The Wilson Quarterly

Articles from Vol. 22, No. 4, Autumn

A Note on the Banality of Evil
The Holocaust, the Soviet purges, and other enormities of the 20th century cry out for explanation. The only answer the century has yet produced now appears misbegotten. If Hannah Arendt (1906-75) leaves no other intellectual legacy, her notion of "the...
Art without Audiences
The art world has grown to massive proportions in recent decades, thanks to the largesse of the federal government, major universities, and public and private foundations. But something vital is missing: an actively engaged public, contends Hickey, a...
Asia's Other Giant
Foreign investors rushing to take advantage of economic opportunity in China in recent years have barely paused to notice Asia's other population giant, India. That neglect is not likely to last, contend Manor, a Professorial Fellow at the Institute...
Chronicler of a Dying World
At the end of the 1880s, after he had already enjoyed success with his short stories and his first full-length play, Ivanov, Anton Chekhov submitted a new work for the stage, The Wood Demon. Back came an abruptly frank rejection from the actor-manager...
Chronologically Incorrect
Seventy years ago, W. I. Thomas and Dorothy Swaine Thomas proclaimed one of sociology's most influential ideas: "If men define situations as real, they are real in their consequences." Their case in point was a prisoner who attacked people he heard mumbling...
Consider the Alternatives
In the good old antiwar days, "underground" weeklies such as the Phoenix New Times were the proud "alternative" to the tame "establishment" press, and their mission was clear: not just to write about the world, but to change it. No longer, observes Bates,...
Declaring War
"The War Powers Resolution: Time to Say Goodbye" by Louis Fisher and David Gray' Adler, in Political Science Quarterly (Spring 1998), 475 Riverside Dr., Ste. 1274, New York, N.Y. 10115-1274. Twenty-five years ago, as the conflict in Vietnam dragged...
Editor's Comment
As the WQ goes to press, Wall Street is riding a roller coaster, alarmed by anxious talk of "global economic contagion" and worries about the prospects of U.S. companies. The economies of Japan, Russia, and Indonesia are only at the forefront of those...
From the Center
While many Americans were vacationing last August, the Woodrow Wilson Center was moving into its new home at One Woodrow Wilson Plaza, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue. As if that were not a sufficiently emphatic announcement of change, even as we settle into...
Gambling: Socioeconomic Impacts and Public Policy
America now is a nation of gamblers. Until a decade ago, Las Vegas-style casino gambling was confined to Nevada and New Jersey, though most states had lotteries. In 1988, South Dakota voters authorized the once-notorious town of Deadwood to begin limited-stakes...
How Inflation Whipped Us
"Arthur Burns and Inflation" by Robert L. Hetzel, in Economic Quarterly (Winter 1998), Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, P.O. Box 27622, Richmond, Va. 23261. During the early 1970s, Federal Reserve Board chairman Arthur Burns was the very symbol of...
If Women Ran the World
"Women, Biology, and World Politics" by Francis Fukuyama, in Foreign Affairs (Sept.-Oct. 1998), 58 E. 68th St., New York, N.Y. 10021. If women ran the world, many feminists say, it would be a very different place, with much less aggression and violence....
Jorge Luis Borges
Selected and introduced by Edward Hirsch We tend to think of Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986) exclusively in terms of fiction, as the author of luminous and mind-bending metaphysical parables that cross the boundaries between the short story and the essay....
Kantian Christianity
"The Christian Democracy of Glenn Tiner and Jacques Maritain," by Robert P. Kraynak, in Perspectives on Political Science (Spring 1998), 1319 18th St. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036-1802. For much of its 2,000-year history, Christianity was indifferent...
Limits
Of all the streets that blur into the sunset, There must be one (which, I am not sure) That I by now have walked for the last time Without guessing it, the pawn of that Someone Who fixes in advance omnipotent laws, Sets up a secret and unwavering scale...
Mob Rule?
"The Rising Hegemony of Mass Opinion" by Paul I. Quirk and Joseph Hinchliffe, in Journal of Policy History (1998, No. 1), 221 N. Grand Blvd., Saint Louis University, St. Louis, Mo. 63103. The Founding Fathers were given to dark worries about an "excess...
Nashville's New Tune
Most country music critics condemn the sounds coming out of Nashville these days as watered-down, commercially driven, country pop-rock drivel. Country music, they complain, has lost touch with its roots-with hardscrabble places such as southern Appalachia...
No News at the Statehouse?
"Missing the Story at the Statehouse" by Charles Layton and Mary Walton in American Journalism Review (July-Aug. 1998), 8701 Adelphi Rd., Adelphi, Md. 20783-1716. "You can vote any way you want to up here," Carolyn Russell, a state representative from...
Poem of the Gifts
Let no one impute to self-pity or censure The power of the thing I affirm: that God With magnificent irony has dealt me the gift Of these books and the dark, with one stroke. He has lifted these eyes, now made lightless, To be lords of this city of...
Poland's Shocking Success
In 1992, after two years of "shock therapy," Poland was reeling. Real wages had declined 20 percent, gross domestic product had fallen 35 percent, exports to the imploded Soviet Union had dropped 90 percent, and unemployment had climbed to 12 percent....
