The Washington Monthly

An independent monthly magazine devoted to politics, government, culture, and the media in America, from a progressive perspective. Publishes investigative and opinion-based feature articles by notable authors, short news items, humorous sidebars, and boo

Articles from Vol. 26, No. 7-8, July-August

"... and I'll Turn on the Heat When I'm Done Cleaning My Yacht." (Unethical New York City School Custodians)
My 10-year obsession with changing the New York City school custodial system began one day in 1984 when I was dropping off my son at P.S. 87 on Manhattan's Upper West Side. The school's principal told me the city health department had just cited the...
Capitalism's Dark Shadows
The beginning of the 1990s was dominated, not surprisingly, by the revolution in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. An imperfect economic system had come apart and, in some sense, was being replaced with no system at all. The controlling fact, however,...
The Chicago Post Office Scandal
For Ormer C. Rogers, Jr., the road to Kansas City was paved with good intentions. Not that Kansas City is hell, but it is the place where Ormer Rogers--the Chicago area's top postal official--was sent after he decided to get a handle on just how bad...
The Company They Keep
A few years ago, several senior officials of the Central Intelligence Agency gathered in a conference room at Langley to ponder the worst situation an intelligence service can confront. One by one, the Company's agents in the Soviet bloc--spies code...
The Mob and the Deputy Chief of Staff
Back in January 1993, after serving as deputy director of the transition in Little Rock, Harold Ickes, Jr., a near-legendary figure in the liberal wing of the Democratic Party, seemed a sure bet for the powerful job of deputy White House chief of staff....