Commentary Magazine


Welcome to the Archive

More than a half-century of opinion and ideas. Still timeless.

View : All Months | Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
January, 2008Back to Top
The Peace Planners Strike Again
by Hillel Halkin
The Peel Commission report (that was in 1937), the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry’s recommendations (1946), the UN partition resolution (1947), the Bernadotte plan (1948), the Lausanne conference (1948-49), Security Council Resolution 242 (1967), the Rogers plan (1970), the Jarring mission (1971), the Camp David “framework for peace” (1978), the Madrid conference (1991), the Oslo declaration of principles (1993), the Palestinian-Israeli interim agreement (1995), the Wye summit (1997), the Camp David summit (2000), the Sharm-el-Sheikh summit (2000), the Taba conference (2001), the Bush road map (2003): if none of these could end the Jewish-Arab conflict in Palestine, what hope is there for Annapolis? Indeed there is little.

Is India an Ally?
by Sadanand Dhume
Last fall, to mark the 60th year of national independence, the government of India and the Confederation of Indian Industry launched a public-relations blitz in New York to coincide with the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations.

Stem Cells and the President—
An Inside Account

by Jay Lefkowitz
On August 9, 2001, President Bush announced a compromise decision on the contentious question of whether the federal government should provide financial support for research into the curative properties of human stem cells extracted from embryos. Bush’s compromise allowed funding for research into embryonic stem cells that had already been harvested.

After the Art Wars
by Michael J. Lewis
For a brief and amusing interval in 2002 I was a candidate for the position of chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).

How Not to Remember & How Not to Forget
by Ruth Wisse
“Do you know how my father would try out a new pen?” the Jewish Communist in Warsaw asked her American visitor in the early 1970’s.

Goethe's Magnificent Self
by Algis Valiunas
In September 1808, Napoleon Bonaparte, the world-conquering Alexander of his time, summoned Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, the most celebrated literary figure in Europe, to an interview at the Congress of Erfurt, not far from the writer’s home in Weimar.

Hitler's Accompanist
by Terry Teachout
On the spring day in 1945 that Nazi Germany’s official radio network broke the news of Adolf Hitler’s death, the announcement was followed by the playing of a 1942 recording by Wilhelm Furtwängler and the Berlin Philharmonic.

Heroic Conservatism
by Michael J. Gerson

by John Podhoretz
The Activist Heroic Conservatism: Why Republicans Need to Embrace America’s Ideals (And Why They Deserve to Fail If They Don’t) by Michael J.

Mishkan T'filah
by William Kolbrener
At Prayer Mishkan T'filah: A Reform Siddur CCAR. 716 pp. $30.00 This is the third prayer book to have been issued in the history of American Reform Judaism.

Cool It by Bjorn Lomborg
by Jonathan Kay
Cold Facts Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist’s Guide to Global Warming By Bjorn Lomborg Knopf. 272 pp. $21.00 Among its fevered champions, the campaign against global warming has come to resemble a religious crusade.

Godly Republic by John J DiIulio, Jr.
by Yuval Levin
Works & Days Godly Republic: A Centrist Blueprint for America’s Faith-Based Future by John J. DiIulio, Jr. University of California. 326 pp. $24.95 In a Republican primary debate in December 1999, the six GOP candidates for President were asked to state their favorite political philosopher.

Surrender Is Not An Option
by John Bolton

by Gabriel Schoenfeld
The Good Fight Surrender Is Not An Option: Defending America at the United Nations and Abroad by John Bolton Simon & Schuster. 485 pp.

Neoconservatism Now
by Our Readers
  To the Editor: In “The Past, Present, and Future of Neoconservatism” [October 2007], Joshua Muravchik concludes that if you favor a forward, aggressive strategy to combat Islamist terrorism, neoconservatism is “the only game in town.” This puts me in mind of André Gide’s famous response when asked who was France’s greatest poet.

Love and Marriage
by Our Readers
    To the Editor: There is no gainsaying the fact that Judaism and Christianity view celibacy in a different light. About this much I agree with Meir Soloveichik [“Of Rabbis, Priests, and Wives,” October 2007].

China
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Toward the beginning of his article, “Are We Ready for China?” [October 2007], Aaron L. Friedberg poses two stark questions: “What if the [People’s Republic of China] continues to grow wealthier and stronger without making the transition to liberal democracy? Could a rich, authoritarian China use its newfound power and influence to reshape the world in its own image?” Advocates for human rights share Mr.

Ralph Ellison
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Algis Valiunas is mistaken in calling Arnold Rampersad’s biography of Ralph Ellison the first [“Books in Review,” October 2007].

February, 2008Back to Top
Stopping Iran: Why the Case for Military Action Still Stands
by Norman Podhoretz
Up until a fairly short time ago, scarcely anyone dissented from the assessment offered with “high confidence” by the National Intelligence Estimate [NIE] of 2005 that Iran was “determined to develop nuclear weapons.” Correlatively, no one believed the protestations of the mullahs ruling Iran that their nuclear program was designed strictly for peaceful uses. The reason for this near-universal consensus was that Iran, with its vast reserves of oil and natural gas, had no need for nuclear energy, and that in any case, the very nature of its program contradicted the protestations. Here is how Time magazine put it as early as March 2003—long before, be it noted, the radical Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had replaced the putatively moderate Mohamed Khatami as president: On a visit last month to Tehran, International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA] director Mohamed ElBaradei announced he had discovered that Iran was constructing a facility to enrich uranium—a key component of advanced nuclear weapons—near Natanz.

Look Who's Afraid of Free Trade
by John Gordon
Over the past year, the Democratic candidates for President have settled on two core themes. One is that the Iraq war was a disastrous foreign-policy error from which the country must be extricated expeditiously—a proposition on which they differ only in the details.

In Search of Moderate Muslims
by Joshua Muravchik
Ever since his first post-9/11 speech summoning the nation to a war against terrorism, President Bush has stressed that “our war is against evil, not against Islam.” Indeed, his administration has branded the terrorists as “traitors to their own faith”—outlaws who are “trying, in effect, to hijack Islam itself.” There is no reason to doubt the sincerity of such pronouncements.

The Man on Whom Everything Was Lost
by Joseph Epstein
Stravinsky had a good deal of drink during dinner, and afterwards, in a somewhat blatant way, Arthur Schlesinger said to him, “Well, Mr.

