On Political Books Archives
How the war on terrorism became a business model.
How Medicare and other federal subsidies rope the elderly into painful, futile, and costly end-of-life care.
The federal government spends billions replenishing beaches for the affluent. The bill will soon skyrocket thanks to climate change.
We are still living with the forty-third president’s legacy.
The American Midwest and the Mexican border are the twin faces of economic globalization—and the upheavals they have endured are the new normal.
Buried in Steven Brill’s convoluted tome are important truths about how to reform our health care delivery system.
While other conservatives say that the American state has become too powerful, Francis Fukuyama argues that it has grown too weak.
Conservatives have made the Supreme Court radical. But not radical enough for libertarians.
The framers would be shocked at how far conservative jurists have narrowed the definition of what constitutes political corruption.
Yes, terrorists conspire with criminal networks and corrupt officials. But that doesn’t mean cracking down on crime and corruption will stop terrorism.
Three of our finest flag officers attempt to offer unifying visions for the United States, but run aground on the same political polarization that flummoxes everything else.
How Washington bought into the anti-saturated-fat agenda.
How Ronald Reagan, the sunniest president in recent memory, cemented the Republican Party to the dark vision of Richard Nixon.
Why, someday soon, middle-class taxes will have to go up.
When Yemen fell into chaos, most foreign correspondents were kept out. The only reliable news came from a few intrepid young Western freelancers who spoke the language, lived like locals, and managed to stay in the country.
How our refusal to face up to the realities of aging and mortality causes needless suffering.
With Eric Holder leaving the Justice Department, Washington has a chance to get serious about prosecuting financial crimes. But what exactly has been the holdup?
Inside the lives of the agency heads who actually run the federal government.
The terms of the contemporary divide over Israel's identity were laid out nearly a century ago by two fiery journalists, Vladimir Jabotinsky and Abraham Cahan.
Two D.C. schools, a traditional public and a nonunionized charter, are experimenting with socioeconomic integration.
How FDR redefined freedom and changed America.
The visionary guidance counselor in a poor urban high school discovers why some top colleges don't want even his best students: money.
How Antonin Scalia ceased to be a powerhouse jurist and became a crank.
Efforts to ban capital punishment are growing. But keep this in mind: the last time the Supreme Court tried to end the death penalty, we got more executions.
History shows that growth alone won’t stop vast economic inequality.
Before 2007, the press failed to see the growing rot in the U.S. financial system and warn the public. Why?
Don’t worry about America losing its dominant position in the global economy. Worry instead about whether average Americans will benefit.
To end the culture war that divides America, we need to recognize that each side has the same roots: the radical democratic individualism of America’s Protestant heritage.
Are left and right a feature (or bug) of evolution?
Truman’s quick recognition of Israel was tragic, dysfunctional, and quintessentially American.
How high schools condition students to accept their lot.
Competition with China really isn’t a zero-sum game. So why does it feel that way?
Even in his private correspondence, Arthur Schlesinger Jr. was an unapologetic Kennedy partisan.
How the Romans invented Facebook, sort of.
Why our next war will be fought in cities.
Mitt Romney didn’t lose because of the GOP’s far-right agenda. That’s what’s scary.
How Dick Cheney controlled, and lost control of, George W. Bush.
Why introspection was too dangerous for Washington’s bravest sleuth.
Can a trade pact with Europe help America tame China?
Averse to compromise, he died a bewildered and broken man.
For Allen and John Foster Dulles, regime change was an extension of the family business.
Egypt isn’t the only country where elected leaders are being ousted in the name of democracy.
Misremembering the March on Washington.
How a poor New Jersey town and its teacher’s unions turned around its schools.
Other countries' schools outperform ours by following a philosophy that is—or ought to be—very American: innate talent is less important than sheer drive.
Richard M. Daley may not have been the smartest guy in the room. But he knew how to run Chicago.
Jonathan Rowe’s brilliant posthumous meditation on the shared, non-commercialized realms of life that sustain us.
Why poor nations aren’t prisoners of their history.
The perils and promise of online learning.
Online learning will transform the nature of college for everybody—except the affluent.
Chronicling America’s not-quite-decline.
What Deng Xiaoping, Pope John Paul, the Ayatollah Khomeini, and Margaret Thatcher had in common.
Forget Kenya. The president’s secret political philosophy is apparently rooted in seventeenth-century Rotterdam.
Why politicians pursue austerity policies that never work.
How taxpayers subsidize failing philanthropies.
The government program where party differences have widened the most, and matter the most, is Medicaid.
The ever-diminishing advantages of a career in the law versus the undiminished enthusiasm of law schools to mint new attorneys.
How the Comandante may get the last laugh, even from the grave.
How disaster relief justifies the welfare state.
Why some conservatives are warming to socioeconomic school integration.
