Anyone who has lived for any length of time in Russia during the past decade will instantly understand why Andrew Meier wrote this book. Meier, who worked in Moscow for Time magazine from 1996 until 2001, probably spent most of his time there doing what most other reporters do: covering news, chasing the things that …
As of last weekend, Conrad Black, the famous media mogul, is no longer a media mogul at all: He has sold his newspapers, including the Daily Telegraph of London, the Chicago Sun-Times and the Jerusalem Post.
“Dear Ms. Applebaum, The most desolate, lonely place that I can think of is not Mars, but the inside of your brain.” Anyone who has ever written an article and had it printed in a public place will know how much e-mail has changed the way that readers communicate with authors.
The first color pictures from the NASA space probe expedition to Mars have now been published. They look like — well, they look like pictures of a lifeless, distant planet. They show blank, empty landscapes. They show craters and boulders. They show red sand.
On the streets, giant menorahs jostle for space with Santa and Rudolph. On the airwaves, President Bush issues Christmas, Hanukah and Kwanzaa messages. At the mall, you can buy dreidels to stuff in your stockings or lights to decorate your Hanukah bush.
Wherever he goes, Hassan Mneimneh is deluged with suggestions. Knowledgeable professors tell him about Rwandan war crimes tribunals and Cambodian archival practices. Friendly Germans lecture him on the technical operations of the commission that controls the files of the Stasi, the East German secret police.
The more we are able to understand how various societies have transformed their neighbors and fellow citizens from people into objects, and the more we know of the specific circumstances that led to each episode of mass torture and mass murder, the better we will understand the darker side of our own human nature.
It has an army, a stock market and a national bank. It has a seat on the U.N. Security Council, ambassadors in most world capitals and Olympic ice skaters. It has a flag, and quite a few satellites. So why can’t we treat Russia like a grown-up nation?
Anyone who has ever invited guests of opposing political persuasions over to dinner will know how quickly it can all go wrong. Having imagined they’d exchange their interesting views about something vaguely neutral — European politics, say, or Russian literature — I’ve watched my normally civilized friends spend the evening shouting at one another about …
Last week I spent the better part of two days trying to understand the Medicare bill. I called up the bill’s advocates. I called up the bill’s critics. At one point, I read the advocates’ declarations over the telephone to one of the critics.