Why Beards?
by Meir Soloveichik
Because of a beard, a papacy was lost. That is the story of Johannes Bessarion, a 15th-century cardinal and convert from Greek Orthodoxy who strove to reunite Eastern and Western Christianity.

Nixon's Fate, and Ours
by Wilfred McClay
Presidencies come and presidencies go, but Richard Nixon we have with us always, an abiding point of reference in our national life.

The Hollywood Musical Done Right
by Terry Teachout
No sooner did the Tim Burton-Johnny Depp film of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd go into production than it became the subject of excited talk in American theater circles.

Rabbi Heschel, Spiritual Radical
by David Hazony
Last year marked the centenary of the birth of Abraham Joshua Heschel (1907-1972), one of the best-known, and controversial, figures in modern American Jewish life.

Anatomy of a Scandal
by Daniel Seligman
  Frame-Up Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case by Stuart Taylor and K.C. Johnson Thomas Dunne.

Power to the People by Michael Mandelbaum
by Arch Puddington
Power to the People Democracy’s Good Name: The Rise and Risks of the World’s Most Popular Form of Government by Michael Mandelbaum Public Affairs.

Otto Preminger by Foster Hirsch
by Alec Mouhibian
Under Budget, Over the Top Otto Preminger: The Man Who Would Be King by Foster Hirsch Knopf. 592 pp. $35.00 His name has descended into obscurity in the two decades since his death, but Otto Preminger (1905-1986) was once a very famous man, one of the handful of film directors powerful enough to insist that his own name appear above the title of the movies he directed.

Churchill and the Jews by Martin Gilbert
Churchil's Promised Land by Michael Makovsky

by Hillel Halkin
Works & Days Churchill and the Jews: A Lifelong Friendship by Martin Gilbert Henry Holt. 384 pp. $30.00 Churchill’s Promised Land: Zionism and Statecraft by Michael Makovsky Yale.

Faith and Interfaith
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In “Faith in the Flesh” [November 2007], R.R. Reno reflects upon a Christian-Jewish intermarriage not unlike my own.

Totalitarian Olympics
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Arch Puddington’s discussion of the 1936 Olympics in Nazi Germany and the 1980 Olympics in Soviet Russia provides some useful historical context for those puzzled over the decision of the International Olympic Committee to name Beijing as host of the 2008 Olympics [“China Games,” November 2007].

Afghanistan's Jews
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Thank you for sharing Rosanne Klass’s essay about the Jews of Afghanistan with your distinguished audience [“In the Tents of Kabul,” October 2007].


by



by


March, 2008Back to Top
Seeing China
by Our Readers
To the Editor: As an American who has been living in China for the last five years, I found Gary Rosen’s article simplistic [“My Short March Through China,” December 2007].

Vietnam Revisited
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Arthur Herman’s views about Vietnam suffer from the same defect as those of his opponents: his primary interest is contemporary politics and not the truth about the past [“Who Owns the Vietnam War?,” December 2007].

How're We Doing?
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Peter Wehner and Yuval Levin suggest that a new “morning in America” has dawned [“Crime, Drugs, Welfare—and Other Good News,” December 2007].

Human Smoke by Nicholson Baker
by David Pryce-Jones
Immoral Equivalence Human Smoke: The Beginnings of World War II, the End of Civilization by Nicholson Baker Simon & Schuster. 800 pp. $30.00 A writer of some note, whose last book, Checkpoint (2004), was a novel debating the merits of assassinating George W.

A Billion Lives by Jan Egeland
by George Russell
The Global Bureaucrat A Billion Lives: An Eyewitness Report from the Frontlines of Humanity by Jan Egeland HarperCollins. 272 pp. $27.00 As the chief administrator of the United Nations emergency-relief agency from the summer of 2003 to the end of 2006, Jan Egeland had a full plate.

Comeback by David Frum
by Dan DiSalvo
Righting the Ship Comeback: Conservatism That Can Win Again By David Frum Doubleday. 224 pp. $24.95 The conventional wisdom now has it that conservatism as an intellectual and political movement is in crisis, its ideas outdated and confused, and its elected officials unable to govern.

Treacherous Alliance by Trita Parsi
by Nathan Thrall
Persian Aversion Treacherous Alliance: The Secret Dealings of Israel, Iran, and the United States by Trita Parsi Yale. 384 pp. $28.00 What lies at the heart of the conflict between Israel and Iran? The usual answer is the virulently anti-Semitic ideology of the Islamic Revolution, whose founder, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, severed ties with Israel when he came to power in February 1979.

Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg
by James Nuechterlein
Mussolini’s Ghosts? Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning by Jonah Goldberg Doubleday. 487 pp.

Going Highbrow at the CIA
by Terry Teachout
Once upon a time, the Central Intelligence Agency was a near-omnipotent, immaculately stealthy organization of serious-minded men who stood watch over the West—or so, at any rate, it was portrayed in the novels and films through which most Americans received (and continue to receive) their idea of what the CIA once was and did.

Goldwater, the John Birch Society, and Me
by William Buckley, Jr.
In the early months of l962, there was restiveness in certain political quarters of the Right. The concern was primarily the growing strength of the Soviet Union, and the reiteration by its leaders of their designs on the free world.

Beyond the Pale
by Joseph Epstein
I  learned my Yiddish from my grandfather, who came from Montreal to live with us in Chicago for the last four years of his life, after his health failed and he could no longer stay alone.

The End of the Chinese Miracle?
by Gordon G. Chang
In his recent book, The Age of Turbulence, Alan Greenspan identifies the only nation that, in his view, can challenge the United States for world economic leadership a quarter-century from now.

Mysteries of the Menorah
by Meir Soloveichik
In 2004, the two chief rabbis of Israel, Shlomo Amar and Yonah Metzger, traveled to the Vatican for a historic meeting with Pope John Paul II.

When Jihad Came to America
by Andrew McCarthy
On May 2 and 3, 1990, the U.S. embassy in Cairo alerted its counterpart in Khartoum that Egypt’s “leading radical,” Omar Abdel Rahman, was on his way to Sudan.

No Game for Old Men
by Abraham Socher
Kiki Cuyler was a terrific right-fielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Chicago Cubs in the 1920’s and 30’s, a Johnny Damon-type player with speed and extra-base power.

