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January, 2006Back to Top
The Panic Over Iraq
by Norman Podhoretz
Like, I am sure, many other believers in what this country has been trying to do in the Middle East and particularly in Iraq, I have found my thoughts returning in the past year to something that Tom Paine, writing at an especially dark moment of the American Revolution, said about such times.

“Cast Me Not Off in Old Age”
by Leon Kass
Death and dying are once again subjects of intense public attention. During his confirmation hearings, Chief Justice John Roberts was grilled about his views on removing life-sustaining treatments from debilitated patients and warned by various liberal Senators not to interfere with the “right to die.” In California and Vermont, state legislators are working to legalize assisted suicide, while the Bush administration is trying to restrict the practice by prohibiting doctors from using federally-controlled narcotics to end their patients' lives.

How Not to Become a Jew
by Meir Soloveichik
From Augustine's Confessions to C.S. Lewis's Surprised by Joy, the conversion memoir is a time-honored genre. Several Jewish versions have appeared in the last few years, including David Klinghoffer's The Lord Will Gather Me In: My Journey to Jewish Orthodoxy and Stephen Dubner's Turbulent Souls: A Catholic Son's Return to His Jewish Family.1 But perhaps unique among recent entries in this category is Girl Meets God, by Lauren Winner, a 2002 book that describes not one conversion story but two.Born in the American South, Winner, now in her late twenties, is the daughter of a Jewish father and a Gentile mother.

Are Newspapers Doomed?
by Joseph Epstein
“Clearly,” said Adam to Eve as they departed the Garden of Eden, “we're living in an age of transition.” A joke, of course—but also not quite a joke, because when has the history of the world been anything other than one damned transition after another? Yet sometimes, in certain realms, transitions seem to stand out with utter distinctiveness, and this seems to be the case with the fortune of printed newspapers at the present moment.

Comrades
by Joshua Muravchik
The first time I contributed to this magazine was as a junior partner to Penn Kemble, a friend and longtime political activist who died last October at the age of sixty-four.

Sadness, Gladness--and Serotonin
by Algis Valiunas
These days, psychiatrists tend to treat mental illness as principally an affliction not of the mind but of the brain—a condition, that is, marked by a deficiency or excess of certain neurochemicals, which medication can restore to healthy levels.

The Major Minor Mozart
by Terry Teachout
Two-hundred-fifty years after his birth, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is in a class apart, perhaps not the most popular of all classical composers—that prize more likely goes to Beethoven or Bach—but without doubt the most admired.

The Republican War on Science by Chris Mooney
by Kevin Shapiro
The Republican War on Science by Chris Mooney Basic. 342 pp. $24.95 Ever since John Stuart Mill identified Britain's Conservatives as “the stupid party,” it has been fashionable for leftists to deride their political opponents as anti-intellectual, backward-thinking clods.

Are Men Necessary? by Maureen Dowd
by Kay Hymowitz
Are Men Necessary? When Sexes Collide by Maureen Dowd Putnam. 352 pp. $25.95 Some opinion columnists generate buzz because they make important arguments, others because they have fabulous red hair and shapely legs.

The Poems of Charles Reznikoff 1918-1975 edited by Seamus Cooney
by Hillel Halkin
<p><em>The Poems of Charles Reznikoff 1918-1975</em><br /> edited by Seamus Cooney<br /> <em>Black Sparrow. 400 pp. $45.00 (hardcover), $21.95 (paperback)</em></p> <p>Charles Reznikoff (1894-1976) described his own poetry, which has undergone something of a revival in recent years and is now available in this revised edition of a 1989 volume, as well as did anyone.

The Chosen by Jerome Karabel
by Jonathan Kay
The Chosen: The Hidden History of Admission and Exclusion at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton by Jerome Karabel Houghton Mifflin. 711 pp. $28.00 On November 21, 1925, Harvard and Yale played the 44th installment in their storied football rivalry.

New Art City by Jed Perl
by Michael J. Lewis
New Art City by Jed Perl Knopf. 641 pp. $35.00 In a healthy art world, the most precious asset of a critic is his eye; in an unhealthy one it is his probity.

President Reagan by Richard Reeves
by James Nuechterlein
President Reagan: The Triumph of Imagination by Richard Reeves Simon & Schuster. 592 pp. $28.00 Ambivalence is neither unusual nor objectionable in a biographical study—life, after all, is seldom straightforward.

Realpolitik
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Gary Rosen and I agree that the United States should pursue its national interests [“Bush and the Realists,” September 2005].

Jewish Numbers
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In his article “Jews and the Jewish Birthrate” [October 2005], Jack Wert-heimer raises a critical issue regarding the future of the Jewish people residing outside of Israel.

A Matter of State
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Joshua Muravchik’s excellent article about the debate on the Right about Iraq does not consider what may be a critical cause of the difficulties there: the gap between President Bush’s stated policy and the actions of U.S.

Post-Gaza
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Hillel Halkin is apparently under the illusion that the mass expulsion of Jews from their homes in further acts of “disengagement” is a sound alternative for Israel [“Israel After Disengagement,” October 2005].

February, 2006Back to Top
How Divided Are We?
by James Wilson
The 2004 election left our country deeply divided over whether our country is deeply divided. For some, America is indeed a polarized nation, perhaps more so today than at any time in living memory.

On the Origins of Life
by David Berlinski
For those who are studying aspects of the origin of life, the question no longer seems to be whether life could have originated by chemical processes involving non-biological components but, rather, what pathway might have been followed. —National Academy of Sciences (1996) _____________ It is 1828, a year that encompassed the death of Shaka, the Zulu king, the passage in the United States of the Tariff of Abominations, and the battle of Las Piedras in South America.

Spielberg’s “Munich”
by Gabriel Schoenfeld
Thirty-three years after the event, we now have a film by a great director memorializing the massacre of eleven Israeli athletes by Palestinian terrorists at the 1972 Olympics in Munich, Germany.

International Law v. United States
by Andrew McCarthy
On the American legal landscape, where all roads lead to Roe v. Wade, the death last summer of Chief Justice William Rehnquist gave rise to a fever of handicapping.

What James Agee Achieved
by Algis Valiunas
Some failures make a bigger impression than most triumphs. The failures that marked the career of James Agee (1909-1955) assured him a legendary status in his own lifetime that he could never have attained had he been merely a good writer—or perhaps even had he been merely a great one.

Israel’s Media Problem
by Hillel Halkin
There was a time in Israel when I occasionally watched the news on BBC and CNN. Although they did a mediocre job of presenting it, they covered the globe more fully than did the Israeli television channels. Eventually, though, I got so angry that I stopped.

