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Best of The New York Review, plus books, events, and other items of interest
‘The Weekly Standard’ & Failed Regime Change
Kristol, Podhoretz, Boot, and others belong to a second generation of neocons that never drifted away from the Democrats toward the Republican Party. Many seem simply politically adrift, like Russian exiles stranded in Paris after the Bolshevik revolution pining for the ancien régime.
December 18, 2018
Desexing the Kinsey Institute
Since the 1950s, the Kinsey Institute expanded his agenda—opening a sex clinic, hiring an art curator, starting public tours, and releasing a sex-reporting app. But over the past three years, it has quietly become a shell of its former self.
March 20, 2018
The Supreme Court & Race
What will they do for an encore? The often staid Supreme Court closed its 2011-2012 term in late June with a nail-biting final day decision on the Affordable Care Act. The opinion surprised almost everyone, including four of the Court’s five conservative justices, as Chief Justice John Roberts, for the first time ever in a 5-4 decision, joined the liberal wing of the Court to uphold the bulk of the Affordable Care Act. Three days earlier, the Court struck down most of Arizona’s anti-immigrant law, again surprising many observers and disappointing many conservatives.
September 27, 2012
Jane Jacobs & the Republican Radicals
A team of filmmakers planning a documentary on Jane Jacobs asked me recently about the original reviews of *The Death and Life of Great American Cities*, her famous critique of city planners and their destruction of vital city neighborhoods. I told the filmmakers that writers like Jane are usually attacked by beneficiaries of entrenched institutions and that she was no exception. But I also said that I was pleasantly surprised by the positive response to Jane’s book from New York’s so-called Upper West Side intellectuals, most of whom had previously supported and hoped to strengthen the moderate social welfare state but were now fiercely opposed to it. Had these proto-neocons misread *The Death and Life of Great American Cities* as a generalized assault on government as such rather than a critique of a particular case of government excess?
March 30, 2012
The New European Far-Right
In the flurry of commentaries about the July 22 Norway killings, certain features stand out. Commentators on the right are more inclined to dismiss Anders Behring Breivik as a deranged lunatic. By contrast, writers and bloggers on the left are more likely to take the view that there is some linkage between his monstrous crimes and new versions of far right ideologies that have been leaching into mainstream European politics. These divergent interpretations have brought fresh urgency to the question of whether highly charged political rhetoric can play a part in motivating extreme forms of violence.
August 9, 2011
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