09, 2015
The mainstream media, liberal pundits, and even some conservative analysts gave Hillary Clinton high marks for her performance at the October 22 hearing of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, and they scored congressional Republicans negatively. The day was widely deemed a huge win for... Read more

Whatever Happened to High Culture?

12:00 AM, Nov 09, 2015
I see no reason why the decay of culture should not proceed much further, and why we may not even anticipate a period, of some duration, of which it will be possible to say that it will have no culture. Notes Toward the Definition of Culture —T. S. Eliot My friend Hilton Kramer,... Read more

Fix the Filibuster

12:00 AM, Nov 02, 2015
W e hear endlessly these days from the left and the right that our political system is “broken.” The left’s principal complaint is that it is too hard to pass their desired legislation. Liberals pine for a parliamentary system, where the majority party in the legislature controls public policy.... Read more

An Assault on Common Sense

12:00 AM, Nov 02, 2015
I n August 2012, two rapes by unknown assailants were reported at Harvard University, sending the school into crisis. Police cruisers idled around the campus; uniformed and plainclothes officers came out in force. Students were advised not to walk alone. A member of the undergraduate council... Read more

Victory Without Soldiers?

12:00 AM, Oct 26, 2015
W ith the war in Syria becoming ever more complex and murderous, it’s worthwhile to revisit a guiding principle of Barack Obama: The use of American military power is likely to do more harm than good in the Middle East, and even in the region’s violent struggles, soft power is important, if not... Read more

The Rising Migrant Tide

12:00 AM, Oct 26, 2015
Vienna T he Austrian Freedom party (FPÖ) has a bit of international notoriety, thanks to the rhetorical provocations that its late leader Jörg Haider used to issue about his country’s Nazi past. Before he died in 2008 while driving drunk between a gay bar he allegedly favored and his... Read more

A Failing Grade

12:00 AM, Oct 19, 2015
F or Republican presidential candidates planning to run against Hillary Clinton, the critique of her record these days often begins and ends with Benghazi and her email server. This is partly because these are so damning but partly because there’s a near-universal assumption that Clinton has no... Read more

Making It All Up

12:00 AM, Oct 19, 2015
O ne morning in August, the social science reporter for National Public Radio, a man named Shankar Vedantam, sounded a little shellshocked. You couldn’t blame him.  Like so many science writers in the popular press, he is charged with reporting provocative findings from the world of... Read more

Why Do We Not Save Christians?

12:00 AM, Oct 12, 2015
The Yom Kippur liturgy, just followed in synagogues around the world, repeats several times references to God as one who rescues captives. The central daily Jewish prayer as well refers to God who “supports the fallen, heals the sick, sets captives free.” And throughout Jewish history, the... Read more

Rather Shameful

12:00 AM, Oct 12, 2015
W hen CBS’s 60 Minutes Wednesday broadcast its lead story—reported by Dan Rather and produced by Mary Mapes—on the evening of September 8, 2004, it was given the anodyne title “For the Record,” as though it constituted little more than a disinterested historical footnote. In reality, the... Read more

The Kemp Era

12:00 AM, Oct 12, 2015
In 1970, the year after Jack Kemp had retired as quarterback of the Buffalo Bills, he was elected to the House from a district covering the Buffalo suburbs. He was 35. His chief concern was the suffering of his Rust Belt constituents, beset by plant closings and high unemployment. In 1973, he... Read more

The Cocked Fist Culture

12:00 AM, Oct 05, 2015
Seattle D on’t take this the wrong way, but are you offended? I know I haven’t said anything yet, but it’s never too early to be aggrieved. Studies I’ve invented, since we’re all entitled to our own facts these days, show that 4 out of 10 Americans are offended by something at all times.... Read more

Goodbye to the Shade Tree Mechanic

12:00 AM, Sep 28, 2015
T hough I am an Apple user—phone and laptop—and happy with both, the tepid response to the latest Apple dog and pony show left me feeling a bit of schadenfreude . The digital revolution is pushing other technologies into the grave, and like a lot of people, I mourn that—in the way, probably,... Read more

