Tag: Magazine

The Man Who Was Upset

There would be a cartoon, like for kids. Or it might also have been a prime-time cartoon, actually. The situation was fluid, but consider the growth potential. Honestly, the whole notion was exceedingly hazy and changed a lot, but, as it got pitched among the corps of cold-calling salespeople to potential investors in a company […]

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All Over the Map

Jared Diamond doesn’t use a computer. He relies “completely” on his secretary and on his wife for “anything” requiring one, as he puts it. Diamond also confesses that he lacks the ability to turn on his “home television set” and can “do only the simplest things” with his newly acquired iPhone. “Whenever friends have shown […]

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Racial Terror and the Second Repeal of Reconstruction

This April, PBS aired a groundbreaking documentary series on the fate of Reconstruction—and therefore of Black America. Featuring more than 40 scholars (myself among them) and Black descendants of key figures in Reconstruction’s history, this copiously researched chronicle also doubles as a powerful and chilling window on to our own age of violent and resurgent […]

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LA’s Museum for Nobody

When the Swiss architect Peter Zumthor released his original plans for the new Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 2013, the building was meant to resemble an inkblot, oozing across Los Angeles’s horizon like an enigmatic brushstroke. Planners had hoped it would do for LA what Frank Gehry’s sweeping, silver Guggenheim outpost had done […]

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River of No Return

Willard Ruzicka saw it all in a dream. The Niobrara River, which runs a few hundred feet from his family’s farmhouse in the unincorporated village of Pishelville, Nebraska, had topped its banks. But instead of water edging toward his house from the north, the dream river—somewhere upstream, in the direction of Spencer Dam—had jumped the […]

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How Can Every Democrat Be a “Progressive”?

Defining the word “progressive” is a lot like defining pornography—you just know it when you see it. Or so Walter Mondale suggested while stumping for Jimmy Carter at a rally in Syracuse in 1980. At a time when the president was taking heat from liberal critics, Mondale reassured the crowd that he “knows a progressive […]

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A Novelist’s Life in America’s Underbelly

The writer Nelson Algren was an American original who, when he died in 1981, left behind a single work of literature that continues to haunt the American imagination. That work is the 1949 novel The Man With the Golden Arm, a book that has come as revelation to a good number of readers in every generation since […]

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The Radicalization of Fiona Scott Morton

If you attend enough conferences about antitrust policy, and I’ll impress you by saying that I have, you will inevitably hear two familiar words: “chilling” and “humble.” Any effort to prosecute antitrust cases, panelists say, creates a chilling effect on investment, preventing businesses from growing and thriving; and enforcers must be humble about how they […]

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Cory Booker Was Once a Foot Soldier for Betsy DeVos

Cory Booker had expected 10,000 people to turn out for the rally in downtown Newark that launched his presidential campaign, but on April 13, against a huge American flag draped across a building high above Military Park, he looked out on just 4,100 supporters. The turnout wasn’t the only thing that felt light that day. […]

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Socialism in No Country

In her illuminating essay “The Revolutionary Tradition and its Lost Treasure”—itself a lost treasure, as so few people who consider themselves within the Western revolutionary tradition ever read or even know about it—Hannah Arendt explains a political concept Thomas Jefferson advanced toward the end of his life, involving the creation of what he called “wards” […]

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Socialism and the Democracy Deficit

What is Democratic Socialism? I read considerable talk about “the democratic” as applying to the process of getting socialism; damn little about it as an adjective applying to socialism when you get it.
  — John Dewey to James T. Farrell, 8 November, 1948 Socialism, the political economy that for a century dared not speak its name […]

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Reclaiming the Future

One day last February, I found myself seated on stage, rather incongruously, between the neoconservative Never Trumper–turned–Resistance hero Bill Kristol and my friend Natasha Lennard, a radical anti-fascist writer and activist I first met at Occupy Wall Street back in 2011. We had all made our way to the New School for the closing panel […]

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Oligarch of the Month: Laurence Doud III

In 2016, Laurence Doud III had a seven-figure salary, an honorary degree from the Albany College of Pharmacy, and a beach home in Florida. As Rochester Drug Cooperative’s CEO, he’d handed out lavish bonuses and increased revenue a hundredfold. When he retired the following year, the company lauded his vision. Then, this past April, appearing […]

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The Socialist Network

Future historians may well portray the second decade of the twenty-first century as the moment when American socialism returned from the dead. The collapse of the Soviet empire in the early 1990s had supposedly sealed the overarching terms of political dispute within the confines of the “end of history”—the abrupt cessation of ideological hostilities stoked […]

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