The Election, the GOP—and Iraq
by John Podhoretz
The swift, steep decline in Republican fortunes over the past few years has induced a state of vertigo in the party’s body politic.


by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by


April, 2008Back to Top
The Refugees
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Hillel Halkin deserves our thanks for another cogent analysis of Israel’s strategic quandaries, but I must disagree with him on the way forward for the Jewish state.

Art for All?
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I read Michael J. Lewis’s “After the Art Wars” [January] with interest, and would like to offer some clarification on his speculations about the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Mr.

Stem Cells
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Jay P. Lefkowitz’s account of President Bush’s deliberations on his embryonic stem-cell-research policy is a valuable contribution to the historical record, but  his wholesale charge that the scientific community was morally unserious in its deliberations is disappointing [“Stem Cells and the President,” January]. If Mr.

India Watch
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Sadanand Dhume has done an excellent job updating the status of the often complex relationship between India and the U.S, and he gives reason to believe that the countries’ shared democratic values will bring them closer in the coming years [“Is India an Ally?,” January]. Politically, however, the key question is what each country seeks from the other.

The Hebrew Republic by Bernard Avishai
by David Billet
Undoing the Jewish State   The Hebrew Republic: How Secular Democracy and Global Enterprise Will Bring Israel Peace at Last by Bernard Avishai Harcourt, Inc.

Seduced by Secrets by Kristie Macrakis
by Daniel Johnson
Working for Moscow   Seduced by Secrets: Inside the Stasi’s Spy-Tech World by Kristie Macrakis Cambridge. 392 pp. $28.00   Who’s afraid of Markus Wolf? When the East German spymaster died in 2006, few outside Germany remembered him except as the putative original for John le Carré’s fictional Soviet villain Karla.

Education's End by Anthony T. Kronman
by Ben Wildavsky
Death of the Humanities?   Education’s End: Why Our Colleges and Universities Have Given Up on the Meaning of Life by Anthony T.

Democracy without Borders?
by Marc F. Plattner
The Spirit of Democracy
by Larry Diamond

by Ted Bromund
Freedom Agenda   Democracy Without Borders?: Global Challenges to Liberal Democracy by Marc F. Plattner Rowman & Littlefield. 176 pp. $24.95.   The Spirit of Democracy: The Struggle to Build Free Societies Throughout the World by Larry Diamond Times Books.

Alfred Kazin by Richard M. Cook
by Carol Iannone
In the late 1930’s and early 40’s, a young literary critic and recent graduate of the City College of New York spent four years composing a 500-page survey of American writers from 1880 to 1940.

Free the Piano Player
by Terry Teachout
It is now widely acknowledged that classical music in America is in dire, even desperate straits. Critics, commentators, and managers have noted with alarm that concert audiences are aging steadily and that people under fifty seem disinclined either to attend classical-music events or to support the organizations that present them.

Roughnecking It
by R. R. Reno
The beer was thin and tepid. I’m not sure what brand I was drinking, but it really didn’t matter much.

Israel and the Palestinians:
Has Bush Reneged?

by Norman Podhoretz
On June 24, 2002, George W. Bush, having already become the first American President to come out openly and officially for the establishment of a Palestinian state, attached two stern conditions to that new policy.

The God of the Gaps
by David Berlinski
The idea that human beings have been endowed with powers and properties not found elsewhere in the animal kingdom—or, so far we can tell, in the universe—arises from a simple impulse: just look around.

Nothing Succeeds Like Success
by Victor Davis Hanson
Americans have regularly changed their minds in the midst of their ongoing wars—and not just once, but often. War is a volatile enterprise.

Anatomy of the Surge
by Peter Feaver
Over the past sixteen months, the United States has altered its trajectory in Iraq. We are no longer headed toward a catastrophic defeat and may be on the path to a remarkable victory.

Obama's War
by Peter Wehner
Throughout his dramatic campaign to win his party’s nomination for the presidency, Senator Barack Obama has tended to ignore the specifics of policy in favor of the generalities of emotion, centering his appeal to voters on vague promises of “change” and “unity.” But on one issue, above all others, Obama has remained fixated from the campaign’s first moment, and that is the war in Iraq.


by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by


May, 2008Back to Top
To This Day: An Afterword
by Hillel Halkin
Apart from his name, Shmuel Yosef Agnon is hardly better known in English today than he was before winning the Nobel Prize in 1966.

Musicals, Teen & Otherwise
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Terry Teachout’s elegy for the film musical may be a bit premature [“The Hollywood Musical Done Right,” February].

Churchill
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Hillel Halkin brings characteristic good judgment to his discussion of Winston Churchill’s relationship with the Jewish people, and draws a compelling portrait of a natural philo-Semite who did as much for the Jews as his political standing allowed—but not more [“Books in Review, February]. Those who take Churchill to task for having been insufficiently supportive of Zionism at certain crucial times must acknowledge that he was far more sympathetic than most of the leading members of his party and of the foreign service at Whitehall.

Looking for Allies
by Our Readers
To the Editor: With all due respect to Joshua Muravchik (whom I know and admire) and Charles P. Szrom, their effort to identify Muslims who embrace pluralism and tolerance misses the big picture [“In Search of Moderate Muslims,” February].

Can Iran Be Stopped?
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Norman Podhoretz writes that “deterrence [can]not be relied upon with a regime ruled by Islamofascist revolutionaries who not only [are] ready to die for their beliefs but care less about protecting their people than about the spread of their ideology” [“Stopping Iran: Why the Case for Military Action Still Stands,” February].

To This Day
by S. Agnon
TO THIS DAY--the slimmest of Agnon's novels--was published in Hebrew in 1951 and is only now appearing in English. We present here the first seven of its fifteen chapters, translated and with an afterword by translator Hillel Halkin.

The Second Plane by Martin Amis
by Abe Greenwald
The Martin Papers The Second Plane, September 11: Terror and Boredom by Martin Amis Knopf. 224 pp. $24.00   Martin Amis thinks big. This is not only to say that he is an ambitious writer, having taken on such large topics as the Holocaust, the Soviet Gulag, and, now, the war on terrorism.

Nerds by David Anderegg
American Nerd by Benjamin Nugent

by Benjamin Plotinsky
The Rule Followers Nerds: Who They Are and Why We Need More of Them by David Anderegg Tarcher. 288 pp. $24.95 American Nerd: The Story of My People by Benjamin Nugent Scribner.

The Return of History and the End of Dreams by Robert Kagan
by Gabriel Schoenfeld
Autocrats and Democrats The Return of History and the End of Dreams by Robert Kagan Knopf. 112 pp. $19.95   The world is full of mysteries.

The Reluctant Communist
by Charles Robert Jenkins

by Bret Stephens
Inside the Nightmare  The Reluctant Communist: My Desertion, Court-Martial, and Forty-Year Imprisonment in North Korea by Charles Robert Jenkins with Jim Frederick University of California.

Everyday Jews by Yehoshue Perle
by Susanne Klingenstein
Love & Death in Poland Everyday Jews: Scenes from a Vanished Life by Yehoshue Perle Edited by David G. Roskies Translated by Maier Deshell and Margaret Birstein Yale.

What Is to Be Done?
by Richard Pipes
Today’s Russia, the Russia of Putin and Medvedev, is a country of extraordinary contradictions. Its leaders claim that it is part of European culture; yet, at the same time, they warn the West not to instruct them in how to run their affairs, because Russia has its own unique national traditions.

James Watson’s Not So Brilliant Career
by Kevin Shapiro
Until last year, James Dewey Watson was famous for two things. One was his discovery, with Francis Crick, of the structure of DNA, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1962.

Art & Politics, Russian-Syle
by Terry Teachout
What makes Russia behave as it does? Puzzled Westerners have been asking themselves that question for a century and more.

1948, Israel, and the Palestinians—
The True Story

by Efraim Karsh
For a fully annotated version of this article, click here. Sixty years after its establishment by an internationally recognized act of self-determination, Israel remains the only state in the world that is subjected to a constant outpouring of the most outlandish conspiracy theories and blood libels; whose policies and actions are obsessively condemned by the international community; and whose right to exist is constantly debated and challenged not only by its Arab enemies but by segments of advanced opinion in the West. During the past decade or so, the actual elimination of the Jewish state has become a cause célèbre among many of these educated Westerners.

The Blood of Upton Sinclair
by Algis Valiunas
Upton Sinclair (1878-1968), the author of 79 books, including the novel The Jungle (1906), the most celebrated muckraking work of its time and the only one widely read a century later, is enjoying something of a revival these days.

The News Mausoleum
by John Podhoretz
The Newseum, a dazzling edifice of glass, marble, and steel that recently opened in Washington after seven years of planning and construction at a cost of $475 million, sits directly across Pennsylvania Avenue from the National Gallery of Art and cater-corner from the National Archives.


by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by


June, 2008Back to Top
What Does Reform Judaism Stand For?
by Jack Wertheimer
It is by now a well-documented fact that liberal Protestant denominations in the United States have fallen on hard times.

Culture Spooks
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I would like to add a footnote to Terry Teachout’s discussion of the CIA’s patronage of cultural organizations during the cold war [“Going Highbrow at the CIA,” March].

Mahler in Manhattan
by Terry Teachout
One of the most beautiful pieces of art on display at New York’s Lincoln Center—it can be seen in Avery Fisher Hall, the home of the New York Philharmonic—is the cast of Auguste Rodin’s bust of Gustav Mahler (1860-1911).

Baseball “on the Juice”
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I would like to add two points to Abraham Socher’s illuminating and entertaining account of the damage that has been done to baseball by the use of performance-enhancing drugs [“No Game for Old Men,” March]. In my 2004 book The Meaning of Sports, I suggest that team sports have become one of the most popular forms of mass entertainment worldwide because unlike, say, stage dramas and films, they have the quality of authenticity.

Troublemaker by Chester E. Finn, Jr.
by Fred Siegel
It’s Educational Troublemaker: A Personal History of School Reform since Sputnik by Chester E. Finn, Jr. Princeton. 364 pp. $26.95   A few months ago, speaking about the Lincoln-Douglas debates, I suggested to a class of undergraduates at an elite university that the unusual geography of Illinois gave Lincoln an advantage in the northern and Douglas an advantage in the southern part of the state.

In the Matter of George W. Bush v. the Constitution
by Gabriel Schoenfeld
The indictment of the Bush administration for its conduct of the war on terrorism is both familiar and increasingly insistent.

Why Malamud Faded
by Cheryl Miller
In the days when American Jewish fiction was at the high-water mark of literary prestige, Bernard Malamud was universally acknowledged as one of its three leading figures (the other two being Saul Bellow and Philip Roth).

The Fall and Rise of the Islamic State by Noah Feldman
by Paul Marshall
Islamophilia The Fall and Rise of the Islamic State by Noah Feldman Princeton. 200 pp. $22.95.   Noah Feldman is an interesting case. A professor of law at Harvard, he was raised as an Orthodox Jew and chose to become a scholar of Arabic and a student of Islam; in 2003, he served very briefly as a legal adviser to the American occupation force in Iraq.

Republican Fortunes
by Our Readers
To the Editor: John Podhoretz writes that the Republicans “have no hope of prevailing” in the November presidential election unless they stand “as tribunes of an American victory in Iraq” [“The Election, the GOP—and Iraq,” March].

War and Decision by Douglas Feith
by Victor Davis Hanson
Order of Battle War and Decision: Inside the Pentagon at the Dawn of the War on Terrorism by Douglas Feith Harper. 688 pp.

The Translator’s Paradox
by Hillel Halkin
My first paid translation went unpaid. It was commissioned by an Israeli writer named Matti Megged, who, in 1959 or ’60, toured America on a grant from a U.S.

Gandhi and Churchill by Arthur Herman
by Mark Falcoff
Imperial Bedfellows Gandhi and Churchill: The Epic Rivalry That Destroyed an Empire and Forged Our Age by Arthur Herman Bantam. 681 pp. $30.00   Arthur Herman is a prolific historian known principally for works on British history, most notably his remarkable How the Scots Invented the Modern World.

Top Hat, White Tie, and Tails
by Joseph Epstein
Style, true style, always outlasts fashion, which by its nature is ephemeral. Fashion goes out of style, but style, if it is genuine, never goes out of fashion. For some people, to be in fashion is to be in style.

Let Us by All Means Have an Honest Conversation about Race
by Linda Chavez
On April 30, the day after Barack Obama issued his second and more definitive statement repudiating his spiritual mentor Jeremiah Wright, the editorial page of the New York Times warmly congratulated the Illinois Senator for making it clear “that the preacher does not represent him, his politics, or his campaign.” In almost its next breath, the paper went on to score the Republican John McCain for embracing “a white supporter, Pastor John Hagee, whose bigotry matches that of Mr.

