The Wilson Quarterly

Articles from Vol. 32, No. 4, Autumn

Ability Grouping
THE SOURCE: "Why Children Work, Attend School, or Stay Idle: The Roles of Ability and Household Wealth" by Marigee P. Bacolod and Priya Ranjan, in Economic Development and Cultural Change, July 2008. THE SPECTER OF A 10-YEAR-OLD hauling bricks or...
A Habsburg Plan for Brussels
THE SOURCE: "Empire by Devolution: What Today's EU Can Learn From Franz Josef I's Empire" by A. Wess Mitchell, in Orbis, Summer 2008. FEW MODERN POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS seem more counterintuitive than the unification of 27 states that not so long...
An Admirable Folly: From Afar, America's Presidential Contests Often Look More like Playground Antics Than a Shining Example of Democracy. but Looks Can Be Deceiving
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] EVERY FOUR YEARS, WHEN THE BRITISH AND other Europeans watch with shock, awe, and incomprehension the presidential contest that convulses the United States, I'm reminded of President Julius Nyerere's joking retort decades...
And by the Way
THE SOURCE: "Morning in Latin America: The Chance for a New Beginning" by Jorge G. Castaneda, in Foreign Affairs, Sept.-Oct. 2008. IT IS A RARE PRESIDENTIAL election that isn't billed as the most important in memory, but 2008 has a real claim to...
Beating the Market
THE SOURCE: "The Elusiveness of Investment Skill" by Robert A. Jaeger, in The Journal of Wealth Management, Fall 2008. YOU'VE HEARD IT A MILLION times: Nobody can beat the stock market, so just stash your investment dollars in index mutual funds...
Bogged Down Again
THE SOURCE: "America's Quagmire Mentality" by Dominic Tierney, in Survival, Winter 2007-08. WHAT DO POST-CIVIL WAR Reconstruction and U.S. nation-building efforts in the Philippines, Cuba, Haiti, Somalia, Kosovo, and now Afghanistan have in common?...
Bury the Hatchet: The Antidote to Frenzied Partisanship Won't Be Found in Politics as Usual but in Problem-Solving Leaders Who Govern from the Center
DESPITE SELECTING TWO MEN KNOWN FOR THEIR political civility as presidential nominees, Americans in the fall of 2008 have been enduring yet another nasty political contest. By September, both candidates could easily have sung along with Britney Spears,...
Colonial Warming
THE SOURCE: "Warming the Poor and Growing Consumers: Fuel Philanthropy in the Early Republic's Urban North" by Scan Patrick Adams, in The Journal of American History, June 2008. THINK THE ENERGY CRISIS OF the 1970s was America's first? Think again....
Conservative Complicity
THE SOURCE: "Civil Rights and the Conservative Movement" by William Voegeli, in Claremont Review of Books, Summer 2008. WILLIAM F. BUCKLEY JR., THE influential conservative thinker who died in February at the age of 82, opposed every milestone achievement...
Crime's New Address
THE SOURCE: "American Murder Mystery" by Hanna Rosin, in The Atlantic, July-Aug. 2008. EIGHT SHOTS EXPLODED outside a police station at the end of a suburban road recently, routine for a Tuesday night in what is now one of Memphis's crime hotspots....
Democracy by the Ounce
This magazine is known for airing both sides of the issues, but sometimes even that is not enough. Inspired by the quadrennial outbreak of complaints about American political life during this election year, we commissioned articles that stake out four...
Fortified Diplomacy
THE SOURCE: "The Future of Diplomacy: Real Time or Real Estate?" by Jerrold D. Green, in RAND Review, Summer 2008. CONSIDER BELGIUM, A COUNTRY the size of Maryland with 10 million people and some of the world's best food. It is home to no fewer...
Happiness Paradoxes
THE SOURCES: "Paradox of Declining Female Happiness" by Betsey A. Stevenson and Justin Wolfers, in American Law and Economics Association Annual Meetings, 2008, and "Social Inequalities in Happiness in the United States, 1972 to 2004: An Age-Period-Cohort...
