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Ups and Downs: The Economic Crisis (pt. 3)

The current worldwide economic slump represents the return of the capitalist economy to the dark side of its pre-World War II history.

Obama’s First Foreign Policy Challenge: Create New International Standards to Resolve The Israeli-Palestinian Dispute

“For where no law is, there is no transgression” —Romans 4:1 President Obama’s most immediate foreign policy challenge is to determine how to deal with the recent Israeli action in Gaza, and with the broader conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians.

Pragmatism, Philosophical and Political

After eight years in which ideology reigned supreme, President Obama, it is often said, will bring a welcome pragmatism to Washington. It is worth asking just what this means, or is likely to mean.

Meet the New Boss

I wanted Barack Obama to be inaugurated today as much as anyone. I spent two months going door to door for him in New Orleans where this trailer park chick with a baby in her arms and a cig in her hand told me: “I’m a Christian, I ain’t gonna vote for no goddamned Muslim” then invited me into her double wide for a beer.

Docs In Sight

Radio: Live Transmission?

Beneath the hullabaloo that surrounds our “wired” contemporary life, replete with internet-ready communication devices and esoteric online communities, local and community media outlets have diminished, largely due to the bottom-line imposed by media conglomeration.

Dear Doppelganger

As someone who harbors a fascination for doubles and doppelgangers in art and fiction, where I had assumed such figures live, you might imagine my surprise when, in a weak moment of self-Googling, I discovered an entry for my name to which someone else was attached.

Just Another City on a Hill

Late last year, as my wife’s pregnant belly grew, I knew, surely, my kid would be unique. She would be born with an inherent sense of style and learn quickly how to conduct herself.

Planet of Torture

As a modern discipline, geography finds its precedents not in the halls of a university but in the stately parlors of early 19th century Europe. During this period, maps were highly prized commodities, state secrets of the highest order, and their possession was deeply bound to notions of conquest and geopolitical power.

Not Just Science Fiction

Recently, my brother—fully aware of my adolescent predilection for science fiction—asked me why futuristic tales seemed to be so universally set in some sort of dystopia rather than a utopian society.

Call Her “Sue,”

It's hard to imagine Susan Sontag as a young girl, as someone other than the daunting woman with the stern, brooding pose we’re familiar with from her dust-jacket photographs.

Betting on the American Dream

According to the latest census, there are nearly 18 million Italian Americans, or roughly 6% of the U.S. population. Yet even in areas of large concentration of Italian Americans such as New York City, their experience is rarely written about.

Neural Networking

In his new book, Embracing the Wide Sky, author Daniel Tammet attempts to correct persistent social ideas about autism, savants, and the creative mind.

Who Killed Patton?

History tells us that General George S. Patton, Jr. sustained life-threatening injuries in a December 1945 automobile accident in occupied Germany and died almost two weeks later of an embolism in a hospital bed.

Hodgman's World

John Hodgman is a liar. But not in the way that you think.

A Geek and Her Pilgrims

How does Sarah Vowell do it? Despite her deep-seated geek tendencies, the writer and radio contributor has parlayed her persona into a best-selling brand.


The Brooklyn Rail

FEB 2009

All Issues