China Watch
by Our Readers
To the Editor: It would be unwise for America to construct policy on the basis of Gordon G. Chang’s belief that China’s economy will stagnate and its political system collapse [“The End of the Chinese Miracle?,” March].

Full Circle by Edith Kurzweil
by Benjamin Balint
Dislocations Full Circle: A Memoir by Edith Kurzweil Transaction. 302 pp. $34.95   The writer and intellectual Edith Kurzweil traces not one but three concentric circles in this account of what she calls a “chopped-up life.” The innermost circle is a story of childhood fear and daring.


by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by


July, 2008Back to Top
Bored by Music?
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Contrary to what Terry Teachout suggests, the problem with classical music in the 21st century—and jazz in the 21st century, for that matter—is not presentation [“Free the Piano Player,” April].

Fourth Pillar
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I am honored that Norman Podhoretz has used one of my posts on “Power Line” as a foil for his argument that the Fourth Pillar of the Bush doctrine—namely, that before negotiations about the creation of a Palestinian state could take place, the Palestinians would have to undertake a sustained fight against terrorist groups and infrastructure—remains intact [“Israel and the Palestinians: Has Bush Reneged?,” April].

Beyond the Surge
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Peter D. Feaver is certainly correct that by the middle of 2005, a policy redirection was necessary for the United States in Iraq [“Anatomy of the Surge,” April].

What Is Man . . .
by Our Readers
To the Editor: David Berlinski gets everything right in “The God of the Gaps” [April], and is even touching and poetic in his affirmation of the miracle of our existence.

The Sixties Unplugged by Gerard J. DeGroot
by Kay Hymowitz
The Sixties Unplugged: A Kaleidoscopic History of a Disorderly Decade by Gerard J. DeGroot Harvard. 528 pp. $29.95 As the punning title of this book suggests, Gerard DeGroot would like to do for history what Barack Obama wants to do for politics—to lead people past the rancor and myth-making of a lightning-rod decade.

Golda by Elinor Burkett
by Dean Godson
Golda by Elinor Burkett HarperCollins. 483 pp. $27.95 Reviewed by Dean Godson Golda Meir (1898-1978) is not quite Israel’s forgotten premier, but inside the borders of the Jewish state she is perhaps the least spoken of.

The Journey Abandoned by Lionel Trilling
by Sam Munson
The Journey Abandoned: The Unfinished Novel by Lionel Trilling Columbia. 256 pp. $26.95 Although his name no longer commands the recognition it once did, and although the critical principles that motivated his life’s work have largely fallen out of fashion, Lionel Trilling (1905-1975) remains a singular and powerful figure in the intellectual life of 20th-century America.

Moment of Truth in Iraq by Michael Yon
by
Moment of Truth in Iraq: How a New “Greatest Generation” of American Soldiers is Turning Defeat and Disaster into Victory and Hope by Michael Yon Vigilante.

In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan
by Edward Azlant
In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto by Michael Pollan Penguin. 256 pp. $21.95 Reviewed by Edward Azlant Like rock ’n’ roll, today’s food culture comes complete with superstar performers, fabled venues and festivals, vast media coverage, breathless critics, big money, and a tower of books.

Grand New Party by Ross Douthat and Reihan Salam
by Daniel Casse
Grand New Party: How Republicans Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream by Ross Douthat and Reihan Salam Doubleday.

Are We Winning the War on Terror?
by Max Boot
On balance, we are doing pretty well. Near strategic defeat of al Qaeda in Iraq. Near strategic defeat for al Qaeda in Saudi Arabia.

How Not to Repair the World
by Hillel Halkin
As anyone following the campaign rhetoric of Barack Obama and his supporters will have noticed, this has been a season for “repairing the world.” It is also a time, then, for reflecting on the course of an ancient Hebrew expression that is uttered three times a day in their prayers by religiously observant Jews; that plays a minor but interesting role in talmudic discourse; that was transformed into an important concept of Jewish mysticism in the late Middle Ages; that has become a buzz phrase of American Jewish liberalism; and that occurs in close to a quarter of the 40 short essays by a group of American Jewish intellectuals and social activists, all on the Left, appearing in a new book called Righteous Indignation.* Among the topics dealt with by these essays are: “Can Social Justice Save The American Jewish Soul?”; “Rereading Genesis: Human Stewardship of the Earth”; “Toxic Waste and the Talmud”; “Judaism, Oil, and Renewable Energy”; “A Jewish Vision for Economic Justice”; “Beyond Same-Sex Marriage: Social Justice and Sexual Values in Judaism”; “Multiracial Jewish Families: A Personal and Political Approach to Justice Politics”; “Imitatio Dei and Shared Space: A Jewish Theological Argument for Sharing the Holy Land”; “Once Again: Genocide In Darfur”; and “‘Silence is Akin to Assent’: Judaism and the War in Iraq.” The Hebrew expression in question—who does not know it by now?—is tikkun olam.

The Iranian Shell Game
by Emanuele Ottolenghi
Ever since a defector exposed the existence of Iran’s nuclear program in 2002, the regime in Tehran has routinely protested its innocence in the face of charges that it is developing fissile weapons of mass destruction and the missiles on which to carry them.

America Sorts Itself
by Terry Teachout
Of all the public statements made by various candidates for the Republican and Democratic presidential nominations, the two most revealing issued from Mike Huckabee and Barack Obama.

Keeping Them Out, Letting Them In
by Peter Wehner
Most of today’s political debates in America fall into a familiar pattern. On issues ranging from taxes, health care, energy, education, and abortion to the Iraq war and government surveillance of suspected terrorists, liberals and conservatives assume distinct and often diametrically opposed positions.

Banger Finds Out--A Story
by Kelly Cherry
Banger’s father was not the man whose last name Banger bore. His father was a sweet tryst that lasted the baseball season, and he had left his mother even before she learned she was pregnant.

Why Iraq Was Inevitable
by Arthur Herman
According to an April 2008 poll in U.S. News & World Report, fully 61 percent of American historians agree that George W.

