David Bromwich


David Bromwich is Sterling Professor of English at Yale. His two new books, The Intellectual Life of Edmund Burke: From the Sublime and Beautiful to American Independence and Moral Imagination, a collection of his essays, were published earlier this year. (August 2014)

  • Shakespeare, Lincoln, and Ambition

    April 11, 2014

    “I think nothing equals Macbeth.” Lincoln was deeply touched by the portrait of the mind of a politician who had committed great wrongs. He was not equally moved by the thoughts of a hero who reproached himself for doing too little.

  • Stumbling Into Syria

    June 24, 2013

    A train of commitments by two administrations has led to the US intervention in Syria, an involvement that started well before the revised intelligence estimate about chemical weapons climbed to “high certainty.”

  • The Pox Beneath the Powder

    February 18, 2012

    The title “Infinite Jest” gives a very partial impression of the survey of caricatures showing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art through March 4. Hamlet said those words about Yorick, but Yorick was a jester at the court of Elsinore. There may be something expansive about the very idea of jest, because it obeys no rules and draws hints from the humor of the audience. The art of caricature, by contrast, is finite, bounded and severe. A bad jest may redeem itself by having a better for its sequel. A flat or vapid or wrong-headed caricature cannot be pardoned. The province of satire is wit, and when wit goes wrong it signifies not a tactical error but a defect of mind.

  • Obama's Middle East: Rhetoric and Reality

    May 22, 2011

    Being president of the world has sometimes seemed a job more agreeable to Barack Obama than being president of the United States.

  • Obama, Incorporated

    January 28, 2011

    Barack Obama’s 2011 State of the Union address was an organized sprawl of good intentions—a mostly fact-free summons to a new era of striving and achievement, and a solemn cheer to raise our spirits as we try to get there.

  • Don't Look At Me

    November 5, 2010

    The Republicans of 2010 are a party led by a movement. From early 2009, the movement declared that its strategy would be to denounce the growth of the national debt, oppose the bank bailouts, attack health care reform, and undermine the legitimacy of President Obama.