The Beatles Now
by Terry Teachout
The Beatles released Let It Be, the last of their thirteen albums, 36 years ago. 1 Today there is no one musical group or soloist capable of commanding the attention paid to John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr between 1964, when they first appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show, and 1970, when McCartney announced that the group was disbanding.

The Great War for Civilisation by Robert Fisk
by Efraim Karsh
The Great War for Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle East by Robert Fisk Knopf. 1,107 pp. $40.00 No foreign journalist is more closely identified with the Middle East than the British writer Robert Fisk.

The Cold War by John Lewis Gaddis
by Richard Pipes
The Cold War: A New History by John Lewis Gaddis Penguin. 352 pp. $27.95 The conflict known since 1945 as the “cold war” was one of those titanic struggles between two great powers striving for hegemony that date back to the Greek-Persian confrontation in the 5th century B.C.E.

Dean and Me by Jerry Lewis and James Kaplan
by Dan Seligman
Dean and Me (A Love Story) by Jerry Lewis and James Kaplan Doubleday. 340 pp. $26.95 An article in the New York Times last year posited that civilized people no longer tell jokes.

The Neoconservative Revolution by Murray Friedman
by Wilfred McClay
The Neoconservative Revolution: Jewish Intellectuals and the Shaping of Public Policy by Murray Friedman Cambridge. 312 pp. $29.00 One of the many causes championed by the late Murray Friedman, whose death last May brought to a close a long and fruitful career, was the recovery of a genuine, if largely forgotten, strain of conservatism in the American Jewish past.

A Writer at War edited by Antony Beevor and Luba Vinogradova
by David Pryce-Jones
A Writer at War: Vasily Grossman with the Red Army, 1941-1945 edited by Antony Beevor and Luba Vinogradova Pantheon. 400 pp. $27.50 There are writers who seem consumed by the times they live in, and Vasily Grossman, the great Russian novelist and war correspondent, was one of them.

Genocide?
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Guenter Lewy’s article is an accurate reflection of the Turkish government’s nine-decade-long campaign to deny the Armenian genocide [“The First Genocide of the 20th Century?,” December 2005].

America Abroad
by Our Readers
To the Editor: The notion of a Bush Doctrine, much celebrated by Commentary’s symposiasts, demands a certain oblivion as to its historical origins [“Defending and Advancing Freedom,” November 2005].

Athens & Jerusalem
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In an era in which the classics of Western literature are sometimes dismissed as the outmoded works of dead white males, Hillel Halkin’s remarkable essay, “Sailing to Ithaca” [November 2005], shows how the Bible and The Odyssey can enrich our thinking about the most complex issues in life.

The Blacklist
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Arguments about the Hollywood blacklist inevitably return to certain crucial facts, so obviously it is important to get those facts right, however pedantic it might seem to point them out.

March, 2006Back to Top
Has the “New York Times” Violated the Espionage Act?
by Gabriel Schoenfeld
“Bush Lets U.S. Spy on Callers Without Courts.” Thus ran the headline of a front-page news story whose repercussions have roiled American politics ever since its publication last December 16 in the New York Times.

Art for Sale
by Michael J. Lewis
If the health of an institution can be gauged by its building activity, then no institution is healthier today than the American museum.

What Is a Bush Republican?
by Daniel Casse
In 1976, when he first ran for the Republican presidential nomination against Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan was generally seen as the leader of a fringe movement, audaciously challenging the moderate, business-focused establishment of the party.

The Last of the (Hebrew) Mohicans
by Michael Weingrad
Over a year ago I received a postcard informing me that the periodical Hadoar was ceasing publication. “We have been unsuccessful in our attempts to raise enough money .

Britain’s Neoconservative Moment
by Daniel Johnson
These are dark days for Britain's Tories. After three successive election defeats and its longest period out of office since the mid-19th century, the oldest political party in the world has been forced to rethink its entire raison d'être.

Remembrance of Cultural Revolutions Past
by Herbert Gold
Direct from the People's Republic of China she came to San Francisco with the glad tidings! In the early 1970's, we were invited to gather at the apartment of our friends, the Natters, to hear a woman named Myrtle Ferguson describe her experience at the center of the Cultural Revolution, about which so many lies were being told in the imperialist bourgeois media. 1 Myrtle taught English in a Beijing school; like millions of her fellow strugglers, she wore a monochrome uniform; her hair, brutally cropped, fell over her forehead in a slab no one would dare call bangs.

Satchmo and the Scholars
by Terry Teachout
The trumpeter Louis Armstrong was universally recognized in his own lifetime as the key figure in the history of jazz.

Manliness by Harvey C. Mansfield; Self-Made Man by Norah Vincent
by Kay Hymowitz
Manliness by Harvey C. Mansfield Yale. 304 pp. $27.50 Self-Made Man: One Woman's Journey Into Manhood and Back Again by Norah Vincent Viking. 290 pp.

The Case for Goliath by Michael Mandelbaum
by Gary Rosen
The Case for Goliath: How America Acts as the World's Government in the 21st Century by Michael Mandelbaum Public Affairs. 283 pp.

Winning the Race by John McWhorter
by James Nuechterlein
Winning the Race: Beyond the Crisis in Black America by John McWhorter Gotham. 434 pp. $27.50 It is noteworthy that the subject of race, a matter of obvious intrinsic importance, has in recent years been relegated to the margins of American political discourse.

The World to Come by Dara Horn
by Hillel Halkin
The World to Come by Dara Horn Norton. 320 pp. $24.95 One might not expect a first novel by a twenty-five-year-old graduate student at Harvard to come out in paperback a year after publication, as Dara Horn's In the Image did in 2003, complete with a “Reading Group Guide” that featured an interview with the author and a series of “Discussion Questions.” Nor might one expect the author to say of her novel in that interview, “I wanted to create a different style for American Jewish literature.” Such a level of ambition, and of having one's ambitions taken so seriously, is rare for someone so young, even in an American literary culture in which youth opens many doors. The “different style” that Dara Horn wished to create in In the Image was defined in the interview as “connected to the Jewish literary tradition of constant reference to an ancient text,” and a list under “Suggested Further Reading” named some of the texts the novel draws on.

The Powers of War and Peace by John Yoo
by Andrew McCarthy
Presidential Primary The Powers of War and Peace: The Constitution and Foreign Affairs After 9/11 by John Yoo University of Chicago.

Intelligence & Iraq
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Norman Podhoretz writes as though the best argument advanced by critics of the Bush administration is that the President knowingly uttered false statements in making the case for war [“Who Is Lying About Iraq?,” December 2005].