Heating Oil! Striking It Richer
From Upton Sinclair's novel Oil! flowed the 2007 film There Will Be Blood, which won two Oscars. In 1927, the year it was published, the book earned a comparable honor: banned in Boston. Rick Wartzman tells the story in Obscene in the Extreme (PublicAffairs)....
History Recharged
THE SOURCE: "Ending Tyranny: The Past and Future of an Idea" by John Lewis Gaddis, in The American Interest, Sept.-Oct. 2008. FIVE YEARS AFTER HE ENUNCIATED the Truman Doctrine, which promised support for "free peoples who are resisting attempted...
History Speaks
HORST BRIE, STILL STRIKINGLY TALL AND faintly bohemian-looking at 85, was one of the few Europeans in Pyongyang when North Korea was preparing to seize the USS Pueblo off its coast on January 23, 1968. As the East German ambassador to North Korea,...
India's Sick Democracy
THE SOURCE: "India's Parliament as a Representative Institution" by Jessica S. Wallack, in India Review, April-June 2008. THE RECENT DEBATE OVER THE Indian-American nuclear cooperation agreement didn't do a lot for the bottom-feeder image of the...
Medieval Protectionism
THE SOURCE: "The Rise of Hamburg as a Global Marketplace in the 17th Century: A Comparative Political Economy Perspective" by Erik Lindberg, in Comparative studies in Society and History, July 2008. ITS ANCIENT NAME MEANS "lovely," and the German...
Men of the People: Safety Last
From George Washington's time to the turn of the 20th century, American presidents took pride in mingling unprotected with the citizenry. As Richard J. Ellis explains in Presidential Travel (University Press of Kansas), armed guards represented the...
Mesopotamian Treasures
THE SOURCE: "Archaeological Sites in South Iraq Have Not Been Looted, Say Experts" by Martin Bailey, in The Art Newspaper, July 1, 2008. RARELY HAVE SO MANY PEOPLE been so mistaken about a country as have been wrong on Iraq: Wrong about weapons...
Only Words: For More Than a Century, the Oxford English Dictionary Has Dominated Language Lovers' Bookshelves. Now It Is Online, and a New Edition May Never See Book Covers Again. in the Digital Age, Will the OED Remain a Cultural Cornerstone?
I CONSULT THE OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY almost every day. The binding on my first edition, the last installment of which was published in 1928, is disintegrating. Shreds of vellum flutter onto desk or carpet every time I open one of the 12 massive...
Paris's New Look
THE SOURCE: "Looming Debate" by Veronique Vienne, in Metropolis, June 2008. GREAT CITIES DON'T STAY THAT way by standing pat, and Paris is no exception. But existing regulations limit building heights in the center of the City of Light to 82 feet,...
Poll Power: "Pollsters and Pundits" Has Become a Dismissive Epithet in Modern Politics. Pollsters, at Least, Deserve Much Better
AS THE VOTES WERE COUNTED ON THE NIGHT OF THIS past January's New Hampshire Democratic presidential primary, pollsters and other professionals in the political game began to grapple with an uncomfortable fact: Virtually all of them had been dead wrong....
Regime Change 2.0: There Is More Than One Way to Get a Rogue State to Change Its Ways
"THE MOST DANGEROUS MAN IN THE WORLD?" shouted the cover of Newsweek. Iran's radical president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2008? No, the man was Libya's Muammar al-Qaddafi and the year was 1981. Twenty-two years later, in late 2003, the Libyan dictator...
The Arrow of Time
THE SOURCE: "Does Time Run Backward in Other Universes?" by Sean M. Carroll, in Scientific American, June 2008. THE MYSTERIES OF BLACK holes and supernovas notwithstanding, the universe on the whole is a law-abiding place. From galaxies of stars...
