A Changing Middle East
Since this spring’s eruption of demands for change in the Arab world, uncertainty reigns everywhere. In some countries, long-ruling autocrats still fight viciously for power, while in others, leaders scramble to reach a new accommodation with their suddenly rebellious people. Egyptians and Tunisians, meanwhile, struggle to make good on the promise of democracy. Where did this wave of change come from? And where is it going?
For America, An Arab Winter
As Arab political horizons expand, the space for the United States to pursue its interests in the Middle East may well contract.
More Stories From This Issue
The Long Revolt
The Arab world’s wave of change was a century in the making. Why expect its effects to become clear in the space of months?
The Pink Hijab
The Arab revolts of 2011 have transformed the image of the Islamic world. One young Egyptian woman’s struggle reflects the scope of change—and shows how long it has been in coming.
Writing the New Rules of the Game
In Egypt, the next important battles over the political future will be waged with law books and computer keyboards.
Beyond the Bully Pulpit
Theodore Roosevelt famously used the “bully pulpit” of the White House to advance his agenda. By the time he left office, “spin” had become a fundamental part of the American presidency.
Three Cheers for Blue-Ribbon Panels
It is easy to scoff at the prestigious commissions that constantly sprout in Washington as empty exercises in buck passing—until you take stock of all they have accomplished.
If North Korea Falls
It's hard to tell how stable the North Korean regime is, but when it goes, it will be a international calamity.
Latin America Rising
There's an old joke in Latin America: Why has there never been a coup in Washington? Because there's no U.S. embassy there.
Say Yes to Nukes
Nuclear abolition can’t work unless all parties know definitively that it is universal. That’s impossible.
Merit Pay for Congress?
Congress has gone through other periods of decline and has always bounced back. Is this time different?
No Small Wonder
Breyer says that judges from around the world ask him, “What is the secret?” Unfortunately, there isn’t one.
Comparing the Tippy Tops
For the first half of the 20th century, countries generally followed similar paths on income inequality. In more recent years, they've diverged.
Who Wants a Tax Break?
Europeans are more likely to believe that poverty is the consequence of bad luck and structural challenges. Americans tend to point to laziness. Why?
Parenthood's Second Wind
Parenthood correlate with a lower degree of self-reported happiness. But the subjective well-being of parents changes dramatically with age.
Homeownership and Race
Homeownership rates for blacks and whites have converged since the Civil War — and nearly all of the convergence happened before 1910.
Philosophy for the Few
Philosophy should not be held to a different standard than other fields of academic inquiry.
The 20th century saw the rise of the “bigs”: big business, big government, etc. Add one more to the list: big religion.
Putting Free Will to the Test
If told that many scientists believe that our own world is determined, people are much less forgiving of wrongdoing than they are when the world under consideration is determined but imaginary.
Beauty, the Ultimate Survivor
Artists have often found it useful to deny or to disguise their predilection for the beautiful.
No RIP for Print
The editors of McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern have a one-word response to apocalyptic proclamations that the printed word is dead: phooey!
Graffiti Gets the Glory
The vogue for street art among elite gallery owners and art collectors recently reached its apotheosis.
The Origins of the Sunni Awakening
Jihadists have come to hate al-Jazeera. They call it "al-Khanzeera," a pun that means "pig station".
India's Vulture Void
"There were so many vultures then that you can’t even think they could decline."
In the 20 years since thecollapse of communism, democracy has not exactly flourished in the post-Soviet lands.
The Little Island That Could
The tiny island of Mauritius is one of sub-Saharan Africa's great success stories, but the reasons are not easy to describe — or duplicate.
Best Civil War Military Books
When asked to choose five great books on military aspects of the Civil War, a leading historian was initially thrilled, then perplexed.
Four Essential Books About Abraham Lincoln
You can't understand Abraham Lincoln without understanding the country that has loved him so.
Best Books on Slavery and Race Relations
As they wrote Jim Crow into law, purveyors of sectional reconciliation largely erased the campaign for black equality - and often black people themselves - from the history books.
My Favorite Civil War Novels
A few well-crafted novels bring alive what Walt Whitman called “the seething hell and black infernal background” of the war.
A Moral Question
It’s hardly surprising that “most people” in the 1860s saw the war in terms of right and wrong; people engaged in warfare generally do.
For a moment amid the ferment after the Civil War, it seemed possible to at least some Americans that women would win the right to vote.
Battle Over Britain
A century and a half ago, Britain was the world’s mightiest maritime power — which explains the harsh competition for its favor during the Civil War.
At War Over the War
Recent generations of Civil War scholars have completely missed the boat, Gallagher argues.