The Wilson Quarterly

Articles from Vol. 34, No. 3, Summer

America: Land of Loners: Americans, Plugged in and on the Move, Are Confiding in Their Pets, Their Computers, and Their Spouses. What They Need Is to Rediscover the Value of Friendship
SCIENCE-FICTION WRITERS MAKE THE BEST SEERS. In the late 1950s far-sighted Isaac Asimov imagined a sunny planet called Solaria, on which a scant 20,000 humans dwelt on far-flung estates and visited one another only virtually, by materializing as "trimensional...
Anger under Siege
THE SOURCE: "Anger Management, American-Style: A Work in Progress" by Peter N. Stearns, in The Hedgehog Review, Spring 2010. IN THE 19TH CENTURY, ANGER was a minor but indispensable attribute of the ideal American man. He could hold his temper like...
Atheists Anonymous
THE SOURCE: "Preachers Who Are Not Believers" by Daniel C. Dennett and Linda LaScola, in Evolutionary Psychology, March 2010. GENERATIONS OF QUESTIONING churchgoers have struggled to accept the teachings of Christianity, as have, inevitably, some...
A Visit with Bernanke
THE WOODROW WILSON CENTER usually doesn't cause much of a stir on Wall Street, but on June 7 it had the full attention of the financial world. Following a dinner for the Center's Board of Trustees, the Wilson Council, and WilsonAlliances, famed ABC...
But Is It Art? Nameless Brands
"Painters make paintings," the philosopher Richard Wollheim observed, "out it takes a representative of the art world to make a work of art" Once a year, California's Santa Monica Museum of Art sells paintings denuded of their art-world imprimatur....
Cassava Rising
THE SOURCE: "Breeding Cassava" by Nagib Nassar and Rodomiro Ortiz, in Scientific American, May 2010. TO MANY AMERICANS, CASSAVA root is a stranger in the produce aisle. But for 800 million people around the world, the starchy tuber (also called...
Chapter and Verse
THE SOURCE: "American Literary Style and the Presence of the King James Bible" by Robert Alter, in New England Review, Vol. 30, No. 4 (2009-10). THAT THE 1611 KING JAMES Bible once exerted a profound influence on American literature is as inarguable...
Closing the Achievement Gap
THE SOURCE: "Are High-Quality Schools Enough to Close the Achievement Gap? Evidence From a Social Experiment in Harlem" by Will Dobbie and Roland G. Fryer Jr., in The NBER Digest, March 2010. THE AVERAGE AFRICAN-AMERICAN 17-year-old today reads...
Debt Karma
THE SOURCE: "Political Institutions and Foreign Debt in the Developing World" by Thomas Oatley, in International Studies Quarterly, March 2010, POOR COUNTRIES AND ENORMOUS foreign debt go hand in hand--that is, except for the one-third of all developing...
Enterprising Apparatchiks
THE SOURCE: "Beyond Corruption: An Assessment of Russian Law Enforeement's Fight Against Human Trafficking" by Lauren A. McCarthy, in Demokratizatsiya, Winter 2010. INTERNATIONAL MIGRATION monitors estimate that 10,000 people are trafficked out...
Fighting the Longer War
FOUR OR FIVE ONE-YEAR DEPLOYMENTS TO war zones have become the new normal for members of the U.S. Army. And their families have had to adjust to parents or spouses who are absent or are psychologically or physically transformed by the experience of...
I, Geminoid
THE SOURCE: "The Man Who Made a Copy of Himself" by Erico Guizzo, in IEEE Spectrum, April 2010. SUBTLY BUT SURELY, ROBOTS are making their way into our everyday lives. By some estimates, 8.5 million service robots are already in use worldwide, doing...
In Defense of Capitalism
THE SOURCE: "Recovering the Case for Capitalism" by Yuval Levin, in National Affairs, Spring 2010. THE PAST TWO YEARS HAVE NOT been easy ones for capitalism. First, a crisis that seemed "almost designed to confirm the worst" about free enterprise...