"Good Jews"
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I would like to respond to Emanuele Ottolenghi’s article, “Europe’s ‘Good Jews’” [December 2005]. Mr. Ottolenghi and I are colleagues at the Middle East Center at St.

New Orleans
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Wilfred M. McClay is certainly right to urge the nation to embrace a “sober and disinterested realism” as it considers how best to rebuild the drowned city of New Orleans [“The Storm Over Katrina,” December 2005].

Brain Gain?
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In his extended review of my book, The Singularity Is Near, Kevin Shapiro repeats objections to my thesis that I articulated and responded to in the book itself [“This Is Your Brain on Nanobots,” December 2005].

Joan Didion
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Let me make sure I understand Sam Schulman’s point in his review of Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking [December 2005].


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April, 2006Back to Top
How Corrupt Is the United Nations?
by Claudia Rosett
Recent years have brought a cascade of scandals at the United Nations, of which the wholesale corruption of the Oil-for-Food relief program in Iraq has been only the most visible.

Islam’s Imperial Dreams
by Efraim Karsh
When satirical depictions of the prophet Muhammad in a Danish newspaper sparked a worldwide wave of Muslim violence early this year, observers naturally focused on the wanton destruction of Western embassies, businesses, and other institutions.

The Friedan Mystique
by Dan Seligman
Betty Friedan was a contentious and controversial figure during her forty-odd years onstage in the feminism wars, but the newspaper obituaries upon her death in February were remarkably uniform.

Why Jews Laugh at Themselves
by Hillel Halkin
A year or two ago I was told a joke by a friend who had heard it from a friend of his, an Orthodox Jew, who in turn had heard it from an ultra-Orthodox Jew.

Black and Blue at Yale--A Memoir
by Phillip Richards
In the fall of 1968, my parents drove me from Cleveland to New Haven on a trip that took nearly twenty hours.

Lessons of the Cloning Scandal
by Kevin Shapiro
By now most well-informed people know the sorry tale of Hwang Woo Suk, the South Korean veterinarian who rose to scientific superstardom as a pioneer of cloning—and who fell just as quickly when it came to light that his “breakthroughs” had mostly been fabricated, and rather sloppily at that.

Mister Waller’s Regrets
by Terry Teachout
Thomas Wright Waller, born in Harlem in 1904 and subsequently known to all the world as “Fats,” is one of the few great jazz musicians to have been widely popular with the public at large.

America at the Crossroads by Francis Fukuyama
by Aaron Friedberg
America at the Crossroads: Democracy, Power, and the Neoconservative Legacy by Francis Fukuyama Yale. 240 pp. $25.00 In 1989 Francis Fukuyama wrote an article, “The End of History?,” that made him famous.

American Vertigo by Bernard-Henri Lévy
by Brian Anderson
American Vertigo: Traveling America in the Footsteps of Tocqueville by Bernard-Henri Lévy Random House. 308 pp. $24.95 Back in 2004, with an eye to the growing rift between the United States and France in the aftermath of the war in Iraq, the Atlantic Monthly commissioned the French philosopher, journalist, and filmmaker Bernard-Henri Lévy to spend a year traveling America and writing up his impressions.

My Life Among the Deathworks by Philip Rieff
by Michael J. Lewis
My Life Among the Deathworks: Illustrations of the Aesthetics of Authority by Philip Rieff University of Virginia Press. 234 pp. $34.95 Forty years ago, in The Triumph of the Therapeutic, the sociologist Philip Rieff described the predicament of modern culture in terms so comprehensive, spacious, and authoritative that they were swiftly detached from their author to become part of the general understanding of things.

Kabbalah by Joseph Dan
by Benjamin Balint
Kabbalah: A Very Short Introduction by Joseph Dan Oxford. 130 pp. $18.95 In the 2005 movie Bee Season, Richard Gere plays a professor of kabbalah who lectures on the mystical repair of the world and employs an obscure technique of meditation on Hebrew letters to train his daughter for spelling competitions.

Spying on the Bomb by Jeffrey T. Richelson
by Patrick Garrity
Spying on the Bomb: American Nuclear Intelligence from Nazi Germany to Iran and North Korea by Jeffrey T. Richelson Norton. 608 pp.

Iraq
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Norman Podhoretz’s “The Panic Over Iraq” [January] strikes me as a curious piece. He calls for patience in the face of daily reports of more and more American and Iraqi casualties—three years after President George W.

Old Age
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Eric Cohen and Leon R. Kass inveigh against two proposed solutions to the growing societal problem of debility in old age; we might call them the technical fix and the autonomy fix [“Cast Me Not Off in Old Age,” January].

Who Is a Jew?
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I appreciate Meir Soloveichik’s sensitive discussion of my memoir, Girl Meets God, but I am slightly puzzled by his professed puzzlement about whether I—as a convert to Judaism who was subsequently baptized—remain halakhically Jewish [“How Not to Become a Jew,” January].

Among the YPSL's
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Having been a member of Social Democrats USA in the late 1980’s, and having also counted Penn Kemble as a friend, I was moved by Joshua Muravchik’s memorial to him [“Comrades,” January].

Depression
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I am honored that my work has been given an extended critical essay by Algis Valiunas, but I want to correct one point and respond to another [“Sadness, Gladness—and Serotonin,” January].


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May, 2006Back to Top
Three Reasons Not to Bomb Iran—Yet
by Edward Luttwak
I know of no reputable expert in the United States or in Europe who trusts the constantly repeated promise of Iran's rulers that their nuclear program will be entirely peaceful and is meant only to produce electricity.

Europe’s Two Culture Wars
by George Weigel
At the height of the morning commute on March 11, 2004, ten bombs exploded in and around four train stations in Madrid.

What Israel Did (and Did Not) Vote For
by Hillel Halkin
Israel's political system has a long history of mergers and fissures, with smaller parties joining to form larger ones and splitting again in new ways.

Lee Harvey Oswald and the Liberal Crack-Up
by James Piereson
Liberalism entered the 1960's as the vital force in American politics, riding a wave of accomplishment running from the Progressive era through the New Deal and beyond.

The Escape Artist
by Bette Howland
During these last decades the interest in professional fasting has markedly diminished. . . . We live in a different world now. —Franz Kafka, “A Hunger Artist” _____________   A photograph of Harry Houdini in middle age.

Oprah, Elie Wiesel, and My Fellow Christians
by Christopher Leighton
When Oprah speaks, America listens. When Oprah points, America turns and looks. Perhaps most stunningly, Oprah can wave a book in front of us, and some of us may even put down our television remotes and plunge into its pages. Her recent selection of Night, Elie Wiesel's classic memoir of the Holocaust, as this month's book-club feature on the Oprah Winfrey Show promises to capture the attention of a huge audience that still knows little or nothing of that shattering and defining catastrophe of our time.

