The last thing most Americans wanted during Barack Obama’s second term was another war in the Middle East. But now we’re in one, and an inevitable and necessary raft of new books is emerging to explain to the public how and why this came to be. Patrick Cockburn’s The Rise of Islamic State is an
After the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels, online activists produced a jarring Internet meme, juxtaposing photos of the Islamic State’s atrocities with historical images of those of the Ku Klux Klan. However strained this connection may be, its visual impact is undeniably arresting.
This year’s Republican National Convention, perhaps more than any previous one, brought incongruous segments of American society into close quarters. I didn’t have much in common with most of the people I met, but I did have one thing in common with the folks below: All of us were, in our own ways, outsiders. On
Last January, the chairman of the Republican National Committee tweeted: ‘It’s clear we’ve got the most well-qualified and diverse field of candidates from any party in history.’ Why, the world wonders, did they end up with Donald Trump as their nominee?
The 1.7-square-mile restricted “event zone” demarcating this year’s Republican Convention in Cleveland, which includes two smaller, even more restricted “security zones” managed by the Secret Service, would have once seemed out of place in the American landscape. Ideals of open mobility and equal access are written into the land by the Jeffersonian grid that organizes
My wife and I had settled in for a quiet Friday night. With all the recent madness in Istanbul—the bombings, the scapegoating, the reprisals, the anxiety, the melancholic farewells with friends who decided they can’t take it anymore, and the consolatory exchanges with others who feel the same way but have no avenue of egress—we
Heroin doesn’t sound like “heroine” by accident. The name for the drug derives from “hero,” or “heroes,” as in the late nineteenth-century soldiers on morphine who fought through their injuries and floated home. The same then-legal morphine was popular among women of the upper classes,
Jelani Cobb offers a stunning analysis of the facts and mysteries surrounding the death of Alton Sterling, an African American man who was shot by police. "The most vexing question is why the claim 'He's got a gun!' would culminate in the decision to use deadly force."
In the aftermath of the most deadly mass shooting in American history, the issue of gun regulation is once again in the news. Gun-rights advocates continue to invoke the Second Amendment as an obstacle to common-sense gun regulations. Supporters of gun-violence prevention dispute the advocates’ interpretation of the Second Amendment. Some have even suggested repealing
There are no happy marriages in literary memoirs, and I pity whomever was foolish enough to marry a writer in the first place. Famous writers and their ex-spouses possess a variety of dubious stock traits. Husbands are deeply insecure narcissists rendered impotent when passed over for major awards. Wives possess an often lesser-respected talent, and