The Wilson Quarterly

Articles from Vol. 25, No. 2, Spring

After the Thaw
When Russia began emerging from decades of international isolation and confrontation with the West in the years after Mikhail Gorbachev's perestroika (1985-1991), many Russians hoped for the quick establishment of friendly ties with the Western nations....
A Hero with a Blind Spot
Fifteen years ago, as I was setting off to visit the United States for my first extended stay, a knowledgeable friend gave me the following advice about the difference between the United States and Germany: "When you enter a house for the first time...
A Medieval Sociobiologist
"Thomistic Natural Law as Darwinian Natural Right" by Larry Amhart, in Social Philosophy & Policy (Winter 2001), Social Philosophy and Policy Center, Bowling Green State Univ., Bowling Green, Ohio 43403. In his controversial works Sociobiology...
A Misunderstood Masterpiece
"The Real Presence of Christ and the Penitent Mary Magdalen in the Allegory of Faith by Johannes Vermeer" by Valerie Lind Hedquist, in Art History (Sept 2000), Assn. of Art Historians, 70 Cowcross St., London EC1M 6EJ, U.K. Allegory of Faith (c....
A View of Rome from the Provinces
The American scholar spoke in a matter-of-fact tone. "Not since Rome," he said, "has a single power so dominated the world -- militarily, economically, culturally; in science, in the arts, in education." Around the Washington seminar table, sage heads...
Beauty-And Beast
In a recent survey of Chinese attitudes toward America, the respondents--a cross-section of Chinese society--were asked to give the first words that came mind at the mention of the United States. Thirty-four percent of them answered "modernization,"...
Classrooms for Sale
Corporations direct $12 billion of marketing cash at American children each year, and more and more of that money is going directly into classrooms, where the captive audience numbers some 53 million students. For decades, businesses have promoted...
Correspondence
The Gulf War's Legacy Andrew J. Bacevich argues that the Persian Gulf War, like the Spanish-American War, was a turning point in U.S. history ["A Less than Splendid Little War," WQ, Winter '01]. He claims that the conflict transformed American views...
Ellison and the Wright Stuff
"The Birth of the Critic: Thc Literary Friendship of Ralph Ellison and Richard Wright" by Lawrence P. Jackson, in American Literature (June 2000), Box 90020, Duke Univ., Durham, N.C. 27708-0020. Sixteen years before he published Invisible Man (1952),...
"Ever-More-Rooted Americans."
Working paper for "USA: A Century of Difference," a project sponsored by the Russell Sage Foundation, and also supported by thc Center for Working Families, University of California, Berkeley. 29 pp. Available at ucdata.Berkeley.EDU/rsfcensus. Author:...
Federalism's Phony Rebirth
"Does Federalism Have a Future?" by Pietro S. Nivola, in The Public Interest (Winter 2001), 1112 16th St., N.W., Ste. 530, Washington, D.C. 20036. "WE WIN," exulted the conservative Weekly Standard after President Bill Clinton declared in 1996 that...
"For Goodness' Sake: Why So Many Want Religion to Play a Greater Role in American Life."
Public Agenda, 6 E. 39th St., New York, N.Y. 10016, 58 pp. $10. Authors: Steve Farkas et al. Two-thirds of Americans apparently like the idea, championed by President George W. Bush, of providing federal funds to churches and religious groups...
From the Center
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars In his inaugural address, President George W. Bush asked the nation's lawmakers to join him in setting a tone of civility and mutual respect in Washington. For the new administration, the nation's...
Is Nanotech Getting Real?
A Survey of Recent Articles Nanotechnology has been the next new thing for more than a few nanoseconds now, but it's still not clear how much is science and how much is science fiction. Utopian dreamers, doomsday prophets, hardheaded scientists,...
Is the New Economy History?
"Does the 'New Economy' Measure up to the Great Inventions of the Past?" by Robert J. Gordon, in Journal of Economic Perspectives (Fall 2000), American Economic Assn., 2014 Broadway, Ste. 305, Nashville, Tenn. 37203-2418. The celebrated "New Economy"...
