Category Archives: Politics and Political Theory

Punk Is Not Dead

Today my review essay of Masha Gessen’s latest book, Words Will Break Cement: The Passion of Pussy Riot, appears in the Los Angeles Review of Books. The book is a testament to the courage of the members of the group who … Continue reading

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The Interpreter of Comedies

The extended appearance of Pussy Riot members Nadya Tolokonnikova and Masha Alyokhina on The Colbert Report Feb. 7 is worth watching for any number of reasons, top among them are hearing two victims of Vladimir Putin’s regime speaking in their own … Continue reading

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A Man in Full

U.S. Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., announced this month he would not seek reelection this year after serving nearly 40 years in the House of Representatives. By any measure that is an extraordinary political career, but it is all the more … Continue reading

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Lessons from Robben Island

I visited Robben Island, South Africa’s prison colony off the Western Cape, more than a decade ago when I was in South Africa with the woman who would become my wife. Then as today it is a national heritage site … Continue reading

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Lou Reed and the Power of Art

Lou Reed died today at 71. The standard obituaries have noted his profound influence on popular music since the 1960s and 1970s. Dig a little deeper and you might find, as The New Republic did, that he affected political leaders like Vaclav … Continue reading

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The Image and the Message in Syria

President Barack Obama, an able writer and orator, is substantially challenged when he must speak about armed conflict. His formal speeches about warfare – whether he is lecturing the Nobel Committee in Oslo about just war theory, or muddling his … Continue reading

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American Republic, Now Available from Amazon

I’m pleased to announce that my book, American Republic: Essays on the Nature of Politics, is now available in Kindle and paperback from Amazon.com. American Republic includes the original book, plus three essays that first appeared on this site: “The Plastics and … Continue reading

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