Indonesia's Democracy Pie
THE SOURCE: "The Irony of Success" by Edward Aspinall, in Journal of Democracy, April 2010. INDONESIA IS ALTERNATELY hailed as one of the great democratic success stories or bemoaned for its corruption and ineffectiveness. Actually, both judgments...
Israel at 62: Israelis Are Increasingly Unhappy with a Political System That Seems to Deliver Nothing but Strife and Division
INDEPENDENCE DAY IN ISRAEL IS ALWAYS marked by a news media outpouring of reviews of the year. It is a reliably upbeat affair replete with heartening economic statistics and the good deeds of upstanding citizens. The 62nd anniversary of Israel's founding...
Israel through Other Eyes: In an Arab Town, an Israeli Jew Finds Friendship-And Its Limits
SOME JEWS THINK I'M BRAVE. SOME THINK I'M stupid. I am an Israeli Jew who lives in an Arab Israeli town because I want to get to know the 20 percent of my compatriots who are Arabs and learn their language. No one thinks this is normal. There must...
Judges for Sale
THE SOURCE: "Economic Crisis and the Rise of Judicial Elections and Judicial Review" by Jed Handelsman Shugerman, in Harvard Law Review, March 2010. IT'S ONE OF THE UGLIEST warts on the U.S. body politic: About 90 percent of America's state judges...
Localized Pain
THE SOURCE: "Citizens' Local Political Knowledge and the Role of Media Access" by Lee Shaker, in Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, Winter 2009. HAND-WRINGING ABOUNDS over the future of newspapers. With advertising revenues shrinking,...
Measuring Military Might
THE SOURCE: "Economic Development and Military Effectiveness" by Michael Beckley, in The Journal of Strategic Studies, Feb. 2010. IT'S THE MILLION-DOLLAR question of international relations scholarship: Why are some states stronger than others?...
Michelangelo's Passion
THE SOURCE: "Loving Strokes" by James Fenton, in Times Literary Supplement, April 9, 2010. ART HISTORIANS HAVE LONG speculated whether a set of drawings Michelangelo Buonarroti made for his friend and patron Tommaso de'Cavalieri in 1532 reveal a...
Modern Gods
THE SOURCE: "Rush Hour for the Gods" by William Dalrymple, in The National Interest, May-June 2010. MODERNIZATION BODES CHANGE for country dwellers. In India, even the provincial Hindu gods are not immune to the forces of standardization and commercialization,...
No "Ands" about It
The conjunction and seems to be permanently affixed to Israel. Israel and the Palestinians, and the Arabs, and the United States. Now, in the wake of Israel's bloody clash in May with a Turkish aid flotilla trying to break the blockade of Gaza, there...
Off the Dolphin Deep End
THE SOURCE: "A Mind in the Water" by D. Graham Burnett, in Orion, May-June 2010. WITH LESS THAN FIVE MILES between them, San Diego's SeaWorld and the Bayside campus of the U.S. Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center (SPAWAR) present sharply contrasting...
Political Generals
THE SOURCE: "The Role of the Military in Presidential Polities" by Steve Corbett and Michael J. Davidson, in Parameters, Winter 2009-10. THE AMERICAN MILITARY HAS a proud and long-standing tradition of political neutrality, but in recent presidential...
Publish and Perish?
THE SOURCE: "Open Sesame" by the editors of Nature and "U.S. Seeks to Make Science Free for All" by Deelan Butler, in Nature, April 9, 2010. IN THE 1990s, THE ADVENT OF the Internet sparked calls for science journals to provide their content online...
Reaching out to the Russians
THE SOURCE: "NATO's Final Frontier" by Charles A. Kupchan, in Foreign Affairs, May-June 2010. LORD HASTINGS ISMAY, THE first secretary-general of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, reportedly once said that the organization's purpose was "to...