David Smith’s Vision
by Steven Munson
David Smith (1906-1965) is generally considered one of America's greatest sculptors; he was also one of the most influential American artists of the 20th century.

Saving Lipatti
by Terry Teachout
Of all the well-known classical musicians active in the first half of the 20th century, which one profited the most from the invention of sound recording? Virtually every one made at least a few records, and most recorded extensively and representatively.

The Moral Imagination by Gertrude Himmelfarb
by Michael J. Lewis
The Moral Imagination by Gertrude Himmelfarb Ivan R. Dee. 260 pp. $26.00 When Gertrude Himmelfarb published Lord Acton: A Study of Conscience and Politics in 1952, Victorian culture still seemed a chamber of horrors—aesthetic, intellectual, and otherwise.

My Battle of Algiers by Ted Morgan
by Roger Kaplan
My Battle of Algiers by Ted Morgan Collins. 304 pp. $24.95 A well-known journalist and biographer, Ted Morgan, born Sanche de Gramont, was as a young man a reluctant conscript in France's last colonial war.

Reading Leo Strauss by Steven B. Smith
by Clifford Orwin
Reading Leo Strauss: Politics, Philosophy, Judaism by Steven B. Smith Chicago. 256 pp. $32.50 Leo Strauss (1899-1973) led a quiet life. A Jewish refugee from Hitler's Germany, he taught political philosophy first at the New School for Social Research in New York City and then, until his retirement, at the University of Chicago.

Thicker than Oil by Rachel Bronson
by Jacob Heilbrunn
Thicker than Oil: America's Uneasy Partnership with Saudi Arabia by Rachel Bronson Oxford. 368 pp. $28.00 When President Bush declared in his recent State of the Union address that the U.S.

The Professors by David Horowitz
by Jonathan Kay
The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America by David Horowitz Regnery. 450 pp. $18.45 Like a number of other figures in the conservative world, David Horowitz once occupied a point on the left side of the political spectrum—in his case, a point near the leftmost edge.

Edgar Allan Poe & the Juke-Box by Elizabeth Bishop
by Sam Munson
Edgar Allan Poe & the Juke-Box by Elizabeth Bishop Farrar, Straus & Giroux. 367 pp. $30.00 Elizabeth Bishop's complete published poetry fills one moderate volume.

Polarized America?
by Our Readers
To the Editor: James Q. Wilson disputes my assertion (along with Samuel Abrams and Jeremy Pope) in Culture War? The Myth of a Polarized America (2005) that the polarization evident in the nation’s political class has only a faint reflection in the public at large [“How Divided Are We?,” February].

"Munich"
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Gabriel Schoenfeld’s remarkably acerbic critique of Steven Spielberg’s Munich [February 2006] is replete with impetuous and irrational conclusions at best, and slanderous accusations at worst.

The Origins of Life
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In a letter to Joseph Hooker in 1863, Charles Darwin wrote: “It is mere rubbish, thinking of the origin of life; one might as well think of the origin of matter.” Although we physicists now routinely discuss the latter topic, Darwin’s pessimism 150 years ago is perhaps understandable, coming as it did before most of the edifice of modern physics was built, and before more than a century of growing knowledge about chemistry and biology would bring us closer to the brink of understanding life’s origins.


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June, 2006Back to Top
The Real Iraq
by Amir Taheri
Spending time in the United States after a tour of Iraq can be a disorienting experience these days. Within hours of arriving here, as I can attest from a recent visit, one is confronted with an image of Iraq that is unrecognizable.

America and the America-Haters
by Daniel Johnson
Since the United States was attacked five years ago, and despite a very brief interlude of sympathy for the lives lost on September 11, anti-Americanism has increased sharply around the world.

Whatever Happened to the Jewish People
by Jack Wertheimer
In memory of Charles S. Liebman Hosting Mikhail Gorbachev at their first summit in Washington, D.C. in December 1987, Ronald Reagan regaled his guest with a description of a mass rally held in the city just two days earlier to demand unrestricted emigration rights for Soviet Jews.

No Good Deed
by Joseph Epstein
Siegel prides himself on taking people as they are, each by himself and one at a time. He's not about to play group favorites—blacks, gays, the handicapped, even Jews.

Why Have Children?
by Eric Cohen
Over the past few years, a new demographic crisis has emerged as a subject of intense debate: the most affluent, most advanced, freest societies of the world are not having enough children to sustain themselves.

Refighting the War
by Victor Davis Hanson
Ten years ago, Michael R. Gordon of the New York Times and the retired General Bernard Trainor wrote a critically acclaimed revisionist history of the first Gulf war.

Decline, Italian-Style
by Mauro Lucentini
The national elections in Italy this past April ended in an even split. By the narrowest margin in Italian history (.06 percent), an aggregate of leftist parties fronted by Romano Prodi, a former prime minister, edged out the center-Right coalition led by Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia party—a coalition that, in slightly different incarnations, had governed Italy for seven months in 1994-95 and then without interruption for the past five years.

Stravinsky & Co.
by Terry Teachout
At first glance, Igor Stravinsky appears to be the ideal subject for a biographer. He led an eventful life, traveled widely, knew many celebrities and was one himself, published a memoir and several other books, and left behind an extensive correspondence.

In Our Hands by Charles Murray
by Leslie Lenkowsky
In Our Hands: A Plan to Replace the Welfare State by Charles Murray AEI. 214 pp. $20.00 Charles Murray first came to wide public attention in 1984 with his controversial book, Losing Ground.

Reckless Rites by Elliot Horowitz
by Hillel Halkin
Reckless Rites: Purim and the Legacy of Jewish Violence by Elliot Horowitz Princeton. 356 pp. $35.00 To announce in a book's subtitle that its topic is “the legacy of Jewish violence” is to promise a great deal.

Überpower by Joseph Joffe
by Bret Stephens
Überpower: The Imperial Temptation of America by Josef Joffe W.W. Norton. 256 pp. $24.95 Josef Joffe occupies a rare perch among Europe's public intellectuals.

Politics Lost by Joe Klein
by Dan Seligman
Politics Lost: How American Democracy was Trivialized By People Who Think You're Stupid by Joe Klein Doubleday. 256 pp. $23.95 Joe Klein has been a high-visibility presence on the politico-media landscape for more than a quarter-century, but I have always had trouble getting him in focus.

The White Man’s Burden by William Easterly
by Joshua Kurlantzick
The White Man's Burden: Why the West's Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good by William Easterly Penguin Press.

