The Public Interest

Public Interest is a magazine specializing in Politics topics.

Articles from No. 159, Spring

About the Public Interest
I ARRIVED at The Public Interest in the spring of 1994. Irving Kristol would soon, in an excess of modesty, declare neoconservatism a generational phenomenon, now absorbed into a larger conservative whole. Yet less than a decade later, I was fielding...
Assimilation, Past and Present
IS AMERICA'S Anglo-Protestant-African-Catholic-Indian-German-Irish-Jewish-Italian-Slavic-Asian society in danger of "Hispanicization?" The obvious answer is "no." Every major new addition to American society has been viewed in its time as a potential...
Character and Culture
IN The Public Interest's twentieth anniversary issue, an essay appeared suggesting that Americans were increasingly concerned about the question of character. After many years of worrying about economic cycles, industrial management, and the negative...
Forty Good Years
BACK in 1965, in New York, my old friend Daniel Bell, then a professor of sociology at Columbia University, and I, then vice-president of the publishing firm Basic Books, were deeply troubled. The source of our discomfort was the mode of thought that...
Love and Marriage-And Family Law
FAMILY law is in turmoil. It is on the front pages of our newspapers and is implicated in some of our deepest cultural dilemmas and conflicts, from no-fault divorce to the legal status of unmarried cohabiters to, most recently, same-sex marriage. The...
Neoconservative from the Start
WHEN Daniel Bell and Irving Kristol were discussing founding a new journal, The Public Interest, I was teaching at the University of California in Berkeley, after having worked for a year in the Kennedy administration in the Housing and Home Finance...
Public Art for the Public
THERE used to be two federal programs dedicated to funding public art. Now there is one. This isn't an accident--a bureaucratic trick of fate or yet another example of congressional budgetary perfidy. It is easy to imagine circumstances in which we...
Rethinking the Population Problem
I FIRST met Lord Peter Tamas Bauer (1917-2002) in October 1977, five years before the already eminent professor was made a life peer for his pioneering contributions to the field of development economics. For me, this was a fateful encounter, a milestone...
Spies and Bureaucrats: Getting Intel Right
THE American intelligence community has suffered two blows to its credibility in the past three and a half years. First, intelligence agencies failed to detect al Qaeda's terrorist plans for September 11, 2001. Then, estimates of Iraq's weapons of...
The Media We Deserve
The media in the United States have been under close scrutiny since at least the Vietnam War. People began to notice that journalists did not merely report events, but shaped them and our attitude toward them. Television was especially praised or blamed...
What Ails Health Care
NOW are we ready to talk about health care?" asked Senator Hillary Clinton in the title of her New York Times op-ed last year. In fact, have we ever stopped talking about it? Medicare reform, prescription drug costs, the uninsured--these issues are...