Present at the Creation
The new very broadband high capacity networks... ought to be built by the federal government and then transitioned into private industry. - Vice President-elect Al Gore, at the December 1992 postelection economic summit in Little Rock Private sector...
Reconsidering Affirmative Action
A Survey of Recent Articles Progress is the largely suppressed story of race and race relations over the past half-century," assert Abigail and Stephan Thernstrom, co-authors of last year's controversial America in Black and White, writing in a special...
Recycling Is Virtuous
Recycling, which many regard as environmental virtue incarnate, has come trader attack in recent years as itself a waste of human and natural resources, not to mention time and money. "Recycling Is Garbage," shouted a New York Times Magazine broadside...
Stadium Scam
"Roofing the Home Team" by David Morris and Daniel Kraker, in The American Prospect (Sept.-Oct. 1998), P.O. Box 383080, Cambridge, Mass. 02238; "Sports Stadium Boondoggle" by Mark F. Bernstein, in The Public Interest (Summer 1998), 1112 16th St. N.W.,...
Surrendering Wilderness
The idea of an untouched Arcadia is an illusion we can no longer afford. Environmentalism poses stark issues of survival, for humankind and for all those other tribes of creatures over which we have exercised our onerous dominion. Even undiscovered...
The Battle over Child Care
A Survey of Recent Articles I's there a child-care crisis in America? A speaker at a White House conference on the subject a year ago said, to much applause, that there is a crisis "so acute that child care workers in many areas of the country are unable...
The Curious Madonnas of India
It was by conquest, not choice, that the art of the Amerindians of early colonial Latin America became more European. But in 16th- and early 17th-century India, the story was different. There, writes Bailey, a professor of Renaissance and Baroque art...
The Digital Rights War
Digital technology is opening up new worlds of potential, few more enticing than the emerging global marketplace for information products and services. Imagine being able to call up news articles, short stories, photographs, motion pictures, sound recordings,...
The Future of Zion
For more than 2,000 years, the Jews have survived persecution, defeat, and exile. They succeeded in returning to their homeland after the fall of the first temple and Babylonian exile in 586 B.C., and again after the fall of the second temple and Roman...
The Human Touch
We are still in the doorway of the grand new edifice computer technology is building for us, and already some of us want to complain about the layout. We can see just a bit of what's on the other side of a facing wall and nothing of what's up the stairs....
The Liberal Movement
"Neither Machiavellian Moment nor Possessive Individualism: Commercial Society and the Defenders of the English Commonwealth" by Steve Pincus, in American Historical Review (June 1998), 914 Atwater, Indiana Univ., Bloomington, Ind. 47405. Many historians...
The Lowdown on Wealth
"Who Owns What: The Things We Know That Are Not So" by John C. Weicher, in American Outlook (Spring 1998), 5395 Emerson Way, Indianapolis, Ind. 46226. "The rich get richer and the poor get poorer," says the old Depression-era song, and it's a theme...
The Other Tiger
And the craft that createth a semblance MORRIS: Sigurd the Volsung (1876) A tiger comes to mind. The twilight here Exalts the vast and busy Library And seems to set the bookshelves back in gloom; Innocent, ruthless, bloodstained, sleek, It wanders through...
The Persistence of Byzantium
Longevity alone makes Byzantium remarkable. Lasting almost 1,200 years, it outlived all of the other great empires. More impressive than mere age are the reach and influence of its civilization. Russians, Serbs, Bulgarians, and others owe to Byzantium,...
Virtue in the Marketplace
"Bourgeois Virtue and the History of P and S" by Deirdre N. McCloskey, in The Journal of Economic History (June 1998), Dept. of Economics, Northwestern Univ., 2003 Sheridan Rd., Evanston, Ill. 60208-2600. A Marxist might say that since the mid-19th...
Voting for the New South
"Black Migration to the South Reaches Record Highs in 1990s" by William H. Frey, in Population Today (Feb. 1998), Population Reference Bureau, 1875 Connecticut Ave. N.W., Ste. 520, Washington, D.C. 20009-5728. Voting with their feet (in the famous phrase),...
What 'New' Economy?
As the 20th century ends, legions of the powerful - politicians, intellectuals, journalists, business leaders, and visionaries - are embarking on what can only be called pilgrimages. They are traveling to an arid promised land between San Francisco Bay...
When Sciences Converge
Craving universal and unchanging truth, historians and social scientists have long looked wistfully at the natural sciences, with their imposingly objective, quantitative character. But the revolutionary transformation of physics and cosmology over the...
Where All Politics Is Local
Ever since the outside world gave up its efforts to re-establish a central government in Somalia three years ago, it has been widely assumed that this country in the Horn of Africa fell back into chaos and violence. This is not the ease, writes Menkhaus,...
Why Rest?
Sleep is as necessary to human beings as food and drink, and most people spend one-third of their lives in this unconscious state. Yet, despite decades of research, the purpose of sleep remains obscure, notes Borbely, a professor of pharmacology at the...
Woodrow Wilson's Retreat
"Woodrow Wilson and Administrative Reform" by Kendrick A. Clements, in Presidential Studies Quarterly (Spring 1998), 208 E. 75th St., New York, N.Y. 10021. During his career as a political scientist at Bryn Mawr, Wesleyan, and Princeton, Woodrow Wilson...