“The Real State of the Union”; Robert F. Kennedy Jr., “In Defense of Michael Skakel”; Patricia Stacey, “Floor Time”; Ron Rosenbaum, “Sex Week at Yale”; Caitlin Flanagan, “The Wifely Duty”; Christopher Hitchens, “The Wartime Toll on Germany”; fiction by Alison Baker; and much more.
In most of the world, yes. In the United States, not any more.
With uncharacteristic staying power the American national gaze this past year has been directed almost entirely outward, at events as they have…
The CIA's brand of rational analysis is perpetually half right in a way that makes it completely wrong
The "morality gap" is becoming the key variable in American politics
What are the main elements of national well-being? It is startling how out-of-date and out-of-touch our official politics has become
Marriage used to provide access to sex. Now it provides access to celibacy
W. G. Sebald wrote of the pain of belonging to a nation that, in Thomas Mann's words, "cannot show its face"
Developments, encouraging and otherwise
Pacific Northwest ingredients, Asian theme
Richard Powers is getting bigger and more ponderous. Nicholson Baker is getting smaller and more evanescent. Decision: Baker
My own private Groundhog Day
What to read this month
A malady that does not speak its name
Paul Wolfson, of Washington, D.C., writes, "I have always thought that first-generation American referred to someone who was the first person in a…
Celebrity trials can turn into media lynchings. Last year a Connecticut jury convicted Michael Skakel of killing his neighbor Martha Moxley twenty-seven years ago, even though the prosecution had no fingerprints, no DNA, and no witnesses. The author, a former New York City prosecutor, argues that his cousin's indictment was triggered by an inflamed media, and that an innocent man is now in prison
Too much trust can actually be a bad thing—a polity of suckers is no better than a nation of cynics. But Americans' steadily declining faith in one another is a warning
The most important long-term social fact in America may be the rising rates of intermarriage among members of ethnic and racial groups. A glimpse into our mestizo future
American Ground. I just finished reading William Langewiesche's great article "American Ground: Unbuilding the World Trade Center" (July/August,…
A new approach to the treatment of autism, one that emphasizes emotional development through intensive one-on-one engagement with autistic children, appears to offer some hope in responding to a disorder that is both epidemic and frequently intractable
In which academics ponder "webcam girls," hermaphrodites, demonic-male chimps, the history of the vibrator, and "sex with four professors"
A short story
Answers to this puzzle's clues are to be entered horizontally and vertically without regard to heavy bars, though if bars were used to show…