Hugo Chávez's Jewish Problem
by Travis Pantin
Last week, a synagogue was desecrated in Caracas, Venezuela. In the July/August 2008 issue of COMMENTARY, Travis Pantin examined the ways in which Venezuela's President Hugo Chávez uses anti-Semitism as a political tool. In December 1998, preaching a gospel of socialist revolution that had gone blessedly unvoiced in the decade following the fall of the Berlin Wall, Hugo Chávez won a landslide election for the presidency of Venezuela.


by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by


September, 2008Back to Top
The Heroine Who Wasn’t
by Terry Teachout
Beyond the making of art, what can we or should we expect from great artists? In particular, do their gifts excuse them from the ordinary ethical responsibilities of other human beings? Or should they be held to generally accepted standards of conduct—if not higher ones? No matter how self-evident the answers to these questions may seem, history proves them to be less obvious in practice. In the case of music, no historical event has been more telling in this regard than World War II.

How to Manage Savagery
by Bret Stephens
“Islam has bloody borders.” So wrote Samuel Huntington in “The Clash of Civilizations?,” his 1993 Foreign Affairs article later expanded (minus the question mark) into a best-selling book.

Dictation: A Quartet by Cynthia Ozick
by Abraham Socher
In the Image Dictation: A Quartet by Cynthia Ozick Houghton Mifflin. 179 pp. $24.00 In a review almost a quarter-century ago of Saul Bellow’s Him With His Foot in His Mouth, a book of five short stories, Cynthia Ozick asked: Does there come a time when, out of the blue, an author offers to decode himself? Not simply to divert or paraphrase, or lead around a corner, or leave clues, or set out decoys (familiar apparatus, art-as-usual), but .

Defending Identity by Natan Sharansky
by David Pryce-Jones
To Be Oneself Defending Identity: Its Indispensable Role in Protecting Democracy by Natan Sharansky with Shira Wolosky Weiss PublicAffairs. 304 pp. $26.95 A few rare individuals bring alive the drama of the times in which they live, and one such is Natan Sharansky.

Obama’s “Talking” Cure
by Joshua Muravchik
In the never-ending torrent of attacks on the Bush administration’s conduct of American foreign policy, the President’s supposed neglect of the peaceful instruments of diplomacy has come in for especially pointed criticism.

Owning the Past
by Steven Munson
In recent years, a number of American museums have become entangled in disputes with foreign governments over the ownership of certain very old objects—antiquities—held by the museums but originally retrieved from territory now under the jurisdiction of the complaining nations.

Can Libel Tourism Be Stopped?
by Andrew McCarthy
Last spring, legislators in New York State joined with the governor, David Paterson, in passing a law entitled the Libel Tourism Protection Act.

Cultural Influence
by Our Readers
To the Editor: While admiring Terry Teachout’s brilliant dissection of my book, The Magical Chorus, I feel compelled to add a few names to his list of Russian artists of the 20th century who influenced American culture.

Israel’s Founding
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Efraim Karsh makes selective use of evidence in order to argue that the Palestinian Arabs were not expelled by the nascent Jewish state [“1948, Israel, and the Palestinians—The True Story,” May].

Reforming Reform
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Jack Wertheimer provides an interesting overview of the history of Reform Judaism and cites many of the critical challenges facing the movement today [“What Does Reform Judaism Stand For?,” June].

Russian Winter
by Our Readers
To the Editor: In “Putin & Co: What Is to Be Done?” [May], Richard Pipes offers characteristically profound insights into the Russian situation.

The Dumbest Generation by Mark Bauerlein
by Kay Hymowitz
The Young & the Amnesiac The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future (Or, Don’t Trust Anyone Under Thirty) by Mark Bauerlein Tarcher.

Jews and Their DNA
by Hillel Halkin
Eight years ago, I published an article in these pages called “Wandering Jews—and Their Genes” (September 2000). At the time I was working on a book about a Tibeto-Burmese ethnic group in the northeast Indian states of Mizoram and Manipur, many of whose members believe that they descend from the biblical tribe of Manasseh, and about a group of Judaizers among them known as the B’nei Menashe, over a thousand of whom live today in Israel as converts to Judaism.  This led me to an interest in Jewish historical genetics, then a new discipline.

The Post-American World by Fareed Zakaria
by Abe Greenwald
Big Think The Post-American World by Fareed Zakaria Norton. 288 pp. $25.95 Since the end of the cold war, historians, economists, and political scientists have undertaken a feverish quest to define the global dynamic.

Life of a Salesman--A Story
by Joseph Epstein
I was in eighth grade and because it was raining that afternoon I didn’t hang around the schoolyard playing softball as usual but came straight home.

Retribution by Max Hastings
by Algis Valiunas
Their Honor, and Ours Retribution: The Battle for Japan, 1944-45 by Max Hastings Knopf. 656 pp. $35.00 Never really prepared for war, America has always hated the thought of going to war, even in the outraged enthusiasm for vengeance following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.


by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by


October, 2008Back to Top
Termites in the Trading System by Jagdish Bhagwati
by John Gordon
As the world economy integrates more tightly with every passing week, the global trading system becomes more and more critical to a future of prosperity.

Echo Chamber by Kathleen Hall Jamieson and Joseph N. Cappella
by Jeff Jacoby
Does a right-wing cabal play havoc with the media? Prominent liberals have been insisting for years that it does. In 1998, then-First Lady Hillary Clinton famously branded reports of her husband’s affair with a young White House intern as the figment of a “vast right-wing conspiracy.” The phrase did not occur to her in the heat of the moment.

A Path Out of the Desert by Kenneth M. Pollack
by Eric Trager
Kenneth Pollack, director of research at the Brookings Institution and the author of books like The Threatening Storm: The Case for Invading Iraq (2002) and The Persian Puzzle: The Conflict Between Iran and America (2004), here tries his hand at a “grand strategy” for U.S.

The Predator State by James K. Galbraith
by Cheryl Einhorn
In The Affluent Society (1958), a biting critique of America’s postwar economic boom, the late John Kenneth Galbraith maintained that the ease and comfort of one class had been gained at the expense of everybody else.

Benjamin Disraeli by Adam Kirsch
by John Gross
Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881) was a Christian. His marriage took place in a church. So did his funeral. He had been baptized as a boy of twelve.

Lost & Found in Translation
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Hillel Halkin has once again presented a thoughtful, illuminating essay on the Jewish cultural situation [“The Translator’s Paradox,” June].

Moral of the Stories
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Cheryl Miller raises an important question in her essay “Why Malamud Faded” [June]. That question is not so much the desperate one implicit in her title; I am not convinced that Malamud has truly faded, and certainly not any more than many other American writers who received praise and honors during their lifetime but now seem figures of another era.

