Books, Film, and History

March 30, 2014
Close Shaves in Ukraine

The Well-Groomed Autocrat

To understand what makes a dictator tick—and what separates today’s tin-pots from the tyrants of the past century—imagine you’re the man who cuts his hair.

March 17, 2014
Progressives at prayer

The Rise of Secular Religion

Today’s secular liberals are the direct descendants of the past century’s Puritans and Protestants, deeply concerned with matters of sin and salvation in the church of politics.

February 27, 2014

Art Breakers

“Damage Control,” a new show at the Hirshhorn museum, explores the death drive, the beauty in destruction, and the aftermath of the Cold War.

February 21, 2014

The Not-So-Big Man on Campus

College presidents are difficult to hire but all too easy to send packing. How can we make the college presidency a force for good?

February 11, 2014
Cops and Robbers

The Corruption Contagion

Corruption, one of the most pernicious threats to global security and prosperity, thrives because it hides in plain sight. A provocative new book by Laurence Cockcroft helps us get around the thorny question of how to define it.

January 30, 2014

The Square and Egypt’s Never-ending Revolution

A new Netflix documentary about the Arab Spring is tailor-made for a Western audience. It all-too-easily glides over some of the thornier realities of today’s Egypt.

December 19, 2013

A Man After Sixty Seasons

The life of Thomas More, as cast in literary amber in both Britain and America, has remarkable appeal to diverse audiences with incommensurate passions.


The Muppet Man

The first full-length biography of Jim Henson is not all that it could be, but fosters new appreciation for an American creative genius.


The Accidental Ambassador

Professor William E. Dodd, FDR’s envoy to Germany from 1933 to 1937, got curiously lost in the postwar historical shuffle, despite his early warnings about rising evil in Hitler’s Berlin. His story is newly relevant, and three very different books, read together, explain why.


Present and Unaccounted For

An untenable assertion sets the stage for a trend-spotter’s insights.

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