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Graphic by Danielle Desjardins
Hope vs. Fear
The Star Wars Theory of History

Jon Meacham’s new book casts U.S. history as a battle between the forces of darkness and light, with all-powerful Presidents dueling for the nation’s soul.

Photo by Ian Cochrane via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
Democracy in Africa
Nigeria at the Ballot Box

As elections loom in Africa’s most populous country, a timely new book dispels common myths about Nigeria’s democracy—and reveals the broader stakes for the continent.

No Reset
The Unquiet American

Michael McFaul’s memoir throws into sharp relief the failures of America’s Russia policy.

Photograph by Peter-Cunningham, 2018 (Courtesy of Polk & Co.)
The Lifespan of a Fact
Checking the Fact Checkers

Can sticking to the facts obscure the truth? A recent Broadway play takes a Talmudic approach to the debate.

U.S. Navy/Liaison
The Realist Fallacy
“Liberal Hegemony” Is a Straw Man

Academic “realists” are guilty of intellectual overreach in their critique of international overreach.

The Liberal Imperialist
Churchill in All His Complexity

Andrew Roberts’s Churchill biography confronts his subject’s central paradox: How the ardent believer in the goodness of British imperialism became the stalwart champion of liberal democracy.

(Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)
Checking China
The Road to (Super)Power

Bruno Maçães’s new book is a masterful overview of China’s Belt and Road project—and a disturbing portrait of things to come.

Composite by Danielle Desjardins
The Bulldog Behind the Easel
Churchill’s Canvases

A new book explores the artwork of Winston Churchill, and finds surprising resonances between his artistic legacy and his political one.

(Lintao Zhang/Pool/Getty Images)
The Oil Kingdom and the Middle Kingdom
China’s Gulf Connection

A new book offers a helpful primer on Beijing’s deepening relationships in the Gulf.

Wikipedia Commons
Institutional Decay
The Fall of Jim Wright—and the House of Representatives

If you want to understand what’s gone wrong in Congress, the career of Jim Wright offers a good place to start.

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