Art, Artlessness, and Hollywood
by Terry Teachout
As with all old media, the movie business is in decline. This is partly because of the fast-growing popularity of competing new-media “platforms” like online entertainment and video games, and partly because the disintegration of America’s common culture has led to the shrinking of the market for the big-budget, mass-audience films that have always been Hollywood’s stock in trade.

How Not to Write About Iraq
by Jonathan Foreman
In the spring of 2005, I watched two U.S. Army units training Iraqi National Army soldiers at a base in Baghdad.

Whatever Happened to Marc Chagall?
by Michael J. Lewis
Sooner or later, the reputation of every creative artist hardens into a kind of permanent fact, after which point only a sharp and massive shift in public sensibility can budge it.

Honor versus Unity
by Laurence Cooper
This should have been the year of the wonk. With a credit crunch, rising inflation, falling home prices, and a growing sense of menace arising from the behavior of the Russians in the Caucasus and the mullahs in Iran, one might have expected the presidential campaign of 2008, even more than previous contests, to focus on policy prescriptions.

Forgetting Zion
by Ruth Wisse
A  Jewish child growing up as I did in Montreal during the 1940’s absorbed Zionism as naturally as Canadian ground did the snow in springtime.

Colorblind Society?
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Linda Chavez argues quite plausibly that black-white relations have never been better, adducing among other things the fact of Barack Obama’s candidacy for President [“Let Us by All Means Have an Honest Conversation About Race,” June].

Remix by Lawrence Lessig
by L. Crovitz
Downloading & Freeloading Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy by Lawrence Lessig Penguin. 352 pp. $25.95 It is not easy having a calm conversation about media these days.

Putin and the Polite Pundits
by Arthur Herman
On September 1, the leaders of the European Union, having already warned Moscow several times of its obligation to meet the terms of the cease-fire agreement with Georgia, held an emergency meeting in Brussels and decided to—issue another warning.

Obama's Leftism
by Joshua Muravchik
Introducing himself to the nation at the 2004 Democratic national convention, Barack Obama spoke not only of his black father, “born and raised in a small village in Kenya,” but of his white mother, “born in a town .


by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by


November, 2008Back to Top
Tunnel Vision
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Emanuele Ottolenghi writes that the Seli company has sold Iran tunnel-boring equipment of the kind that can be used to construct underground bunkers for a nuclear program [“The Iranian Shell Game,” July-August].

Venezuela's Jews
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Travis Pantin correctly notes many of the challenges facing the Venezuelan Jewish community [“Hugo Chávez’s Jewish Problem,” July-August].

Border Dispute
by Our Readers
To the Editor: I am gratified that Peter Wehner approves of the “measured tone and carefully qualified assertions” of my book The New Case Against Immigration, and that he sees through Jason Riley’s ad-hominem attacks against me in Let Them In: The Case for Open Borders [“Keeping Them Out, Letting Them In,” July-August].

Faith Healing
by Our Readers
To the Editor: As a Conservative/Masorti Jew who tries to integrate tradition with change, idealism with reality, and the prophetic tradition with the rabbinic one, I largely agree with Hillel Halkin’s warnings about the unfettered idealism that is often articulated in the name of the Jewish value of “tikkun olam” or repairing the world [“How Not to Repair the World,” July-August].

The Long War
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Arthur Herman’s apology for the Iraq project ignores the real problem, which was not so much going to war as having no idea what to do after toppling Saddam Hussein [“Why Iraq Was Inevitable,” July-August].

The Dark Side by Jane Mayer
by Clifford May
In The Dark Side, the investigative journalist Jane Mayer presents a broadside, perhaps the harshest yet offered, against the Bush administration’s conduct of the war on terror.

Augustine and the Jews by Paula Fredriksen
by Kevin Madigan
The purpose of this book is to chart the way in which Augustine of Hippo (354-430), among the most influential thinkers in the history of the Christian Church, arrived at a “unique” and even “revolutionary” doctrine of “Jewish witness”—witness, that is, to the truth of Christianity.

After Bush by Timothy J. Lynch and Robert S. Singh
by Joshua Muravchik
George W. Bush has been one of the most reviled of recent Presidents, and he has poll ratings to match.

Lion of Jordan by Avi Shlaim
by Robert Satloff
In July 1989, interviewing the late King Hussein for a doctoral dissertation on the early years of his reign, I summoned up the courage to ask him to autograph a first edition of his English-language autobiography, Uneasy Lies the Head (1962).

Hot, Flat, and Crowded by Thomas L. Friedman
by Andrew Ferguson
Chapter One of Thomas L. Friedman’s new book opens with an anecdote, and the anecdote Thomas L. Friedman recounts is about Thomas L.

All That (White) Jazz
by Terry Teachout
The history of modern American popular music is in large measure the story of jazz, a music whose origins have long been the subject of intense controversy.

The Architect and the Machine
by Michael J. Lewis
The central fact of architecture in our time is the collapse of the modern movement. One by one, the central planks of architectural modernism—moral urgency, an agenda of social reform, and a strong sense of historical mission—have fallen away, leaving only the forms to live on.

My Pocket Bible
by Hillel Halkin
At the time, it seemed so imaginative an exegesis that I thought of doing something fictional with it. In the end, nothing came of it.

Memo to the New President
by Amir Taheri
The return of Russia as a prime global menace has recently seized the attention of world governments, but another set of issues, collectively known as “the Middle East crisis,” will continue to dominate the American and Western agenda for at least the near future.

A Descent in the Dark
by R. R. Reno
In memory of Alex: I never believed you would die. I  looked up as the sun struck the summits. The tops of the French Alps blazed, and the lifeless gray sky of the hour before dawn was suddenly, miraculously, vibrantly blue.

Liberals and the Surge
by Peter Wehner
In early January 2007, 71 percent of Americans said the Iraq war was going moderately badly to very badly. Indeed, the war had been unpopular for much of the previous years, at times deeply so.

