Lessons of the Great Depression
The Great Depression has long been regarded as a one-off economic event, so catastrophic that, with the preventive measures now in place, it could never be repeated. Today, as we grapple with a years-long global economic downturn whose ultimate contours remain unknown, the Depression is increasingly relevant to the present.
Revisiting the Great Depression
The role of the welfare state in today’s economic crisis recalls the part played by the gold standard in the calamitous 1930s.
More Stories From This Issue
The Debt Bomb
When wages stagnate and inequality rises, Americans try to borrow their way toward the American dream. Inevitably, the bubble bursts. But we can learn from the lessons of 1929.
Great Recession or Mini- Depression?
Words may be failing economists and others who characterize the economic downturn that began in 2008 as "the Great Recession." "Mini-Depression" may be more like it.
Man as Machine
A peculiar experiment inspired by the Enlightenment sheds light on the age-old question of what makes us human.
My Own Private Nietzsche: An American Story
The German philosopher whose ideas would leave an indelible mark on Europe was embraced by Americans eager to see in him a reflection of their own image.
Pakistan's Most Dangerous Place
Pakistan's remote and poorly understood tribal region has emerged as key to the future of both Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Tocqueville's Blind Spots
For all its insight, the French nobleman’s magnum opus left a bit to be desired.
Brazil's Popularity Problem
While Brazil is enjoying its spot on the crowded global stage, it doesn't have many close allies in South America.
Checkpoints, Not Checks
There's little actual evidence to back claims that employment will make insurgency less likely.
Religion: one major reason why Europe's labor unions are so powerful
Why do 70% of European workers have collective bargaining, while only 13% of their US counterparts do? Religion is a surprisingly big part of the answer.
Republicans who watch CNN believe in global warming. Fox News? Nope.
The more Fox broadcasts a Republican took in, the more sharply that viewer disagreed that global warming is occurring.
For Love or Money
“We should be very grateful for your best opinion as to what literary magazines now being published in the United States are of the most use to literature.”
The Empty Threat of Cyberwar
Cyberwar does not take place in the present. And it is highly unlikely that cyberwar will occur in the future.
Why did the American Revolution happen? The economy, stupid.
American patriots were often forced to subsume their economic frustrations within a broader argument for sovereignty.
Indispensable No More
In light of its diminished influence, the U.S. must be careful about where and how it deploys its power.
The substantial costs of dropped medical malpractice cases
Medical malpractice litigation still won’t be a walk in the park, but it should cause fewer headaches.
Even though Moroccans approved a revised constitution in a July referendum, the idea that the country is on the road to being a healthy democracy is an illusion.
The Challenges of Assimilation for Muslim Americans
More than a decade after 9/11, U.S. Muslims are struggling to forge a distinctively Muslim-American identity.
American political parties are declining. Partisanship isn't.
At a time when the United States faces serious long-term challenges, American politics is becoming “less coherent and more subject to rapid mood swings.”
Imaging technology is becoming more useful than autopsies
Imaging technologies can establish an accurate cause of death in many cases, sharply reducing the number of autopsies that need to be performed.
The Postpartisan Folly
The American yearning for a politics without partisan conflict is as old as the republic.
In theory, consumers ought to prefer free trade. What about reality?
Most people are producers as well as consumers, and the more they think of themselves as producers, the more likely they are to oppose dropping trade barriers that protect struggling sectors such as agriculture.
For scientific journals, the number of retractions is booming. Why?
Scientists can breathe a sigh of relief—an explosion of shoddy research is probably not the culprit.
Americans are less likely to move now than they were 30 years ago
In the 1980s, 3% of men migrated from one state to another every year; by the 2000s, only 1.7% made such moves. Why?
Why the U.S. should stand by Taiwan
Even if the United States did bow to China’s wishes and pull the plug on its Taiwan support, there is no guarantee that relations between the rival superpowers would get any smoother.
Talk radio is thriving — and it has very little to do with politics
Because it is highly topical, reflecting news of the day, its audience has not readily decamped to competitors such as podcasts.
The Westphalian Mirage
Today, we tend to measure the uncertainties created by globalization against the solid foundation established by a 400-year-old Peace. Maybe we shouldn't.
India's Musical Menace
The harmonium has played a fraught but indispensable role in modern Indian music.
Roger Williams: A Man of Conscience
Advocating liberty of conscience, he built a wall between the wilderness of the world and the garden of faith that has shaped our political discourse for the last 400 years.
The Uncontainable Diplomat
It was, Kennan wrote, as if Dulles had asked his wife for a divorce, but added that he liked the way she prepared scrambled eggs and would she cook a quick plate for him before leaving.
Mythical City: Rome In Our Imagination
Ancient Rome in reality: flimsy apartments, streets strewn with human excrement, garbage, and the occasional corpse.
New Life for Old Cities
Across America, small and midsize cities, particularly those that traditionally have relied on manufacturing, are struggling to forge new identities in a globalized world gripped by recession.
Humanity's Eternal Question: "What's Next?"
The trick is to know which novelty to embrace because it’s genuinely useful, and which to consign to a dust heap of wan or dangerous diversions.
50 years after he ended his life, Hemingway lives in the American consciousness mostly in caricature.