Jonathan Freedland is an editorial page columnist for The Guardian and the author of Bring Home the Revolution: How Britain Can Live the American Dream. (September 2013)
Christopher Hitchens and His Critics: Terror, Iraq, and the Left edited by Simon Cottee and Thomas Cushman, with an afterword by Christopher Hitchens
The Second Plane: September 11: Terror and Boredom by Martin Amis
Gordon Brown, Prime Minister by Tom Bower
Gordon Brown: Speeches, 1997–2006 edited by Wilf Stevenson
Courage: Eight Portraits by Gordon Brown
Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic by Chalmers Johnson
Second Chance: Three Presidents and the Crisis of American Superpower by Zbigniew Brzezinski
Ariel Sharon: A Life by Nir Hefez and Gadi Bloom, translated from the Hebrew by Mitch Ginsburg
Ariel Sharon: An Intimate Portrait by Uri Dan
Politicide: The Real Legacy of Ariel Sharon by Baruch Kimmerling
Around the world, the US government shutdown has produced not just bemusement but a growing sense of angst.
Given what he had heard in his courtroom, Sir Brian Leveson, the judge appointed by British Prime Minister David Cameron to investigate misdeeds by the press, could plausibly have delivered damning judgements about the police, politicians—including Cameron and his ministers—and, especially, News Corporation and the Murdoch family who run it. Yet much of the Leveson report’s immense length is taken up by setting out the facts rather than apportioning blame.
Most of the time, the world outside America consisted of three Is and (toward the end) a single C: the threat of a nuclear Iran, the need to stand with Israel, the wisdom of going into Iraq nearly a decade ago and of maintaining a troop presence there now, and finally the menace of job-stealing, currency-manipulating China. Europe surfaced just once, and then only in a list of regions where the US had strong alliances, alongside Africa and Asia. India, home to a billion people and a rising power, was mentioned not at all.
What if your natural self is not that appealing to the voters, what indeed if your natural self is not all that natural? This is the conundrum confronting the team advising Mitt Romney. From the hordes of journalists, pundits, and armchair experts gathered here in Tampa, the campaign has received the same unsolicited advice: it needs to “humanize” the Republican presidential nominee, formally anointed as such on Tuesday, to present what the National Journal calls his “warm, fuzzy side.” But this might just be the time when a stiff personality could work.
In the latest episode of the podcast, Jonathan Freedland talks with Emily Greenhouse about gilded-coach celebrity in an era of austerity, the hereditary principle, and why all bets are off when it comes to Wills and Kate.
Over the last few days a consensus has formed, on both the left and the right, that awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to Barack Obama was too much, too soon. Even the President’s warmest admirers were embarrassed by the honor’s prematurity, while his domestic critics seized on it much the way they had reacted to the international adulation Obama received as a candidate, when, for example, he brought more than 200,000 people onto the streets of Berlin: they saw it as evidence both of the wide-eyed, teenybopper crush foreigners have on Obama and, somehow, of the President’s own hubris. But on closer examination, the award is not the stunning surprise it first seemed. And, at least from the point of view of those who gave it, it’s not so daft either.