Our Iranian Interlocutor

12:00 AM, Sep 28, 2015
A ntisemitism has never been an easy subject for America’s foreign-policy establishment. Read through State Department telegrams and Central Intelligence Agency operational and intelligence cables on the Middle East and you will seldom find it discussed, even though Jew-hatred—not just... Read more

The Managers vs. the Managed

12:00 AM, Sep 21, 2015
W hat is happening in the world? When one looks at recent news, one can’t help feeling a sense of bewilderment. A storied Olympian announces his new gender on the cover of  Vanity Fair , the Supreme Court declares same-sex marriage a constitutional right, racial violence returns to St.... Read more

The Next Justices

12:00 AM, Sep 14, 2015
When Chief Justice John Roberts administers the oath of office to the next president, he will be flanked by three, and almost four, octogenarians: Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg (83), Antonin Scalia (80), Anthony Kennedy (80), and Stephen Breyer (77). The next president will likely have the... Read more

On the Frontline in Ukraine

12:00 AM, Sep 14, 2015
Mariupol, Ukraine It is late evening as we approach the second of three checkpoints on the road to the frontline city of Mariupol, in southeastern Ukraine. A vital port on the Azov Sea, Mariupol is heavily fortified by land and by sea. “I try not to drive these roads after dark,” says... Read more

Traitor to His Class

12:00 AM, Sep 07, 2015
Donald Trump is not a serious candidate. Donald Trump is not a serious man. The truth of these statements is supposed to be self-evident. But one begins to wonder, are they true? Trump’s popularity, while beyond doubt, is treated not as a legitimate expression of popular will but as a mass... Read more

What’s the Deal with Trump?

12:00 AM, Sep 07, 2015
  Dubuque, Iowa Like rap music and The Simpsons , the celebrity real-estate mogul Donald Trump, who burst onto the scene looking like a six-weeks’ fad in the 1980s, still has the look of a six-weeks’ fad 30-some-odd years later. Clearly the doubters’ assumptions need to be... Read more

Of Frats and Men

12:00 AM, Aug 24, 2015
Charlottesville, Va. Elizabeth Minneman, a tall strawberry-blonde fourth-year student at the University of Virginia, wearing a stylish elbow-sleeved black dress and black boots, took me on a tour one day last spring of her sorority house, Zeta Tau Alpha, just north of the campus. Zeta,... Read more

Civil Whites

12:00 AM, Aug 17, 2015
M aybe “Culture Belongs to Everyone,” as they say at New York City’s Shakespeare in the Park shows, but the works of Atlantic essayist and blogger Ta-Nehisi Coates appear to exist in another realm altogether. In the weeks since the publication of Between the World and Me , Coates’s letter to... Read more

Family Business

12:00 AM, Aug 17, 2015
T he dynasty project is not faring well. Two relatives of three of our most recent presidents have faced early woes in their succession plans, despite layers of aides, networks of backers going back generations, and extravagant levels of cash. On June 11, a front-page story in the Washington... Read more

The Guns of August 1990

12:00 AM, Aug 10, 2015
Just after midnight on August 2, 1990, an invasion force of approximately 100,000 Iraqi troops crossed into Kuwait. As mechanized and armored Republican Guard divisions breached the border and sped southward across the desert, Iraqi Special Forces commandos launched airborne and amphibious... Read more

Consistently Wrong

12:00 AM, Aug 10, 2015
President Obama is putting on the hard sell to market the nuclear deal he reached with Iran. On July 14, in announcing the agreement, he said: “This deal shows the real and meaningful change that American leadership and diplomacy can bring—change that makes our country and the world safer and... Read more

Crowded Field of Dreams

12:00 AM, Aug 03, 2015
Des Moines Some 20 minutes after an appearance at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa, that would dominate the news in the coming days, Donald Trump walked into the industrial-looking basement area designated for press conferences, surrounded by tough-looking men in slick business... Read more