The Force of Reason by Oriana Fallaci
by David Pryce-Jones
The Force of Reason by Oriana Fallaci Rizzoli. 290 pp. $19.95 Oriana fallaci is due to appear soon in an Italian court to answer a charge that her latest book vilifies Islam.

The Espionage Act and the "New York Times"
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Gabriel Schoenfeld illuminates one horn of the dilemma posed by unauthorized disclosures of classified information [“Has the New York Times Violated the Espionage Act?,” March].

Blair's Foreign Policy
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In “Britain’s Neoconservative Moment” [March], Daniel Johnson’s comments about my book, Anti-Totalitarianism: The Left-Wing Case for a Neoconservative Foreign Policy, are so generous that I feel churlish in taking issue with the main point of his article.

The Museum World
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In his article, “Art for Sale” [March], Michael J. Lewis makes important points about some of the problems plaguing today’s art museums, like the willingness to “deaccession” or sell off works to raise funds, and the rush to expand regardless of the consequences.

International Law
by Our Readers
To the Editor: At the heart of Andrew C. McCarthy’s “International Law v. United States” [February] is a series of dichotomies: Americans, he suggests, can assert the right to self-determination through representative government or follow transnational elites who impose legal duties from abroad.

After the Summer of Love
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Herbert Gold’s “Remembrance of Cultural Revolutions Past” [March] overwhelmed me with memories. He certainly brought to life the sounds, smells, styles, craziness, and vacuity of the San Francisco that my husband and I knew in the early 1970’s.

Job Talk
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In his fair-minded and insightful (and therefore personally gratifying) review of my book The Case for Goliath: How America Acts as the World’s Government in the 21st Century [March], Gary Rosen writes that I “failed to win a big job in the Clinton administration in 1992.” For the record, in January 1993, I was offered the position of director of policy planning at the Department of State, which I declined. Michael Mandelbaum Paul H.


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July, 2006Back to Top
Of Pills and Profits: In Defense of Big Pharma
by Peter Huber
The more our health depends on their little pills, the more we seem to hate big drug companies. In The Constant Gardener (2000), John le Carré assigns to the pharmaceutical industry the role played by the KGB in his earlier novels.

Why Israel Is Free to Set Its Own Borders
by Michael Krauss
During this spring's election campaign in Israel, Ehud Olmert was candid about his Kadima party's plan for disengagement from the West Bank.

The Realities of Immigration
by Linda Chavez
What to do about immigration—both legal and illegal—has become one of the most controversial public-policy debates in recent memory. But why it has occurred at this particular moment is something of a mystery.

Searching for the House of David
by Hillel Halkin
Although modern archeology is a reasonably rigorous scientific discipline, it is subject to non-scientific constraints. In the first place, it is expensive.

The Merchant of Mombasa
by Hesh Kestin
In converting Jews to Christians, you raise the price of pork. —William Shakespeare Between the Hindu crematorium and the infectious-diseases hospital, Sergeants Mess was partially hidden by a stand of coconut palms and a large sign that seemed to have been imported directly from Trafalgar Square: Loose lips sink ships and will result in severe disciplinary action. By order: Braithwaite, CO, East Africa Command ( Kilindini) Just beneath was a smaller version in Swahili, which I had been cramming since first we got word of J Group's transfer from Bletchley Park, home of His Majesty's Inter-Branch Cipher Command.

Friendship Among the Intellectuals
by Joseph Epstein
“It is painful to consider,” wrote Samuel Johnson about friendship, “that there is no human possession of which the duration is less certain.” Too true.

Candidate Giuliani
by Fred Siegel
Will Rudolph Giuliani be a heavyweight presidential contender in 2008? Some of his enemies evidently think so. They have already begun to raise the alarm. One early entry is Giuliani Time, a newly released documentary film that aims to land a preemptive blow.

Tales of Islam
by Algis Valiunas
The novel, it used to be said, brings the news about our social and moral condition. In the West, many novelists have taken to abdicating that role in favor of political fantasy, epistemological sport, or the fingering of psychosexual wounds.

What Clement Greenberg Knew
by Terry Teachout
Among his various distinctions, Clement Greenberg (1909-1994) is one of the few art critics to have been portrayed in a movie.

Londonistan by Melanie Phillips
by Daniel Johnson
Londonistan by Melanie Phillips Encounter. 213 pp. $25.95 When Americans express anger or frustration at Europe’s response to the global threat of Islamism, they generally make an exception for one country: Great Britain.

The Mind Has Mountains by Paul R. McHugh
by Kay Hymowitz
The Mind has Mountains: Reflections on Society and Psychiatry by Paul R. McHugh Johns Hopkins. 272 pp. $25.00 Psychiatry has long been the sick man of medicine—a science without a laboratory, a discipline without a method, a field without boundaries.

Preemption by Alan M. Dershowitz
by Andrew McCarthy
Preemption: A Knife that Cuts Both Ways by Alan M. Dershowitz Norton. 348 pp. $24.95 In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, American officials were like a reeling prizefighter, fending off a barrage of blows with little thought of the rounds ahead.

The Victory of Reason by Rodney Stark
by Mark Henrie
The Victory of Reason: How Christianity Led to Freedom, Capitalism, and Western Success by Rodney Stark Random House. 304 pp. $25.95 With a nod to Bernard Lewis's masterful study of Islam, What Went Wrong?, one might be tempted to re-title Rodney Stark's The Victory of Reason as What Went Right? Why is it that, over the past 500 years, the civilization that came out of Western Europe has been able to leap ahead of every competitor, at length bringing nearly the whole world under its sway and inducing the imitation of its characteristic institutions everywhere? Why exactly are we “on top”—or, rather, “ahead”—of everyone else? The celebratory narrative of Western modernity is, of course, part of our mental furniture.

Can She Be Stopped? by John Podhoretz
by Jonathan Kay
Can She Be Stopped? Hillary Clinton Will Be the Next President of the United States Unless . . . by John Podhoretz Crown.

The UN Fix
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Claudia Rosett is deeply opposed to the United Nations, as she makes crystal clear in “How Corrupt Is the United Nations?” [April].

Dealing with Iran
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In his article, “Three Reasons Not to Bomb Iran—Yet” [May], Edward N. Luttwak looks at Iran not merely through the prism of the current crisis but also from a long-term perspective.

Yale 1968
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Phillip M. Richards’s thoughtful recollections of his time at Yale describe clashing black and white cultures amid decaying academic standards and social values [“Black and Blue at Yale—A Memoir,” April].


by



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September, 2006Back to Top
Is the Bush Doctrine Dead?
by Norman Podhoretz
In recent months, we have been bombarded with reports of the death of the Bush Doctrine. Of course, there have been many such reports since the doctrine was first promulgated at the start of what I persist in calling World War IV (the cold war being World War III).

