Building Democracy Out of What?

The Iraqi people, and anyone who wants to help them, will have to deal with the long-term psychological trauma of life under Saddam

Norman Ornstein's Doomsday Scenario

What would happen if a bomb wiped out the federal government?

JFK's Second Term

Toward the end of his life John F. Kennedy increasingly distrusted his military advisers and was changing his views on foreign policy. A fresh look at the final months of his presidency suggests that a second Kennedy term might have produced not only an American withdrawal from Vietnam but also rapprochement with Fidel Castro's Cuba

Who Shot Mohammed al-Dura?

The image of a boy shot dead in his helpless father's arms during an Israeli confrontation with Palestinians has become the Pietà of the Arab world. Now a number of Israeli researchers are presenting persuasive evidence that the fatal shots could not have come from the Israeli soldiers known to have been involved in the confrontation. The evidence will not change Arab minds—but the episode offers an object lesson in the incendiary power of an icon

Lost in Translation

Barton Raffel's English version of Le Rouge et le Noir lacks the essential tone and style of Stendhal

Aural History

The doyen of capital insiders has written a misleading account of the debate that led to war

The Logic of Suicide Terrorism

First you feel nervous about riding the bus. Then you wonder about going to a mall. Then you think twice about sitting for long at your favorite café. Then nowhere seems safe. Terrorist groups have a strategy—to shrink to nothing the areas in which people move freely—and suicide bombers, inexpensive and reliably lethal, are their latest weapons. Israel has learned to recognize and disrupt the steps on the path to suicide attacks. We must learn too

The Reluctant Fan

Professional baseball's lachrymose and soporific spell

A New Chestnut

The work of a dedicated few may eventually restore America's blighted chestnut forest to their former vastness. One happy consequence can already be tasted

Still Growing

Michael Byers' first novel, though ambitious and often engaging, suggests that he hasn't yet made the leap from short stories

Moving On, and On

From the Transition Index to the Rapture Index

Primary Sources

Selections from recent reports, studies, and other documents. This month: 39,842 box cutters; gays in the (wartime) military; how college basketball hurts U.S. productivity; the most dangerous country in the world

Book Group in Chadors

An outstanding and unusual memoir of post-revolutionary Iran

Too Much of a Good Thing

The theoretical physicist who ignited the biggest firestorm in the history of the American photography market was simply trying to figure out if his vintage photos were genuine. By the time he learned the answer, two of the country's best-known photography scholars had come under a cloud of suspicion


Where Time Comes From

The clocks that coordinate your cellphone, GPS, and more


Computer Vision Syndrome and You

Save your eyes. Take breaks.


What Happens in 60 Seconds

Quantifying human activity around the world



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