Category Archives: Politics

Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization: A Giant Leap Backwards

Something is missing from the US Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization in which the Court struck down the constitutional right to abortion first recognized nearly 50 years ago in Roe v. Wade. Women. Reading … Continue reading

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The Road to Unfreedom

I read widely and I follow news and politics closely, but in recent years I’ve often felt utterly baffled by world events. It’s like I’m trying to put together a jigsaw puzzle without the picture on the box. I manage … Continue reading

Posted in Books, History, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible

On the surface, Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible: The Surreal Heart of the New Russia is a memoir of the years 2001 to 2010 when the author, Peter Pomerantsev, lived and worked in Russia.  In reality, the book … Continue reading

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On Tyranny

I’ve lived my whole life in democratic countries. I’ve never experienced what it’s like to live under a dictatorship, thankfully. But these days, I’m worried. Democracy here in the US and around the world seems more fragile that it used … Continue reading

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The Economic Weapon

This book could not be more timely. Published one month before Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, The Economic Weapon: The Rise of Sanctions as a Tool of Modern War is about the origins, evolution and uses of economic sanctions during … Continue reading

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Notes on the Invasion of Ukraine

I read because it helps me make sense of the world. I blog because it helps me distill what I’ve read, and hopefully it helps others make sense of the world too. The events of the past week make all … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, Reflections | Tagged , | 5 Comments

Books are just too dangerous

Last week I read a beautiful opinion piece by Washington Post columnist Alexandra Petri about the power of books. For context, there’s been an unprecedented rise in efforts by conservatives in the United States to ban books from schools and … Continue reading

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Dying of Whiteness

There are two main ideas in Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment is Killing America’s Heartland: Right-wing policies implemented by Republican administrations attract supporters because they align with a fundamental desire of many white voters to preserve … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Health and wellness, Law and justice, Politics | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

Why We’re Polarized

Ezra Klein says polarization is the “master story” that explains why US politics is so toxic and dysfunctional these days. His book Why We’re Polarized aims to help us make sense of it all. I don’t know how I missed … Continue reading

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Why Nations Fail

Why are some countries rich and others poor? Why, despite the passage of nearly two hundred years since the Industrial Revolution, are some countries still struggling to provide basic necessities while others indulge in conspicuous consumption? Why Nations Fail: The … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Economics, History, Politics | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments