“HE WORE A PURPLE PLAID SUIT his staff abhorred and a pinstripe shirt and polka-dot tie and a folded white silk puffing up extravagantly out of his pocket.” This was not some tea-sipping Edwardian dandy. It was Ronald Reagan announcing his presidential candidacy at the National Press Club in November
IF CLARE BOOTHE LUCE, with her lowly origins and blinding ambition, hadn’t existed, she might have sprung fully formed from the imagination of Henry James—or, perhaps, Candace Bushnell. The very fact that it’s hard to figure out which universe of discourse Luce belongs in—the nuanced world of a
The champions of innovation-speak are as confused by the subject as anyone. To them, technology is a thing with a life of its own. And it can evidently only be understood via the ministrations of a class of reverent spiritual adepts, duly catechized in treating its essence as holy and its creators as demigods.
Two new works of fiction about war, Phil Klay's Redeployment and Hassan Blasim's The Corpse Exhibition, share a nightmarish view of Americans' role in Iraq. If you think these have been unjust wars, fought for specious reasons, and therefore productive of great evil, these books will only fortify your opinion.
For a long time, it has been unclear why the Americans are still fighting in Afghanistan. In 2001, when the Bush administration launched the invasion, the mission was to destroy Al Qaeda and the Taliban leadership. But thirteen years later, with Osama bin Laden dead and Al Qaeda's operations and leaders dispersed well beyond Afghanistan's borders, how can we sum up the main objective of America's longest-running war? Who is the enemy now?
Major policy changes and crime epidemics rightly generate front-page headlines, but daily press coverage only hints at the complicated experiences of individual women serving in the US military. With a handful of notable exceptions, war memoirs are written predominantly by men, and most war stories have male protagonists; it is as if war itself, and the stories we tell about it, were inherently masculine.
GO AHEAD AND CANCEL the asbestos-gloves order you placed with Amazon in preparation for reading Robert H. Patton’s luridly titled (and grandiosely subtitled) Hell Before Breakfast. You won’t need them. The book’s sulfur-and-perdition name oversells by a factor of about ten the levels of excitement,
William Tecumseh Sherman has always been known as an odd duck: depressive, erratic, prone to fits of mania and abiding personal grudges. He also married his sister, or at least his foster sister, though he passed their long periods of duty-related separation with whatever women were locally available. A new biography by the respected military-history writer Robert L. O'Connell revisits this well-known story, telling it again.
WAR HAS consistently sparked cartoonists to do the most inspired work in their medium. By 1939, when newspaper comics were still primarily known as “the funnies,” Milton Caniff used his Terry and the Pirates kids’ adventure strip to depict the Japanese invasion of Manchuria with unprecedented—and
EDSEL FORD FIRST saw the B-24 Liberator in January 1941. The supervisors of the Consolidated Aircraft Corporation’s plant invited him to climb aboard. So he clambered into the claustrophobic cockpit, through the extended belly of the plane, past the massive bomb bay, and back into the San Diego