The Battle of the Caspian Sea
THE SOURCES: "The Caspian Sea: Rivalry and Cooperation" by Mahmoud Ghafouri, in Middle East Policy, Summer 2008, and "The Iraq War, Turkey, and Renewed Caspian Energy Prospects" by Paul A. Williams and Ali Tekin, in The Middle East Journal, Summer...
The Big Thaw: To Much of the World, Greenland Is an Obscure Island Sheathed in Ice, a Giant White Blotch on the Map. Now, a Warming Climate Is Freeing Up the Country's Resources in Previously Frozen Expanses of Land and Sea, and Greenlanders Are Bestirring Themselves to Seek Independence from Denmark
NUUK, GREENLAND, IS A POKY LITTLE PLACE. Its fanciest hotel shares a building with a grocery store. A town of brightly painted wooden houses against a dramatic mountain backdrop, Nuuk looks like a western ski resort with some European-style public...
The Global Warming Diet
THE SOURCE: "Food-Miles and the Relative Climate Impacts of Food Choices in the United States" by Christopher L. Weber and H. Scott Matthews, in Environmental Science and Technology, May 15, 2008. WORRIED ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENTAL cost of eating Chilean...
The Graying of Kindergarten
THE SOURCE: "The Lengthening of Childhood" by David Deming and Susan Dynarski, in The Journal of Economic Perspectives, Summer 2008. KINDERGARTENERS ARE GETTING older and older, and it's not good for the economy, write David Deming and Susan Dynarski...
The Inside-Out City
THE SOURCE: "Trading Places" by Alan Ehrenhalt, in The New Republic, Aug. 13, 2008. REMEMBER THE BREATHLESS spate of news stories when the first few couples moved into converted department stores in downtowns across America about a decade ago? Debunkers...
The Irrational Electorate: Many of Our Worst Fears about America's Voters Are True
ONE OF THE BEST-SELLING POLITICAL BOOKS OF THE 2008 election season has been Just How Stupid Are We? a report on "the truth about the American voter" by popular historian Rick Shenkman. Shenkman's little book presents a familiar collection of bleak...
The Long Tail Tale
THE SOURCE: Should You Invest in the Long Tail?" by Anita Elberse, in Harvard Business Review, July-Aug. 2008. WIRED EDITOR CHRIS ANDERSON made a big splash in 2004 with his article (later a book) touting the revolutionary coming of the "long tail."...
The New Kindergarten: The Case for Universal Pre-Kindergarten Isn't as Strong as It Seems
IN HER CHRISTMAS 2007 CAMPAIGN AD, HILLARY Clinton was shown arranging presents labeled "Universal Health Care" "Alternative Energy; "Bring Troops Home," and "Middle-Class Tax Breaks" She then paused, looking somewhat puzzled, before delivering the...
Virtually Invisible
THE SOURCES: "Electronic Publication and the Narrowing of Science and Scholarship" by James A. Evans, in Science, July 18, 2008, and "Open Access Publishing, Article Downloads, and Citations: Randomised Controlled Trial" by Philip M. Davis, Bruce V....
What Is 'Natural'?
THE SOURCE: "Confessions of an Entomological Hit Man" by Jeffrey A. Lockwood and Alexandre V. Latchininsky, in Conservation Magazine, July-Sept. 2008. WHEN MASTER EXTERMINATORS Jeffrey A. Lockwood and Alexandre V. Latchininsky were summoned to the...
What's American about American Art?
THE SOURCE: "The Clarity of Things" by John Updike, in The New York Review of Books, June 26, 2008. WHEN IT COMES TO MAPPING the visible world, American artists tend to stay faithful in some essential way to the concrete reality of the things they...
Will Evangelicals Hail Mary?
THE SOURCE: "Evangelicals and Mary" by Tim Perry, in Theology Today, July 2008. STARTING WITH THEIR OPPOSITION to abortion access, Catholics and evangelical Christians have a lot in common politically. But they still differ dramatically in their...