Europe has survived terrorist attacks before

January 23rd, 2015


In the more than two weeks that have passed since the murder of more than a dozen people in Paris — cartoonists, policemen, customers at a Jewish grocery store — a number of European countries have called for new countermeasures to fight terrorism. The French prime minister announced a whole raft of policies. The British want databases to monitor travel in and out of Europe. At emergency meetings, European officials have discussed what one British paper called a “new era of travel surveillance.”

But before any of these plans is adopted, it’s important first to ask a different question: Did the Charlie Hebdo murders really represent something new? Read on »

North Korea’s incomprehensible regime

January 5th, 2015

In the 1990s, a large group of prisoners was released from North Korea’s secret labor camps. These were not criminals, nor were they even political enemies. On the contrary, they were, in the words of a defector, the grandchildren and even great-grandchildren of “landlords, capitalists, collaborators with the Japanese colonial government, and other people with bad family background.” The Soviet Union once arrested the wives and children of political prisoners, and Russia recently sent the brother of a dissident politician to prison. But North Korea kept generations of families living in camps for decades on end. Read on »

From a Polish Country House Kitchen: 90 Recipes for the Ultimate Comfort Food

September 18th, 2012

With more than 150 splendid photographs and more than 90 recipes for classic and contemporary Polish food, From a Polish Country House Kitchen is designed to bring an ignored cuisine to light. Anne Applebaum has lived in Poland since before the fall of communism, and this cookbook offers a tantalizing look into the turbulent history of this beautiful region. Together with fellow author Danielle Crittenden, she celebrates long-distance friendships with a love of food at the core, bringing the good, sustaining foods of Anne’s Polish country home into kitchens the world over.

He Just Called to Say He Loves Us: Barack Obama in London

May 29th, 2011

I was in a meeting on the other side of London on Wednesday while President Barack Obama was speaking in Westminster Hall, so I didn’t hear what he said. But I could see him. My meeting was in a room that contained a flat-screen television with the sound turned off, permanently tuned to Sky News. Because I was sitting across from this flat-screen television, it was impossible not to glance at it every so often, just to see what was going on. Read on »

China’s quiet power grab

September 28th, 2010

In April, the Chinese navy abruptly deployed 10 warships near the Japanese coast and sent helicopters to buzz Japanese ships. In July, the Chinese foreign minister angrily asserted his country’s claim to international waters in the South China Sea, along with some islands claimed by others. Last week, a Chinese fishing trawler smashed into two Japanese Coast Guard boats, possibly on purpose, leading to a Japanese arrest and a furious reaction from Beijing. Read on »