In Iraq and Afghanistan, General David Petraeus applied all the lessons learned in Vietnam—except for the one that mattered most.
Why Eisenhower distrusted, but needed, Nixon.
Harry Truman was a classic American striver, and a failure, until politics intervened.
Thomas Ricks explains the declining competence of America's senior military commanders.
Inside the shadowy business of ghostwriting college students' papers.
Scholars have discovered that certain everyday food items have played pivotal roles in the history of civilization. Apparently, peanut butter is not one of them.
It’s probably a matter of when, not if, al-Qaeda in Yemen successfully strikes the U.S. Yet the drone attacks currently keeping the organization at bay are also helping recruit more terrorists. Can you say “no-win situation”?
Only one national reporter, Michael Grunwald, bothered to take a detailed look at how well the $787 billion stimulus was spent. What he discovered confounds the Beltway conventional wisdom.
Liberals don’t want to admit it, and conservatives don’t want to pay for it, but building character—resilience, optimism, perseverance, focus—may be the best way to help poor students succeed.
An academic’s doomed attempt to explain why there are no good right-wing comedians.
How the poor used to live.
By most accounts, economic issues are the real core of politics, and social issues are a distraction. A historian begs to differ.
Strom Thurmond's loathsomeness on race obscures his larger role: he was there at all the major choke points of modern conservative history.
George W. Bush nicknamed him “Big Boy.” Will Mitt Romney call him “my running mate”?
Should the South just be its own country?
Obama’s surprisingly strong national security record owes much to a group of youthful aides few Americans have heard of.
How it took a novelist to make Richard Nixon seem human.
Peter Beinart warns that American Jews must refocus on the democratic and humanitarian principles of Zionism before Israel becomes simply another despotic Middle Eastern state.
American democracy promotion didn’t spark the Arab uprisings, but a shared hatred of our Middle East policies sure helped them spread.
Ross Douthat rightly asserts that religious faith is essential to America’s understanding of itself. But his own understanding of religion is suspiciously selective.
The real Tea Partiers are worth getting to know. Because they’re going to be here a while. And they might prove useful.
Two political thinkers, a liberal and a conservative, believe America is headed toward inexorable decline. There are good reasons to believe they’re both wrong.
An oral history of the twentieth century, dictated on his deathbed, shows that Tony Judt was, to the end, the consummate public intellectual.
A novelist’s lonely struggle to recover the religion-inspired liberalism of America’s founding ethos.
How water scarcity will soon be Asia’s defining crisis.
Feral pigs are violent, dirty, and ugly, and they ravage every ecosystem they live in—still, who knew killing them could be such fun?
The American dream can be revived, says Tom Brokaw, if we can overcome our disunity, and universal national service is the key.
How a historian who reveled in destroying the reputations of others ruined his own.
How an idealistic spy in Asia challenged the American way of war, and what his tragedy teaches us about finding allies today.
The fall of moderate Republicans wasn’t inevitable. But their resurrection is hard to imagine.
Will Hezbollah remain a movement devoted to war with Israel or a pragmatic political player in Lebanon? That choice could determine the future of the Middle East.
Political reform will never happen until candidates and donors realize they’re being ripped off.
How America's forbidding political landscape made health care reform impossible for Clinton and nearly so for Obama.
How religious zealots in the Israeli government are supporting a new generation of extremist settlers who hate the Israeli government.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens's thirty-five-year tenure was marked by intellectual rigor, lack of pretension, and the firm belief that absolutism had no place on the bench.
Robert Frank's effort to explain the lessons of evolution without offending libertarian sensibilities
The promising, frustrating, indispensable race by government and industry to revolutionize the storage of electricity.
How the self-proclaimed Capitalist Tool was brought down by capitalism itself.
How the underground life of undocumented immigrants leaves their children cognitively impaired.
Germany’s other genocide.
How the United Nations foots the bill for a state ruled by thugs.
What the first systematic survey of North Korean refugees tells us about life inside the Hermit Kingdom, and about whether the regime might be ready to fall.
Has D.C.’s radical experiment in school reform really worked?
What it was like working for Larry and Sergey during Google’s pioneering first years.
Why the left’s despair over Barack Obama has deep historical roots.
What the murder of a late-term abortion doctor does and does not say about the anti-choice movement.
A mountain of studies now shows that AmeriCorps, the nation's biggest community service program, works. House Republicans want to zero out its budget.
There's plenty to criticize about America's newspaper of record. So why do conservatives make up reasons that don't exist?
Middle East reformers would do well to study Thailand for lessons in how not to build a democracy.
The Religious Right's real pioneers came not from the South but Southern California.
Frederick Hess’s big new school reform idea is that no big new school reform idea works everywhere.
How conservatives ignored, and liberals misconstrued, Eisenhower’s warnings about military spending.
Why urban America, once written off, has come back.
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