Red, White, and Balkan
THE SOURCE: "Unapproachable Light" by Dimiter Kenarov, in Virginia Quarterly Review, Spring 2010. PICTURE A PREDOMINANTLY Muslim city where residents celebrate Thanksgiving and Old Glory flies above storefronts. Pipe dream? Not in Ferizaj, Kosovo,...
Relax at Your Peril
THE SOURCE: "The Prophet Motive" by John Lamont, in First Things, April 2010. FOR THE CATHOLIC CHURCH to stay relevant in the 21st century, it needs to stop accommodating modern life and revive a more fundamentalist, demanding approach, proclaims...
The Art of Life
THE SOURCE: "The Art Is Alive" by Emily Voigt, in Isotope, Fall-Winter 2009. A DINNER PARTY IN PARIS. Frog on the menu. It sounds pretty straightforward until the catch: In attendance is the frog himself, still alive. The meal being served--coin-sized...
The Despair of Zion: Any Effort to Bring Peace between Israelis and Palestinians Must Reckon with the Fact That Bitter Experience Has Taught Many Iraelis to Doubt That Their Foes Want a Lasting Concord
MEETING A FRIEND IN A COFFEE SHOP IN AN OLD Jerusalem neighborhood, once the home of Jews who had escaped Germany before the Holocaust, I asked him what he wanted most in life. One of the giants of Israel's academic and intellectual life, my Mend has...
The Irish in Paris: For Centuries, the Passionate and Sometimes Persecuted Irish Have Felt a Peculiar Sympathy with Europe's Self-Anointed Capital of Sophistication
BOTH INSIDE AND OUTSIDE FRANCE, SURELY THE most representative Frenchman of modern times is Charles de Gaulle, World War II hero and general, founding father, and first president of the Fifth Republic. With his magnificent Gallic horn of a nose, protruding...
The Risks of Oil Independence
THE SOURCE: "The Security Costs of Energy Independence" by Gregory D. Miller, Washington Quarterly, April 2010. AMERICA MUST WEAN ITSELF from foreign oil--that's the common wisdom on both sides of the political aisle. Entanglement with Middle Eastern...
The Rude Birth of Immigration Reform: As America Debates Immigration Reform, It Is in Danger of Repeating the Mistakes Made a Century Ago When the Flawed Foundations of Today's Policies Were Established
IN 1908, ANNA HERKNER DONNED THE TATTERED peasant clothing of a Bohemian immigrant and boarded a crowded steamer bound for the United States. She was shocked at what she found. In steerage, women weakened by seasickness were mauled by crew members,...
The Tea Party's Short Sip
THE SOURCE: "The Tea Party Jacobins" by Mark Lilla, in The New York Review of Books, May 27, 2010. POPULIST MOVEMENTS OF days past aimed to seize political power and use it for the benefit of "the people." Not so with today's Tea Party, observes...
Toward a Post-Prison Society
THE SOURCE: "The Outpatient Prison" by Mark A. R. Kleiman, in The American Interest, March-April 2010. THE UNITED STATES HAS a REMARKABLE total of 1.7 million criminals behind bars, but that's nothing compared with the number who are on probation...
Turkey's Role Reversals: In Turkey, Secularists Cling to a Decaying Old Order While Pious Muslims Lead the Way toward Modernization. but Will the Upstarts Create a Genuinely Pluralist New Order?
ON A SULTRY SUMMER DAY LAST YEAR, THREE Turkish couples, the women wearing headscarves, walked into a cafe in Arnavutkoy, a pleasant seaside quarter of Istanbul. I had seen them drive up in their stylish SUVs, which they left in the hands of parking...
What Next for the Start-Up Nation? Adversity, like Necessity, Is Often the Mother of Invention
A GLANCE AT THE HEADLINES GIVES LITTLE cause for optimism about Israel's future. Growing tensions between Washington and Jerusalem, a rising nuclear threat from Iran, and an intensifying campaign to isolate Israel internationally seem to bode ill for...
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