Mark Danner is Chancellor’s Professor of English and Journalism at the University of California at Berkeley and James Clarke Chace Professor of Foreign Affairs and the Humanities at Bard. His most recent book is Spiral: Trapped in the Forever War. His work can be found at www
.markdanner.com.
 (March 2017)

IN THE REVIEW

Robert B. Silvers (1929–2017)

Robert B. Silvers in his office at The New York Review of Books, early 1980s
From its first issue in 1963, Robert Silvers was either co-editor with Barbara Epstein or, after her death in 2006, editor of The New York Review. Bob worked almost to the very end of his life, which would be no surprise to those who knew him well, including those who have written these brief memoirs.

What He Could Do

Trump uses chaos to shock his opponents into varying crouches of outrage and contempt and then lunges forward amid the tumult wherever he sees an opportunity presenting itself. It is against this reality that we must see the likelihood of a crisis as the vital springboard of a Trump presidency, especially an increasingly shaky, unpopular, and unstable one.

The Real Trump

Donald Trump at his campaign rally at Pittsburgh International Airport, November 2016

Trump Revealed: An American Journey of Ambition, Ego, Money, and Power

by Michael Kranish and Marc Fisher
Donald Trump offers such consummate political theater—his gargantuan narcissism makes him so mesmerizing to watch—that it is to wake abruptly from an all-enveloping dream to realize that much of what he says has no…content behind it. His assertions, framed in simple, concrete, direct language, are not policy statements so much as attitudes.

On the Election—II

Donald Trump
All American elections tend to be touted as historic, for all American culture tends toward the condition of hype. Flummoxing, then, to be confronted with a struggle for political power in which, for once, all is at stake. We have long since forfeited the words to confront it, rendering superlatives threadbare, impotent.

The Magic of Donald Trump

Donald Trump

Crippled America: How to Make America Great Again

by Donald J. Trump
Observe the celebrity known as Donald Trump saunter onto the stage at Boca Raton, twenty minutes after his helicopter swoops in. The slow and ponderous walk, the extended chin, the pursed mouth, the slowly swiveling head, the exaggerated look of knowing authority: with the exception of the red “Make America Great Again” ball cap perched atop his interesting hair the entire passage is quoted whole cloth from the patented boardroom entrance of The Apprentice.

The CIA: The Devastating Indictment

Former CIA acting general counsel John Rizzo, one of the main architects of the CIA’s detention and interrogation program from 2001 to 2009

The Senate Intelligence Committee Report on Torture: Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program

by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
Mark Danner has been writing in these pages about the use of torture by the US government since the first years after September 11, 2001. Following the release in December 2014 of the Senate’s report on the CIA torture program, Hugh Eakin spoke to Danner for the New York Review …

NYR DAILY

Moving Backward: Hypocrisy and Human Rights

Guantánamo Bay detention camp, Cuba, October 2018

The United States, even as it pursued its neo-imperial ambitions, championed the human rights revolution that began after World War II. But today, for the first time since the late Forties, Americans and their government are demonstrably headed in the opposite direction. It is not simply that assassination has become a mainstay of US foreign policy. It is that these things are the new normal: torture; cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment; indefinite detention; assassination; extra-judicial killing. This is not who we are, as President Obama was fond of saying. And yet, it is what we do.

Our New Politics of Torture

Satellite imagery of

One of the main findings of the Senate investigation of the CIA’s torture program was not simply the abuse, or the law-breaking, or the moral reprehensibleness of it. It was that there was a fundamental corruption of governance, in which the CIA persistently lied, not only to Congress but to the executive branch to which it ostensibly reported.