"Major Management Challenges and Program Risks: A Governmentwide Perspective."
GAO-01-241. Available at www.gao.gov. U.S. General Accounting Office, P.O. Box 37050, Washington, D.C. 20013. 66 pp. No charge. The era of big government may be over, but the General Accounting Office (GAO), Congress's independent investigative...
Making Sense of Labor
"The Development of the Neoclassical Tradition in Labor Economics" by George R. Boyer and Robert S. Smith, in Industrial and Labor Relations Review (Jan 2001), Cornell Univ., Ithaca, N.Y. 14853--3901. During the 1950s and 1960s, theory-minded neoclassical...
Mexico's 'Compassionate Conservatism'
"Vicente Fox and the Rise of the PAN" by David A Shirk, in Journal of Democracy (Oct. 2000), 1101 15th St., N.W, Ste 802, Washington, D.C. 20005. Mexico's new president, Vicente Fox, ended decades of rule by the Institutional Revolutionary Party...
Mexico's New Spirit
Mexico's perceptions of the United States have changed very little during the past five decades. What has undergone a total transformation, however, is the atmosphere in which they are formed. This change reached its culmination with the defeat of...
'Ordinary' Mass Murderers?
"Were the Perpetrators of Genocide 'Ordinary Men' or 'Real Nazis'? Results from Fifteen Hundred Biographies" by Michael Mann, in Holocaust and Genocide Studies (Winter 2000), Dept. of Academic Publications, Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, U.S....
Remaking the Landscape
"A Word for Landscape Architecture" by John Beardsley, in Harvard Design Magazine (Fall 2000), Harvard Univ., Graduate School of Design, 48 Quincy St., Cambridge, Mass, 02138. Unlike architecture and the fine arts, landscape architecture seldom...
Stranger in the Arab-Muslim World
That wily, flamboyant Egyptian ruler Anwar al-Sadat contracted an affection for things and people American when he dominated his land in the 1970s. In the distant, powerful United States, which had ventured into Egypt, he saw salvation for his country--a...
The Barbaric Americans
To the French, the winner of the American presidential election in 2000 was Bill Clinton. Political commentators expressed no particular liking for George W. Bush. The little that was known about him was not encouraging. Had he ever visited Europe?...
The Blue-Collar Montaigne
"Eric Hoffer Revisited" by Stephen Miller, in The Republic of Letters (2000: No. 9), www.bu.edu/trl. A self-educated longshoreman who loved Montaigne, Eric Hoffer (1902-83) was already a well-known author when he appeared on national television...
The Demon in Jim Garrison
What drove the New Orleans district attorney's destructive crusade to prove that CIA conspirators killed President John F. Kennedy? New evidence suggests that Garrison was inspired by a piece of KGB disinformation. On March 1, 1967, New Orleans...
The Downside to the Upside
With both launch dates for the new millennium now behind us, we can safely thumb our noses at the doomsayers, whose visions of a Y2K apocalypse went unfulfilled. But though our lives go on much as before, those false prophets of cataclysm are having...
The Empire Underground
Twenty-five years ago, Illinois scientist Carl Woese identified an entirely new form of life. His discovery upended the traditional notion that all living things on Earth fall into five kingdoms and challenged our understanding of evolution and the...
The First Crash
"The First Bank of thc United States and the Securities Market Crash of 1792" by David J. Cowen, in The Journal of Economic History (Dec. 2000), Social Science History Institute, Bldg. 200, Rm. 3, Stanford Univ., Stanford, Calif. 94305-2024. The...
The Giveaway Scoop
"Giving It Away" by John Morton, in American Journalism Review (Jan.-Feb. 2001), Univ. of Maryland, 1117 Journalism Bldg., College Park, Md. 20742-7111. In New York, the Daily News has been giving away an afternoon edition, the Express, at subway...
