The American Prospect

A monthly political journal of liberal though. Contains articles that generate debate, further ideas, and set agendas; and provides a forum for working through the controversies and hard choices facing all Americans. Includes regular topics and features.

Articles from Vol. 23, No. 8, November-December

A Strategic Plan for Liberals: 41 Years after the Powell Memo Inspired the Rise of the Conservative Infrastructure, What's the Road Map for a Progressive Future?
In August of 1971, corporate attorney Lewis Powell--two months shy of his appointment to the United States Supreme Court by President Richard Nixon--wrote a memo to Eugene Sydnor Jr., who chaired the education committee of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce....
CSI: David Byrne: An Investigation of Music's Power by One of Its Great Polymaths
If you listen to music too soon after reading David Byrne's new book, How Music Works--especially Chapter 5 (how recording studios shape what we hear), Chapter 6 (how collaborations shape what we hear), and Chapter 7 (how recording budgets shape what...
Greedy Geezers Reconsidered: In the Current Downturn, the Vast Majority of the Elderly Are Suffering along with the Young. the Right Cure Would Help Both Generations
For three decades, conservative critics have been warning that the elderly are living too well at the expense of the young. Since the early 1980s, financier Peter G. Peterson has been predicting that Social Security's excessive generosity would crash...
I Was a Teenage Conservative: For a Young Southern Californian Coming of Age in the Early '60S, the Right with Its Emphasis on Individual Freedom Was Enormously Appealing. What Better Way to Rebel against Liberal Smugness? Then, the Right Betrayed Itself
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Barry Goldwater was my first political hero. The most antiauthoritarian figure in mainstream American politics, who said what he thought without giving a damn, he looked and sounded as Western as Arizona, the state he represented...
Notebook
In July 2011, equipped with his sketching tools, a camera, borrowed Kevlar, and Dragon Skin body armor, illustrator VICTOR JUHASZ arrived in Kandahar, Afghanistan, to embed for three weeks with Major Shane Mendenhall and his medevac unit, the 1-52nd...
One of Us: When He Learned to Escape His Own Mind, David Foster Wallace Got a Little Closer to the Greatness He Sought
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] May 2005, Kenyon College, Ohio. David Foster Wallace steps to the podium and looks out at the graduating seniors before him. He tugs at his academic robe and bends toward the microphone, hair falling onto his face. Sweat beads...
Pre-K on the Range: Rural, Conservative, Impoverished Oklahoma Has Built the Nation's Brightest Model for Early Education
Four-year-old John Kaykay is a serious and quiet boy--"my thoughtful one," his dad calls him. When the official greeters at the front door of the McClure early-childhood center in Tulsa welcome him with their clipboards and electric cheer--"Good morning,...
Schools in the Crosshairs
When her dyslexic second-grader landed in a failing public elementary school in Pittsburgh, single mother Jamie Fitzpatrick spotted trouble right away. Her daughter's teacher spent class time shopping online for clothes while the kids bullied one another....
Seeing Is Believing: In Experiment after Experiment, Gary Wells Has Established That Eyewitness Testimony Is Unreliable and Leads to Wrongful Convictions. Why Has the Judicial System Not Adopted His Recommendations?
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] On a Saturday night in July 1984, Jennifer Thompson, a 22-year-old, straight-A student at Elon College in Elon, North Carolina, returned to her apartment after attending a party. Thompson wasn't feeling well and went to sleep....
Sleight of Hand: What Joel Klein's Misleading Autobiography Tells Us about Education Reform
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] This is a story about a story, of how a fiction about impoverished children and public schools corrupts our education policy. The fiction is the autobiography of Joel Klein, the former chancellor of the New York City Department...
The Measure of All Things: How Markets Beat out Citizenship to Define Our Public Life
In thm wake of the Great Recession of 2008, liberals were dismayed by the economic carnage but could at least rejoice that the dominant ideology of free markets had been exposed as fiction. The deepest vulnerabilities of unregulated capitalism had...
The Other Actor President: Henry Fonda Was the Movies' Favorite Liberal Icon. Then He Got Dropped from America's Collective Memory. Should We Care?
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] When early trailers were posted online for Lincoln, the new biopic from Steven Spielberg, the consensus was that star Daniel Day-Lewis, known for the research he pours into perfectionist transformations, was finding his way...
The Rising Tide: Prince George's County Was a Symbol of America's New Black Wealth. Then Came the Housing Crisis
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] When Joe Parker was a young, newly married public-school administrator who wanted to buy a home in 1974, he didn't even think about leaving Prince George's County, Maryland. It was where he and his parents had grown up. But...
The Wrong Debt Debate
In the recent presidential campaign, both candidates pledged to cut the budget deficit and the accumulated national debt. With the "fiscal cliff" dominating political debate during the coming months, debt reduction continues to be touted as the prime...
What Would Pigou Do? the British Economist's Big Idea-If You Want Less of Something, Tax It-Usually Gets Applied to Pollution. It's Time to Try It on Inequality
For the last two decades of his life, Arthur Cecil Pigou didn't get much respect. Once considered Britain's leading economist, he had come under caustic attack from a colleague at Cambridge--his friend and famous protege John Maynard Keynes--for insisting...