The New Leader (Online)

Articles from Vol. 91, No. 3/4, May-August

A Chance to Grow
MANAGING flip-flops - not a pair of sandals but the deadliest sin in the political lexicon - takes some doing. Senator Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic standard-bearer, learned that when he changed his mind and said he would not accept public...
A Complicated Political Tale
A Complicated Political Tale America America By Ethan Canin Random. 458 pp. $27.00.ANY BOOK with a title like America America (unpunctuated) is announcing its large ambitions forcefully and without apparent irony. Such titles often signal the discovery...
Assessing the U.S. Experiment
Habits of Empire: A History of American Expansion By Wa Iter Nugent Knopf. 387 pp. $30.00.Ark of the Liberties: America and the World By Ted Widmer Hill and Wang. 355 pp. $25.00.THESE TWO books complement each other. Together they present a vivid picture...
Between Issues
TWO RELEVANT communications arrived as we were putting together this Summer Books issue. The first, requiring no elaboration, was from the Russian émigré writer Solomon Volkov:"While discussing my book, The Magical Chorus: A History of Russian Culture...
Chávez in Trouble
COUNTING his first election as president of Venezuela in 1998, Hugo Chávez has won 11 popular votes - three for the presidency, three for the legislature, another to choose a constitutional assembly, one more to approve the new Constitution, two state...
China from Mao to Now
China From Mao to Now Beijing Coma By Ma Jian Translated by Flora Drew Farrar Straus Giroux. 586 pp. $27.50.ON APRIL 22, 1 989, the memorial service for prominent Chinese Communist reformer Hu Yaobang, held in the Great Hall at the western end of Beijing's...
Crossing a Fine Line
FEW READERS would have predicted from Marilynne Robinson's first novel, Housekeeping (1981) - a book that made her an instant literary star - that she would develop into a primarily religious writer. But the two novels she has written since then, Gilead...
Evolution of a Dissident
Evolution of a Dissident Defending Identity: Its Indispensable Role in Protecting Democracy By Natan Sharansky with Shira Wolosky Weiss PublicAffairs. 259 pp. $26.95.A YOUNG MAN spends years in prison for a cause he believes in, refusing to give an inch...
From Wilson to George W
From Wilson to George W. White Protestant Nation: The Rise of the American Conservative Movement By Allan J. Lichtman Atlantic Monthly. 598 pp. $27.50.FOR DIFFERENT REASONS, both liberals and conservatives sputtered when Barack Obama drew connections...
Hollywood Turns Right
THIS SUMMER'S mainstream movies deliver on their promises of thrill and riot. But taken as a whole, they offer an additional if subliminal message: VOTE MCCAIN!I wish I were kidding. The Hollywood elite, despite their professed allegiance to liberal...
How FDR Shaped His Image
How FDR Shaped His Image FDR: The First Hundred Days By Anthony J. Badger Hill and Wang. 200 pp. $23.00.FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT was the last President to take office with a political honeymoon period ahead of him. In 1933, Inauguration Day was March4 and...
It's the Demography Stupid
WHEN THE DEMOCRATS took control of Congress by a paper-thin margin in the fall of 2006, the event unleashed a torrent of emotions among supporters who had been living on Prozac since the 2000 Florida Presidential recount. At last, a revival of liberalism...
Literacy in the Era of the E-Book
Outside of a dog, a book is a man s best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. - GROUCHO MARXJEFFREY P. BEZOS, founder of the online superstore Amazon, has the future on sale. He calls it the Kindle, and acquiring this e-book reader will set...
Maimonides' Multicultural Medicine
Maimonides' Multicultural Medicine Hospital: Man, Woman, Birth, Death, Infinity, Plus Red Tape, Bad Behavior, Money, God, and Diversity on Steroids By Julie Salamon Penguin. 363 pp. $25.95.ASIDE FROM hospitalization for childbirth, the majority of us...
Murder in the Postmodern Tradition
Murder in the Postmodern Tradition A Manuscript of Ashes By Antonio Muñoz Molina Translated by Edith Grossman Harcourt. 305 pp. $25.00.Mágina, the somber town where several of Antonio Muñoz Molina's novels are set, is modeled on the author's Andalusian...
My Pilgrimage to la Pasquarella
BASCHIOn the Sunday after Easter I woke up at 4 a.m., threw on several layers of clothing, and rushed out of my house into the cold in order to be at the church in the nearby village of Morre at 4:3 0. 1 had decided to join local people ontheirpilgrimage...
My Top 10 TV Political Plagues
MY FAVORITE reality TV show of the season, a conglomeration I call Campaign 2008, began with the reading of the last line of the Inaugural Address on January 20, 2004. It has gone on so long, some viewers can't understand why their regularly scheduled...
Press Pressure
MAYBE YOU were too busy to notice the following piece of recent history. But at the end of May a king was deposed for the first time since 1979, when the Shah of Iran was unseated by the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's Islamic revolution. The latest victim...
Rethinking the Western Alliance
LONDONWHAT HAPPENS in America has fascinated the British ever since a party of adventurous Englishmen first warily landed in the "New World" more than 400 years ago. The famous "special relationship" between the two countries did not, of course, blossom...
Snakes in the Garden
Snakes in the Garden Indignation By Philip Roth Houghton Mifflin. 256 pp. $26.00.PHILIP ROTH'S devoted readers might welcome a change from the grim fare he has been delivering over the past few years: the gloom of Exit Ghost, a last look atthe aging,...
The 'Bloodthirsty Dwarf'
The 'Bloodthirsty Dwarf' Yezhov: The Rise of Stalin's "Iron Fist" By J. Arch Getty and OlegV. Naumov Yale. 283 pp. $35.00.ON SEPTEMBER 25, 1936, Nikolai Ivanovich Yezhov, a 41 -year-old former Leningrad factory worker with little schooling, was named...
The Parallel Universe of Verse
CRITICS dissect verse in a variety of way s, but rarely do they ask why poets choose to express themselves in their particular form instead of prose, or why some readers prefer poems to other modes of literary expression. Two new thought-provoking books...
The Root of All Politics
INFLUENCE PEDDLING has undergone some changes in technique since the days of Abscam (the acronym for "Arab scam"), an elaborate FBI sting operation a generation ago. An agent posing as an Arab sheik trapped members of Congress, some of whom were filmed...
The Wayward Press
The Wayward PressThe Wayward We Are Now Beginning Our Descent By James Meek Canongate. 295 pp. $24.00.WHEN JANET MALCOLM wrote the pugnacious opening to The Journalist and the Murderer - "Every journalist who is not too stupid or too full of himself...
What LBJ Knew
What LBJ Knew The Liberal Hour: Washington and the Politics of Change in the 1960s ByG. Calvin Mackenzie and Robert Weisbrot Penguin. 422 pp. $29.95.LAST JANUARY, when her Presidential campaign showed its first real signs of vulnerability, Hillary Rodham...