The Ming Voyages
"China, the West, and World History in Joseph Needham's Science and Civilisation in China" by Robert Finlay in Journal of World History (Fall 2000), Univ. of Hawaii Press, 2840 Kolowalu St., Honolulu, Hawaii 96822. Thanks to British scholar Joseph...
The Missile Defense Divide
"Europe's Aversion to NMD" by Justin Bernier and Daniel Keohane, in Strategic Review (Winter 2001), United States Strategic Institute, 67 Bay State Rd., Boston, Mass. 02215. Why have America's European allies been so reluctant to go along with the...
The Morally Perplexed Academy
A Survey of Recent Articles For all its wealth and prosperity, the American university seems a bit troubled these days, not at all sure just what its true purpose is. "What's the University for?" ask the editors of the Hedgehog Review" (Fall 2000),...
The Next Welfare Reform
"Reforming Welfare Reform" by Jared Bernstein and Mark Greenberg, in The American Prospect (Jan, 1-15, 2001), 5 Broad St., Boston, Mass. 02109-2901. When welfare reform turned from buzzword into law in 1996, many liberals feared the worst: that...
The Reluctant Sectarians
"The Intellectual Appeal of the Reformation" by David C Steinmetz, in Thelogy Today (Jan. 2001), P.O. Box 29, Princeton, NJ 08542. In looking back at the early Protestant Reformation, observes Steinmetz, a professor of the history of Christianity...
The Second Coming of Scandal
"What Happened to Sex Scandals? Politics and Peccadilloes, Jefferson to Kennedy" by John H. Sunimers, in The Journal of American History (Dec. 2000), 1215 E. Atwater Ave., Bloomington, md. 47401-3703. At the 1912 Democratic National Convention,...
The Storm over the Black Book
Communism had horrific consequences in the 20th century, but many intellectuals are still reluctant to face up to them. On November 7, 1997, in Paris, a book was published that was substantial in every sense. The Black Book of Communism: Crimes,...
The Urban Math
"Small Towns, Mass Society, and the 21st Century" by James D. Wright, in Society (Nov.-Dec. 2000), Rutgers--The State Univ., 35 Berrue Circle, Piscataway, N.J. 08854. Over the past half-century it's become conventional wisdom, reaffirmed at 10-year...
Trimming the Force
"Come Partly Home, America" by Michael O'Hanlon, in Foreign Affairs (Mar.-Apr. 2001), 58 E. 68th St., New York, N.Y. 10021. George W. Bush charged during last year's campaign that the Clinton administration had deployed troops on too many peacekeeping...
Tuskegee Redux?
"The Shame of Medical Research" by David J. Rothman, in The New York Review of Books (Nov. 30, 2000), 1755 Broadway, Fifth Floor, New York, N.Y. 10019-3780. As American medical researchers have pressed the fight against AIDS, some have been conducting...
What Does It All Mean?
There's more meaning in life than we can possibly make sense of. But not to worry. We need only make sense of the life we shape for ourselves. Human reason has this peculiar fate that in one species of its knowledge it is burdened by questions which,...
Why Do Horses Sleep?
"Do Horses Gallop in Their Sleep?" by Matt Cartmill, in The Key Reporter (Autumn 2000), Phi Beta Kappa Society, 1785 Massachusetts Ave., N.W., Fourth Floor, Washington D.C. 20036. Is consciousness unique to humans, or do other animals also possess...
Wilson Center Digest
"The Currency Conundrum." A conference held Jan. 11, 2001, at the Wilson Center, sponsored by the Center's West European Studies program. Ever since President Richard M. Nixon's 1971 decision to take the dollar off the gold standard, the United...
Wonk If You Love Policy
"Think Tanks in the U.S. Media" by Andrew Rich and R. Kent Weaver, in Press/Politics (Fall 2000), Kennedy School of Government, Harvard Univ., Cambridge, Mass. 02138. Policy wonkery is manifestly a growth industry. In just three decades, the number...