As Goes Harvard. . .
by Donald Kagan
Harvard University has been much in the public eye in recent years, especially during the brief but eventful presidency (2001-2006) of Lawrence Summers.

Rallying the Democrats
by James Nuechterlein
The Democrats have every reason to look forward confidently to November's off-year elections. The polls look good, electoral history is overwhelmingly on their side, and their opponents have succumbed to the internal grumbling and murmurs of disaffection to which majority parties in trouble are prone.

Global Warming: Apocalypse Now?
by Kevin Shapiro
In 1906 the Swedish chemist Svante Arrhenius published a popular book speculating on the origins of the earth and of life upon it.

Either/Or—A Memoir
by Hillel Halkin
If we can't stay eternally youthful for ourselves—“for ever panting and for ever young,” as Keats put it in his “Ode on a Grecian Urn”—we can at least stay that way for one another by not going to reunions.

Why Michelangelo Matters
by Theodore Rabb
A recent exhibition in London, Michelangelo Drawings: Closer to the Master, enjoyed the largest advance sale the British Museum had ever known.

Our Gottschalk
by Terry Teachout
Who was the first important American classical composer? It depends on how you define “first,” “important,” and “classical.” Aaron Copland, born in 1900, was the first composer to produce a large body of recognizably American-sounding concert music that continues to be performed regularly—unless you count as a classical composer George Gershwin, born in 1898, whose Rhapsody in Blue was the first piece by an American to enter the standard repertoire. Charles Ives, born in 1874, and Charles Griffes, born in 1884, can both claim chronological precedence over Copland and Gershwin, but the proto-modern music Ives wrote prior to World War I has never been popular except among critics and a handful of performers, while Griffes, easily the most gifted American composer of his generation, died too young to establish himself as a major figure in American music.

The Foreigner’s Gift by Fouad Ajami
by Victor Davis Hanson
The Foreigner's Gift: The Americans, the Arabs, and the Iraqis in Iraq by Fouad Ajami Free Press. 400 pp. $26.00 The last year or so has seen several insider histories of the American experience in Iraq.

Public Editor #1 by Daniel Okrent
by Dan Seligman
Public Editor #1 by Daniel Okrent Public Affairs. 291 pp. $22.00 In an ideal world, the job would have been mine. Alas, it was not to be.

Elements of Style by Wendy Wasserstein
by Carol Iannone
Elements of Style by Wendy Wasserstein Knopf. 307 pp. $23.95 When Wendy Wasserstein died last January at the age of fifty-five, the obituary pages eulogized her as the “voice” of her feminist generation.

China Shakes the World by James Kynge; China’s Trapped Transition by Minxin Pei
by Gordon G. Chang
China Shakes the World: A Titan's Rise and Troubled Future—And the Challenge for America by James Kynge Houghton Mifflin. 217 pp. $25.00 China's Trapped Transition: The Limits of Developmental Autocracy by Minxin Pei Harvard.

Crunchy Cons by Rod Dreher
by Jonathan Kay
Crunchy Cons: How Birkenstocked Burkeans, gun-loving organic gardeners, evangelical free-range farmers, hip homeschooling mamas, right-wing nature lovers, and their diverse tribe of countercultural conservatives plan to save America (or at least the Republican party) by Rod Dreher Crown.

Timothy Leary: A Biography by Robert Greenfield
by Algis Valiunas
Timothy Leary: A Biography by Robert Greenfield Harcourt. 689 pp. $28.00 The Day-Glo finery of the 1960's, as enumerated by Tom Wolfe in The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test (1968), included “jesuschrist strung-out hair, Indian beads, Indian headbands, donkey beads, temple bells, amulets, mandalas, god's-eyes, fluorescent vests, unicorn horns, Errol Flynn dueling shirts.” However grimy they may have been, these costumes, as Wolfe well knew, spoke of transcendent longings.

Continental Woes
by Our Readers
To the Editor: George Weigel’s article, “Europe’s Two Culture Wars” [May], contains many perceptive reflections on the political and social challenges facing Europe, but like so many assessments of Europe from the conservative camp, its excesses limit its contribution.

America and the World
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Daniel Johnson begins his discussion of anti-Americanism by heaping well-deserved praise on Andrew Kohut and Bruce Stokes’s America Against the World [“America and the America-Haters,” June].

Chritians and the Holocaust
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Unlike Christopher M. Leighton, I was not “vexed with doubts” about Oprah Winfrey’s selection of Elie Wiesel’s Holocaust memoir, Night, for her book club [“Oprah, Elie Wiesel, and My Fellow Christians,” May].

October, 2006Back to Top
Israel’s New Reality
by Hillel Halkin
On August 12, two days before the ceasefire in Lebanon took hold, Ari Shavit, a prominent Israeli journalist and contributor to the New Yorker, published an opinion piece in the liberal Hebrew daily Haaretz, for which he writes regularly.

The Arab Temptation
by Joshua Muravchik
The outcome of this summer's war between Israel and Hizballah was confused and confusing. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert declared a military success, and then appointed a commission to determine what had gone wrong.

China’s Charm Offensive
by Joshua Kurlantzick
In October 2003, George W. Bush arrived for his first visit to Australia, a country that for a half-century has been one of America's closest allies.

Hollywood Does 9/11
by Michael J. Lewis
From patriotic poetry to equestrian monuments, most of the instruments that once elevated war and national tragedy into the realm of collective experience have lost their power to stir us.

Still Alive—A Memoir
by Herbert Gold
For nine months I swam like a tiny fish in my mother, then was born and did my best to take over the lives of my parents.

Budapest 1956
by Arch Puddington
The United States today is fighting an adversary at least as menacing as the one it confronted during the cold war, and bearing some of the same traits.

John Hammond’s Jazz
by Terry Teachout
If John Hammond had not been born, it would never have occurred to anyone to invent so unlikely-sounding a character.

Guests of the Ayatollah by Mark Bowden
by Gabriel Schoenfeld
Guests of the Ayatollah: The First Battle in America's War with Militant Islam By Mark Bowden Atlantic Monthly Press. 704 pp. $26.00 What goes around, comes around.

Iran Awakening by Shirin Ebadi and Azadeh Moaveni
by David Warren
Iran Awakening: A Memoir of Revolution and Hope by Shirin Ebadi and Azadeh Moaveni Random House. 256 pp. $24.95 Shirin Ebadi, an Iranian lawyer, swam into Western public consciousness in 2003, when she was given the Nobel Peace Prize—the first Iranian to garner a Nobel award and only the fifth Muslim to do so.

