In Austria, The Fall Of an Extremist

There are few political obituaries more enjoyable to write than that of Joerg Haider, so I won’t resist the temptation: As of yesterday, Haider, the Austrian politician who came bouncing onto the political scene a few years ago wearing Spandex bicycle shorts, denouncing immigrants and spouting carefully crafted nuggets of Anschluss nostalgia, is officially a …

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After the Gulag

In 1955, the Russian writer Yuri Dombrovsky returned home to Moscow after twenty-five years in Soviet camps and exile—twenty-five years “out there”—to discover that he had not, after all, been completely forgotten. He was handed a rehabilitation document, given a grudging pension, assigned a single room in a communal apartment. Although few of his works …

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It really was the day the world changed

A few days ago, I negotiated a service contract for the boiler in my new house in Washington DC. At the end of a long telephone exchange, I had to make a decision: did I want a fixed oil price, or a variable one? The variable price was lower. Nevertheless, I preferred the fixed price.

The Gulag Argumento

Martin Amis swings at Stalin and hits his own best friend instead. Judging by the reviews, Martin Amis’ new book, Koba the Dread, will produce an unusually wide range of reactions—but that is hardly surprising. Although Amis is best known as a novelist, Koba the Dread is a truly unique, not to say peculiar, work …

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Leaks are confusing, but aim is clear

Not one, not two, but three articles quoting from “secret” plans to invade Iraq have appeared on the front page of the New York Times in the past month. One version of events calls for 250,000 US troops to attack Iraq from three sides.

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