The Madness of Crowds
by John Gordon
Fueled by easy credit, the real-estate market had been rising swiftly for some years. Members of Congress were determined to assure the continuation of that easy credit.


by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by



by


December, 2008Back to Top
Sderot Under Siege
by David Keyes
Larissa Yaakobov stands before me sobbing. Her young daughter and nine-year-old son look on helpless. “I can’t do it anymore,” she says in broken Hebrew, “I can’t live here.” “Here” is Sderot, an Israeli border community adjacent to the Gaza Strip where Larissa has lived since she emigrated from Russia fifteen years ago. Larissa ’s son does not say a word. He hasn’t said much, she tells me, since the two watched a Qassam rocket slam into a woman a few feet away killing her instantly. Less than twenty four hours before Israel unleashed its air-force on the Gaza Strip, I sat with four families in Sderot who have been injured and traumatized by Hamas rocket fire. In the hours before Israel ’s incursion, the mood was tense—even by Sderot standards. The streets were barren; everyone is bracing for new waves of rockets.

Empires of Trust by Thomas F. Madden
by David Frum
History Lesson Empires of Trust: How Rome Built—and America Is Building—a New World by Thomas F. Madden Dutton. 352 pp. $25.95. “History never repeats itself,” the Yale medievalist Roberto Lopez used to warn his students.

Icon of Evil by David G. Dalin
by Dean Godson
Jihad in Palestine Icon of Evil: Hitler’s Mufti and the Rise of Radical Islam by David G. Dalin and John F. Rothmann Random House.

Samuel Adams: A Life by Ira Stoll
by Philip Terzian
The Revolutionist Samuel Adams: A Life by Ira Stoll Free Press. 339 pp. $28.00   Thomas Jefferson called Samuel Adams “truly the Man of the Revolution.” In the words of his second cousin John, Adams was “zealous, ardent and keen in the Cause.” “For depth of purpose, zeal, and sagacity,” said Jefferson, “no man in Congress exceeded, if any equaled, Sam.

Leaves from the Garden of Eden by Howard Schwartz
by Hillel Halkin
Kosher Demons Leaves from the Garden of Eden: One Hundred Classic Jewish Tales by Howard Schwartz Oxford. 544 pp. $34.95 Collections of Jewish tales, of which Howard Schwartz, a professor of English literature at the University of Missouri-St.

The Case for Big Government by Jeff Madrick
by Jonathan Kay
Sweden on the Potomac The Case for Big Government by Jeff Madrick Princeton. 224 pp. $22.95 For the last 30 years, “big government” has been a term of abuse in this country.

Is There a Jewish Race?
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Hillel Halkin’s discussion of my book Abraham’s Children: Race, Identity, and the DNA of the Chosen People and of Jewish genetics generally is well meaning, but he skirts the issue most critical to understanding Jewish identity: namely, race [“Jews and Their DNA,” September]. As he notes, most secular Jews and almost all Gentiles consider the notion that Jews are somehow biologically distinct an “embarrassing anachronism”—yet this has historically been the bedrock of Jewishness and remains so today, politically-correct denials notwithstanding.

Prizes of the Past
by Our Readers
To The Editor: I was pleased to read Steven C. Munson’s careful review of my book Who Owns Antiquity?, and to read it in the context of his remarks on Frances Wood’s The Silk Road (2002) and the recent exhibition at the National Gallery, Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures from the National Museum, Kabul [“Owning the Past,” September].

The Clash
by Our Readers
To the Editor: Bret Stephens’s “How to Manage Savagery” [September] is a well-informed and thoughtful essay, but it has two significant blind spots.

Beecham!
by Terry Teachout
In 1904, the German journalist Oskar A.H. Schmitz published a study of English culture whose title, Das Land ohne Musik—“The Land Without Music”—would remain a byword long after the man who coined it was forgotten.

The Passion of Emma
by David Gelernter
You know why I am sitting at my typewriter in this Montevideo hotel room with its dirty rug & air heavy with dead cigar smoke, mildew & damp, and how roughly seven weeks ago, 10 December 1943, after circling around north from the Swiss border, I entered H claiming to be a Berliner recovering from pneumonia, & you have heard the bare facts as I reported them from Basle the moment I crossed back.

The California Cover-up
by Jennifer Rubin
California’s state-run universities have long been considered among the glories, if not the crowning glory, of public higher education in the United States.

9/11 and the Novelists
by Cheryl Miller
In Don DeLillo’s novel Falling Man (2007), a man dressed in a suit and tie plunges headfirst from a Manhattan skyscraper just weeks after the attacks of September 11, 2001.

Hysteria in Four Acts
by Paul McHugh
In 1973, the journalist Flora Rhea Schreiber collaborated with Cornelia Wilbur, a Manhattan psychiatrist, in writing Sybil, the story of a young woman who, while under Wilbur’s care, developed sixteen “personalities.” In each distinct “alter”— alternative personality—she behaved in a different way, at one time or another “depicting” aggressive males, defenseless children, and intellectual women. In their book, which was an enormous bestseller in both hardcover and paperback and inspired a hugely popular four-hour movie for television, the collaborating authors proposed that the “disintegration” of Sybil’s mind into several personalities was the result of her having repressed the memory of sexual abuse she had suffered at the hands of her mother in childhood.

Chosenness and Its Enemies
by Jon Levenson
Few religious doctrines have attracted more virulent criticism than the idea of the chosen people. Over the past several centuries alone, both Jews and non-Jews have judged this key tenet of classical Judaism to be undemocratic, chauvinistic, superstitious—in short, retrograde in every way that matters to the progressive mind. Nor is it just progressives who have found it deficient.

An Obama Realignment?
by John Podhoretz
An ocean of ink, India and printer’s and virtual, has been spilled in celebration of a black man’s ascension to the presidency of the United States.


by



by





Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor to our site, you are allowed 8 free articles this month.
This is your first of 8 free articles.

If you are already a digital subscriber, log in here »

Print subscriber? For free access to the website and iPad, register here »

To subscribe, click here to see our subscription offers »

Please note this is an advertisement skip this ad
Clearly, you have a passion for ideas.
Subscribe today for unlimited digital access to the publication that shapes the minds of the people who shape our world.
Get for just
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor, you are allowed 8 free articles.
This is your first article.
You have read of 8 free articles this month.
YOU HAVE READ 8 OF 8
FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
for full access to
CommentaryMagazine.com
INCLUDES FULL ACCESS TO:
Digital subscriber?
Print subscriber? Get free access »
Call to subscribe: 1-800-829-6270
You can also subscribe
on your computer at
CommentaryMagazine.com.
LOG IN WITH YOUR
COMMENTARY MAGAZINE ID
Don't have a CommentaryMagazine.com log in?
CREATE A COMMENTARY
LOG IN ID
Enter you email address and password below. A confirmation email will be sent to the email address that you provide.