Happiness: A History by Darrin M. McMahon
by Wilfred McClay
Happiness: A History by Darrin M. McMahon Atlantic Monthly Press. 560 pp. $27.50 You'd have to be a little crazy to attempt writing a book like this one.

The Most Democratic Branch by Jeffrey Rosen
by Ken Kersch
The Most Democratic Branch: How the Courts Serve America By Jeffrey Rosen Oxford. 256 pp. $25.00 Though it may come as a surprise to some, the charge of judicial activism was first leveled against the Right.

Murder In Amsterdam by Ian Buruma
by Kay Hymowitz
Murder in Amsterdam: The Death of Theo van Gogh and the Limits of Tolerance By Ian Buruma Penguin Press. 288 pp. $24.95 By now, almost every country in Western Europe has had its own shocking encounter with the radical Islamists in its midst, its “own 9/11.” For Holland, the event came on November 2, 2004, the day a Dutch-Moroccan by the name of Mohammed Bouyeri shot the iconoclastic documentary filmmaker Theo van Gogh on an Amsterdam street, nearly cut off his head with a machete, and then calmly plunged a knife into the still-warm body, attaching a note that promised a similar fate for other “unbelievers.” The crime—the murder of a secular, rationalistic, cheerfully decadent Westerner at the hands of a death-worshipping, homegrown Islamic extremist—struck many observers as an ominous allegory of the threat facing the whole of Western Europe. Ian Buruma would seem a good candidate to take on the urgent questions raised by the van Gogh case.

Iraq Now
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Amir Taheri suggests that things in Iraq are not as bad as they seem, marshaling first-hand observations and an assortment of statistical metrics to support his thesis [“The Real Iraq,” June].

The One & the Many
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In “Whatever Happened to the Jewish People” [June], Steven M. Cohen and Jack Wertheimer lament the recent decline among American Jews of a commitment to Jewish peoplehood, citing among other things anemic giving to Jewish causes and lackluster attendance at pro-Israel rallies.

Birth Dearth
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Noting some of the factors that have hindered fertility in the modern world, Eric Cohen writes: “Children are no longer economic assets, as they generally were in rural and industrial societies; rather, they are economic burdens, voracious consumers who produce virtually nothing until their late teens or early twenties” [“Why Have Children?,” June].

The Dark Side
by Our Readers
To the Editor: At the outset of his sensitive but skewed review of my book Reckless Rites [June], Hillel Halkin asserts that the book’s subtitle, “Purim and the Legacy of Jewish Violence,” promises more than it delivers; although he graciously acknowledges that the book is “replete with interesting detail,” he insists that I have simply misinterpreted (or overinterpreted) the historical evidence. There is no “legacy of Jewish violence,” Mr.

November, 2006Back to Top
Getting Serious About Iran:
For Regime Change

by Amir Taheri
What to do about Iran? The question has haunted successive administrations in Washington since the raid on the U.S. embassy in Tehran and the seizure of its diplomats in November 1979. In that instance, the initial response of the Carter White House was to treat the newly installed Islamic Republic as a rebellious adolescent who, given sympathy and support, would eventually mend his ways.

Getting Serious About Iran: A Military Option
by Arthur Herman
As the impasse over Iran's nuclear-weapons program grows inexorably into a crisis, a kind of consensus has taken root in the minds of America's foreign-policy elite.

Dual Loyalty and the “Israel Lobby”
by Gabriel Schoenfeld
In late August, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) hosted an event in Washington, D.C. entitled “The Israel Lobby and the U.S.

Allah’s England?
by Daniel Johnson
The oldest Jewish cemetery in England is in Mile End, in the heart of the East End of London. It was created exactly 350 years ago on the orders of the Lord Protector, Oliver Cromwell, who, overruling his own council, officially readmitted Jews to England for the first time since their expulsion in 1290.

Bartlestein’s First Fling
by Joseph Epstein
Larry Bartlestein has played it safe all his life, and playing it safe has paid off. At sixty-four, he is a wealthy man, his two daughters are married, he has two grandchildren and another on the way, and he and Myrna will soon celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary.

Stranger Than Fiction
by Hillel Halkin
Why would the reader of a slim volume of short stories by an American Jewish writer he has never read before jump from the bed on which he has been reading and run shouting into the living room? Listen to a story. Although David Evanier, now in his early sixties and living in Brooklyn, has never achieved celebrity status, he has a notable literary career to his credit.

Discovering Malcolm Arnold
by Terry Teachout
When Malcolm Arnold died in September, the obituaries in several of England's leading newspapers referred to him in the headline as a “film composer.” The Guardian summed up his life's work as follows: The tormented but irrepressible career of Sir Malcolm Arnold, the most recorded British composer of all time and the first to win an Oscar, ended last night with his death at the age of eighty-four. Not until the fourth paragraph did readers of the Guardian learn that in addition to scoring The Bridge on the River Kwai (for which he won his Oscar in 1958) and 131 other movies, Arnold also found time to write nine symphonies, two dozen concertos, and numerous other orchestral and chamber works. While the critical “appreciations” that ran the next day were better informed, few did more than sketch the outlines of this composer's controversial career, and they did so at times evasively.

The Shakespeare Wars by Ron Rosenbaum
by Thomas Jeffers
The Shakespeare Wars: Clashing Scholars, Public Fiascoes, Palace Coups by Ron Rosenbaum Random House. 601 pp. $35.00 The journalist Ron Rosenbaum is best known for his 1998 book Explaining Hitler, which, as its subtitle declares, is about a “search for the origins of [the dictator's] evil.” Interviewing living biographers and historians, recapitulating the findings of those who had passed on, Rosenbaum traced the crisscrossing beams of light each had tried to shine into an unexampled darkness.

Shopping for Bombs by Gordon Corera
by Bret Stephens
Shopping for Bombs: Nuclear Proliferation, Global Insecurity, and the Rise and Fall of the A.Q. Khan Network by Gordon Corera Oxford. 275 pp.

Richard Hofstadter by David S. Brown
by James Nuechterlein
Richard Hofstadter: An Intellectual Biography by David S. Brown Chicago. 291 pp. $27.50 Even now, a half-century later, one looks back with a certain nostalgia on the liberalism of the 1950's.

The Prince of the Marshes by Rory Stewart
by Algis Valiunas
The Prince of the Marshes and Other Occupational Hazards of a Year in Iraq by Rory Stewart Harcourt. 397 pp. $25.00 Rory Stewart is a Scotsman in his early thirties, a former British infantry officer and diplomat who has recently published two books: The Places in Between (published in England in 2004 and released here as a Harvest paperback earlier this year) and now The Prince of the Marshes.

