Current Affairs

Books and Body Armor

In an article that appeared on the front page of today’s New York Times, it was reported that officers of the 10th Mountain Division, an elite unit of the U.S. Army to be deployed this month to Afghanistan, will be issued an item one would not immediately expect: in addition

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The King Never Smiles

Yale University Press understands the forthcoming publication of Paul Handley’s book has given cause for concern. The book is dispassionate in tone and temperament, and has been thoroughly vetted both by leading scholars in the field and by the Yale University Press Faculty Committee. The author stands behind this book

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How Do You Like Them Apples?

“If anyone still harbors the fantasy that the business scandals of the past few years were the handiwork of just a few bad apples, they should read John C. Bogle’s Battle for the Soul of Capitalism,” writes Jeff Madrick in Sunday’s New York Times Book Review. Madrick’s review comes out

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Chairman of the Fed

Ben Bernanke will take over next week as Chairman of the Federal Reserve for Alan Greenspan, who is stepping down on Tuesday after more than 18 years on the job. “An extraordinary act to follow,” says Princeton Professor Alan Blinder, the Fed’s Vice Chairman under Greenspan in the mid-1990s, on

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The New Lion of Damascus

Syrian President Bashar al-Asad has recently become the subject of intense international scrutiny. The United Nations probe into the assassination of Lebanese Premier Rafik al-Hariri has stepped up its investigation of the Syrian regime in recent weeks, after the former Syrian vice president, in an interview on al-‘Arabiyya television, claimed

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Happy 300th Birthday, Ben Franklin!

This day marks the 300th anniversary of the birth of Benjamin Franklin. Franklin is perhaps the most remarkable figure in American history: the greatest statesman of his age, he played a pivotal role in the formation of the American republic. He was also a pioneering scientist, a bestselling author, the

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Spies Like Us

Back when spies were spies, they spied by the rules—with the exception perhaps of those who did their spying for totalitarian regimes. The Constitution of the Soviet Union, for example, guaranteed the privacy of correspondence, but the government still read people’s private mail. By the end of the twentieth century,

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Who am I? What am I doing here?

In an Op-Ed piece for the Washington Post, Harold Meyerson writes about “the pervasive insecurity that is inextricably part of today’s capitalism.” Invoking Richard Sennett’s new book The Culture of the New Capitalism, Myerson writes: “In the absence of a more structured work life, what Sennett sees is a more

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Off Center on Fresh Air

Listen to Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson discuss Off Center on Fresh Air with Terry Gross.

“A History Junkie’s Delight”

“This collection is a history junkie’s delight,” raves Publisher’s Weekly in its review of My Dear Mr. Stalin: The Complete Correspondence Between Franklin D. Roosevelt and Joseph V. Stalin. The book is the first publication that contains the more than three hundred hot-war messages exchanged between FDR and Stalin from

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