Chasing the Djinn
For more than two decades now, al-Qaeda and other jihadi groups have matched wits and wiles against U.S. intelligence and counter-intelligence efforts. Two new books score the contest.
The Math Behind the Meltdown
The history of the renowned Black-Scholes formula on options pricing weaves through several centuries and many countries. That history, were it better known, would have inspired a little of the humility that was in such short supply in the world of finance before September 2008.
Lost in Translation: James Bond’s Istanbul
The premiere of Skyfall marked Agent 007’s return to Istanbul, but which Istanbul? Certainly not Ian Fleming’s, whose contempt for the place drips from the pages of From Russia with Love.
The Federal-State Crack-up
For decades, both Democrats and Republicans have been invested in governance schemes that have eroded the Constitution’s separation of powers.
Purity and Responsibility
A new book on Islamic law is long on abstractions but short on assessing actual experience. The result is an exercise in erudite misdirection.
The New Bipolarity
A new kind of bipolarity is returning to global politics. At one pole stand states invested in a rule-based international order. At the other stand those intent on unconstrained raison d’état. And America is stuck in the middle.
War and the Intellectuals
The tendency of America’s highly educated elites to oppose war and assume an adversarial posture against the government turns less on principle than it does on sociology.
What is College For?
The student loan bubble may very well be about to burst, but a college education is itself still more than “worth it”—especially for a democracy.