The Theocons by Damon Linker
by Joshua Muravchik
The Theocons: Secular America Under Siege by Damon Linker Doubleday. 288 pp. $26.00 If you find the neocons—that much-talked-about Jewish conspiracy—scary, you will be downright terrified to learn about their Catholic cousins, the “theocons.” Although this latter cabal is almost ridiculously compact, consisting essentially of three individuals—Richard John Neuhaus, Michael Novak, and George Weigel—the “stealth campaign” it has waged to “build .

The Best Medicine
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Peter W. Huber’s “Of Pills and Profits: In Defense of Big Pharma” [July-August] makes a sound economic case for the most powerful companies on earth.

Border War
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Linda Chavez’s article is anything but realistic about the ramifications of mass immigration for America [“The Realities of Immigration,” July-August].

Israel's Self-Defense
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In “Why Israel Is Free to Set Its Own Borders” [July-August], Michael I. Kraus and J. Peter Pham do an admirable job of establishing the legitimacy of Israel’s seizure of the West Bank and other Arab territories during the 1967 Six-Day war.

Ex-friends
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Joseph Epstein, a writer I highly esteem, is mistaken when he writes in “Friendship Among the Intellectuals” [July-August] that Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus “broke up their friendship over Camus’s The Myth of Sisyphus.” The two French writers did indeed split over one of Camus’s books, but it was in fact L’Homme Révolté or The Rebel (1951). The distinction is significant because The Myth of Sisyphus, which deals philosophically with suicide versus the acceptance of life, was published in 1942, at the very beginning of the friendship that united Camus and Sartre against the Nazi occupation.

Electability
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Fred Siegel touts the presidential prospects of Rudolph Giuliani as only a dyed-in-the-wool New Yorker can [“Candidate Giuliani,” July-August].

Modernism
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I can swallow Terry Teachout’s lighthearted epitaph for so-called postmodernism (“the playful nihilism of postmodern artists inspired by the anti-art of Marcel Duchamp did prove in time to have been an aesthetic dead end”), but not his pronouncement of modernism’s demise (“modernism is no longer an ongoing movement but a long-concluded chapter in art history”) [“What Clement Greenberg Knew,” July-August]. In culture and the arts, modernism is the expression of a broad societal condition, akin in its sweep to the reach of the Renaissance, which lasted from around 1100 or so until the advent of modernism, which itself arguably took root in the years from 1700 to 1914.

Science & Psychiatry
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Kay S. Hymowitz provides everything an author might wish for in her review of my book, The Mind Has Mountains—a thorough reading, a conscientious effort to distill the central ideas, and a set of critical reflections on their implications [Books in Review, July-August].

December, 2006Back to Top
What Does Putin Want?
by Leon Aron
“Is Russia going Backward?” That was the question posed By the title of an article that I completed in late August 2004 and published in the October 2004 COMMENTARY.

Romancing Spinoza
by Allan Nadler
In his recent memoir, A Tale of Love and Darkness, the Israeli novelist Amos Oz recalls discussions he overheard in the late 1940's as a child in a working-class Jewish neighborhood in Jerusalem.

China in Revolt
by Gordon G. Chang
Thirty years ago this past September, Mao Zedong, hero to the Chinese nation, died in the Communist-party compound in the center of Beijing.

The Human Difference
by Eric Cohen
In the contest for oddest pronouncement in a State of the Union address, high marks should go to President Bush's call last January for a national ban on “creating human-animal hybrids.” Fortunately, the modern biotech laboratory does not yet resemble H.G.

War-Making and the Machines of War
by Victor Davis Hanson
In recent years, the term “revolution in military affairs” (RMA) has come to be applied to the vast change that computerized intelligence and globalization have brought to the conduct of war.

"Mr. Virginia Woolf"
by John Gross
Over the past generation, the flow of books about the Bloomsbury group that began in the 1960's has turned into a flood.

Diva & Anti-Diva
by Algis Valiunas
Despite men's best efforts, the crowning glory of opera and song remains a woman's voice, and classical singing at its highest is preeminently a female preserve.

America Alone by Mark Steyn
by David Pryce-Jones
America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It by Mark Steyn Regnery. 256 pp. $27.95 Mark Steyn is phenomenal—no other word will quite do.

All Governments Lie! by Myra MacPherson; The Best of I.F. Stone edited by Karl Weber
by Dan Seligman
All Governments Lie! The Life and Times of Rebel Journalist I.F. Stone by Myra MacPherson Scribner. 564 pp. $35.00 The Best of I.F.

What Terrorists Want by Louise Richardson
by Jonathan Kay
What Terrorists Want: Understanding the Enemy, Containing the Threat by Louise Richardson Random House. 312 pp. $25.95 On August 14, 1969, Great Britain deployed its army to Northern Ireland to protect the minority Catholic population and restore order following months of rioting.

America: The Last Best Hope
by William J. Bennett

by Michael J. Lewis
America: The Last Best Hope by William J. Bennett Nelson Current. 573 pp. $29.99 Until recently it was a commonplace—and an unobjectionable one—that the study of American history was a form of civic instruction.

Things I Didn't Know by Robert Hughes
by Terry Teachout
Things I Didn't Know: A Memoir by Robert Hughes Knopf. 395 pp. $27.95 Robert Hughes is a man without a country. Born in Sydney at a time when Australia was notorious for its cultural philistinism, he fled his native land for the more compatible aesthetic environment of England, where he found himself plunged into (and scarred by) the antinomian madness of the 60's.

The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama
by Yuval Levin
The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream by Barack Obama Crown. 364 pp. $25.00 Barack Obama, the Democratic star of the moment in American politics, is the junior Senator from Illinois, and for the past two years has been the only black member of the U.S.

The Bush Doctrine
by Our Readers
To the Editor: One has to admire Norman Podhoretz’s perseverance in continuing to believe in the viability of the Bush Doctrine long after the doctrine’s obsolescence has become apparent to just about everyone else [“Is the Bush Doctrine Dead?,” September].

Faculties and Presidents
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Donald Kagan relies heavily on my narrative in Excellence Without a Soul: How a Great University Forgot Education in pointing out the symptoms of disease in higher education, but he arrives at a different diagnosis: too much faculty power [“As Goes Harvard .

Gottschalk
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In his appreciative article about Louis Moreau Gottschalk, “the first important American classical composer,” Terry Teachout comments on recent efforts to revive interest in the composer’s work [“Our Gottschalk,” September].




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