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Reflections in the World’s Eye

Because no review of Being America can avoid recounting the biography of the book’s author, this one will dispense with the task right at the beginning. Jedediah Purdy is the child of hippie parents who dropped out and moved to West Virginia.

Saddam is a pushover compared to Kim Jong Il

This weekend, Colin Powell, the American Secretary of State, is not in Israel or in Jordan, preparing for imminent war with Iraq. He is not in Europe, mollifying allies. Instead, he is in Japan and South Korea, quietly dealing with the other weapons-of-mass-destruction crisis, the one we have heard much less about.

The New York Review

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.

When George met Pooty

As I write this, I have before me the “Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security Between Nato and the Russian Federation”, and a very optimistic document it is too.

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