Rebecca Solnit: Covering Haiti: When the Media Is the Disaster

January 21, 2010

The media in disaster bifurcates. Some step out of their usual “objective” roles to respond with kindness and practical aid. Others bring out the arsenal of clichés and pernicious myths and begin to assault the survivors all over again.

Rec Room: Alex Halperin: State by State

January 21, 2010 States are weird political entities and it's hard to know more than a few well. Thumbing around this book is a great way to see the country.

Rec Room: Erica Wright: Poetry’s Welcoming Faces

January 20, 2010

There are amazing writers who can make converts of even the most staunch opponents of verse.

Robert Reich: Bad Job Numbers and the Secret Second Stimulus

January 19, 2010 The president should spend more time talking about creating jobs. How issues are framed for the public makes all the difference.

Rec Room: Michael Archer: The Disappointment Artist

January 19, 2010 Some of the smartest and most entertaining takes on culture.

Ira Chernus: Martin Luther King’s Legacy and Israel’s Future: Stepping Beyond Fear

January 18, 2010 Pushing past the self-serving misinterpretations of King’s words.

Rec Room: Kristen Brunelli: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

January 18, 2010 Life and adventure through the eyes of an autistic hero.

Robert Reich: Why Obama Must Take On Wall Street

January 15, 2010 What happened to all the tough talk from Congress and the White House early last year? Why is the financial reform agenda so small, and so late?

Joel Whitney: Noam Chomsky: The Point Stands—Nick Cohen is a Maniac Who Never Cites Sources

January 14, 2010

In asking Chomsky what I thought was a provocative challenge question, I’m afraid I gave Cohen too much credit.

Dilip Hiro: Regime Change in Tehran? Don’t Bet on It…Yet

January 14, 2010 What today’s Iranian opposition movement can learn from the 1979 Revolution.

Meakin Armstrong: On The Golden Key

January 14, 2010

I wandered around, and thumbed through the remaindered bestsellers and out-of-date guidebooks, when I came across The Magical Key. This particular edition had the illustrations by Maurice Sendak and its afterword was by W.H. Auden. What was this book?

Ada Limón: Listen

January 13, 2010 When you live with a veteran, the language of war becomes a natural thing.

Robert Reich: The Last Big Question: Will Health Care Reform Be Paid For By The Rich or the Middle Class?

January 12, 2010 It’s bonus time on Wall Street again. But the middle class is taking a beating.

David Chura: Sexual Abuse in Juvenile Detention Centers

January 11, 2010 The numbers are disturbing. During 2008 through 2009, 12 percent or 3,220 of the kids locked up in state or privately run juvenile detention centers reported that they had been sexually victimized by another kid or by facility staff.

Orville Schell: The Melting of America: The Story of a Can’t-Do Nation

January 7, 2010 A comprehensive list of what works and what doesn’t in America.

Rec Room: Michal Zamir: Recipe for a Perfect Day

January 6, 2010 On a sunny winter’s day, live like Mrs. Dalloway.

On Attempted Bombings, Airline Security, and Privacy

January 6, 2010 Frederick S. Lane: Is it in our best long-term interests to yield more and more control over our private information to the government in the equally futile pursuit of perfect security?

Robert Reich: What’s Ahead for the Economy and Politics in 2010

January 5, 2010 If it looks like jobs aren’t coming back, that we may be stuck with a high level of joblessness for years, voters will take out even more of their anxieties on Democrats next November.

Tom Engelhardt and Nick Turse: An American World of War: What to Watch for in 2010

January 4, 2010 For Americans, 2010 could be the year of the assassin.