mead cohen berger shevtsova garfinkle michta grygiel blankenhorn
The Year's Best
Top Hits of TAI in 2014

Before saying farewell to 2014, be sure to bookmark our top-five essays and reviews from the print magazine, as selected by editor Adam Garfinkle. If the hedonistic holiday season has left you feeling the need to reinvigorate your brain, these are a great place to start.

Best Essays

 Nils Gilman, “The Twin Insurgency

The postmodern state is under siege from plutocrats and criminals who unknowingly compound each other’s insidiousness.

Abram N. Shulsky, “Liberalism’s Beleagured Victory

Could it be that liberalism spawns counter-ideologies because of its very own nature?

Francis Fukuyama, “The Decay of American Political Institutions

We have a problem, but we can’t see it clearly because our focus too often discounts history.

Philip D. Zelikow, “Defense Entropy

Spending even very large sums of money for defense in the absence of a strategic concept cannot ensure security.

Martha Bayles, “America’s Misguided Gender Missionaries

America’s eternal secular messianic temptation has now alighted on gender equality.

Best Reviews

Jakub Grygiel, “Two Princes

Unlike Machiavelli’s The Prince, Antoine Saint-Exupéry’s Le Petit Prince isn’t usually on reading lists for policymakers and international relations scholars. But it should be.

Laurence Maslon, “The Melody Man

A reflection on Jerome Kern, the man who created the American standard.

Michael McDonald, “Mussolini’s Jewess

Margherita Grassini Sarfatti claimed she was to blame for fascism. It’s not so; not that she didn’t try.

Sven Birkerts, “Present and Unaccounted For

An untenable assertion at the core of cyber-theorist Douglas Rushkoff’s new book, Present Shock, sets the stage for a trend-spotter’s insights.

Lawrence Rosen, “Gendered Orientalism

Lila Abu-Lughod claims that the supposedly oppressed women of the Muslim world don’t need the help of the enlightened West. Turns out, she’s right.

Enjoy, and Happy New Year!

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  • wigwag

    You missed one and it was the single best essay of the year at the American Interest. Anyone who wants to invest 15 minutes in reading something really interesting should go here,

    • Anthony

      WigWag, your comment (the prevailing ethos….) was one of the best of year by my lights and yes both Garfinkle and Berger referenced essays were outstanding.

      • wigwag

        Thanks, Anthony and happy New Year.

        • Anthony


  • wigwag

    And as long as we are listing the best AI essays of the year, why not also give a shout out to the worst? First prize goes to the collection of commentary that the website has published on Ukraine and its imbroglio with Russia. In the scores of essays that the site has published on this topic in 2014, there has been nary an intelligent remark in any of them. Confounded and confused are the best adjectives which describe virtually all of the articles published on this topic.

    Almost as bad were the two essays written by the hopelessly out to lunch, Daniel Kurtzer. The former Ambassador and academic embarrassed himself with these two essays:

    Kurtzer now occupies a chair endowed by “Slim Fast” magnate, S. Danny Abraham. Kurtzer’s essays perfectly exemplify what happens if you make the mistake of swigging to much of the noxious libation.

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