The Public Interest

Public Interest is a magazine specializing in Politics topics.

Articles from No. 127, Spring

Art without Beauty
Few things tell us more about a culture - what it esteems, what it disparages - than its art. The plays of Sophocles distill an essence of Periclean Athens just as the paintings of Titian bring us near to the heart of seventeenth-century Venetian culture....
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Black Studies Revisited
Nearly 30 years after their inception in the campus disorders of the 1960s, black-studies programs continue to be a subject of controversy - at least in those departments that promote Afrocentrism. To be sure, black studies means different things on...
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How to Mend Affirmative Action
My scholarly work on the problem of race relations began with a general inquiry into the theory of economic inequality. Specifically, my 1981 paper, "Intergenerational Transfers and the Distribution of Earnings," which appeared in the journal Econometrica,...
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Litigation's Stranglehold on Charities
Our civil-justice system is out of control. The research group Tillinghast reports that we spent $132 billion on this system in 1991 alone. That number includes money spent on courts, lawyers, and lost time. It represents two-and-a-half times what we...
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Measuring Catholic School Performance
In 1980, the late James S. Coleman, a prominent, University of Chicago sociologist, conducted a comprehensive study of student performance in secondary schools. This study was commissioned by the Department of Education, and many expected it simply to...
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On Patriotism
Patriotism means love of country and implies a readiness to sacrifice for it, to fight for it, perhaps even to give one's life for it. In the traditional or Spartan sense, patriots are those who love their country simply because it is their country -...
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Ritalin: Miracle Drug of Cop-Out?
Imagine yourself sitting in a classroom - say, a fourth-grade social-studies class. There is a teacher at the front of the room, but a groundskeeper mowing grass outside captures your attention instead. When the mower moves away, however, you feel bored...
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The New Museology
Our relationship with museums is based on trust. But while we expect history museums to know the facts and science museums to understand the math, we demand more from art museums. We go to paintings and sculptures much as we do great novels, expecting...
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Vouchers for Religious Schools
The American public, if opinion polls are to be believed, overwhelmingly prefers private to public schools. A recent poll in USA Today reports that, among respondents with school-age children, 47 percent would use private schools "if they had the resources."...
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