Lebanon Asks: ‘Which Is Stronger, Sect or Hunger?’
“If you are pessimistic you can say that sectarianism will be back with a vengeance,” said Karim Emile Bitar, a political science professor. And if you’re optimistic? “We are witnessing the emergence of a post-sectarian Lebanon.”
December 2, 2019
The Americans We Need
America is not just doing refugees a favor by letting them in. They’re doing America a favor by coming here—revitalizing our economy, sure, bringing new talent and energy and enterprise to every part of our society, but also helping shore up our culture at its weakest spots.
January 30, 2017
The Crowds That Mattered
The Women’s March was an expression of dissent directed at a president who is notoriously impatient with nuance and who is fixated, to an alarming degree, on imagery, on the medium to the exclusion of the message; the protests spoke Trump’s language.
January 23, 2017
China's Happy Blogger
When looking for Chinese reactions to the anti-Japanese riots that took place in late September, it was probably not much of a surprise that the Western press turned to Han Han, the widely read Shanghai-based blogger. In characteristic form, Han gave a riff on the protests that obliquely criticized the government, while at the same time insulated himself from making a direct accusation: “As far as looting and destroying things, this must be punished by law, or else I might suspect that there was some official backing behind all this.”
October 1, 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