The Progressive

A monthly magazine of progressive culture and politics. Articles include critical essays, current events, cultural reviews, and interviews with politicians and entertainers.

Articles from Vol. 58, No. 1, January

Adrienne Rich: 'I Happen to Think Poetry Makes a Huge Difference.' (Interview)
Adrienne Rich is one of the leading American poets of our century. For forty years, her distinguished writings have brought accolades, including the National Book Award, the Fellowship of American Poets, and the Poets Prize. But as she puts it in her...
Clinton's Hot Kitchen
Lyndon Johnson, I.F. Stone once observed, wasn't content to be commander-in-chief of America's armed forces; he wanted to be editor-in-chief of the nation's newspapers, as well. It's a common Presidential affliction. John Kennedy complained he was...
Crime on the Hill
Everyone agrees something must be done about crime. The bill the U.S. Senate passed in November is not the something that must be done. It sounds hopelessly redundant to say, once again, that the causes of much of the crime that afflicts us lie...
Crimes of Punishment
Prison-reform activists in Madison, Wisconsin, have recently released a video documentary chronicling injustices in the state penal system as part of an educational project on prison issues called "Correcting Corrections." Madison artist and journalist...
Groping for a Security Blanket
Bill Clinton's performance on the world stage can be fairly summed up in a memorable Churchillian phrase: a themeless pudding. Clinton was elected President on the promise to change the United States, but the rapid, profound, and often mysterious changes...
JFK: Reckless Youth
At the end of November, when Charles Krauthammer was calling for the elimination of welfare for mothers with babies, Nina Totenberg was advocating the nationwide erection of orphanages, and all the pundits were casting Al Gore's performance against...
Police vs. Blacks in Nebraska
On November 10, thirty helmeted police officers and four paddy wagons descended on a group of black high-school students in downtown Omaha. Twenty-six young people, ranging in age from fourteen to eighteen, were subjected to a mass arrest, charged...
The Help That Hurts
The United States Agency for International Development administers billions of dollars of U.S. foreign aid, but it's better known for its scandals. U.S. AID officials were accused of running guns to the contras in the late 1980s, and under the Reagan...
The Masculine Mystique
A Polish poet recently speculated on the remarkable dearth of battle scenes among the masterpieces of Seventeenth Century Dutch painting. In his engaging collection of essays, Still Life with Bridle, Zbigniew Herbert wonders aloud why such painters...
The Trouble's Not 'Truth.' (Media Docudrama and News reporting)(Culture) (Column)
The media have a way of manufacturing their own ethical "issues of the day," setting the terms by which they judge themselves and arriving at answers that suit their own agendas. Violence has topped their list for quite some time now - "Let's beat...
Welfare Reform Again
Talk about welfare reform has not changed much since 1988, when the Federal Family Support Act went into effect, and President Clinton's latest plan to "overhaul" the welfare system is more of the same. For years now, there has been widespread agreement...
What Is to Be Done?
The Cold War is really finished. I realized this last Spring, in Russian class, while we were translating from our textbook. The book, published two years ago in Iowa, has a cover photograph of Russian students wearing John Lennon wire-rims, Megadeth...
Who Killed JFK: The Final Chapter?
At the end of November, when Charles Krauthammer was calling for the elimination of welfare for mothers with babies, Nina Totenberg was advocating the nationwide erection of orphanages, and all the pundits were casting Al Gore's performance against...