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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.

Stress Test: Why the College Admissions Process Is So Nerve-Wracking

The process of getting into college grows more expensive, arcane, mysterious and nettlesome by the year for families and students alike. It doesn’t have to be this way.

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.

Broken: A Primer on American Political Disorder

It’s no one thing: Rapid global economic change, institutional deficiencies in governance and plutocratic smarm have reinforced each other to create one huge tangle of a problem.

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.

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Putin's Patronage

The rebound of Russia’s largest oil company appears to be a major success story, but the truth is more complicated.

TAI elsewhere

Jason Willick on the inadequacy of the donor class vision for the Republican Party.

Regulate Don't Kill

Trying to apply blue model thinking to post-blue problems is foolish.

A New Cud to Chew

Feeding cows seaweed could cut out 99 percent of their methane emissions.

Trouble in Brussels

After threatening Putin with new sanctions over Syria, European leaders discover they lack the political will to deliver.

The United States is now going to have to figure out how to help Venezuela avoid completely melting down, with the Venezuelan strongman still at the helm.

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