Category Archives: History

From Gingrich to McCarthy, the roots of governance by chaos

Robert Draper writes: Newt Gingrich was disdainful. After watching days of House Republicans failing to elect a speaker, Mr. Gingrich, the most famous of all recent G.O.P. House speakers, vented about the hard-right holdouts, among them Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida. “There’s no deal you can make with Gaetz,” Mr. Gingrich said in an interview… Read More »

The war raging in Europe feels familiar

Rolling Stone reports: Dženita Mulabdić hugged the ground, the sound of gunfire fast approaching. The pregnant 20-year-old Bosnian woman and her husband, Muhamed, eyed the locked basement door. Their toddler played close by, unaware of the armed men outside. The commandos from Belgrade, wearing black balaclavas, jumped the fence and entered the house in the… Read More »

The Kurdish roots of a global slogan

Shukriya Bradost writes: If I had been killed, would I have had the same impact on the Iranian people as what we have witnessed since the killing in September of the 22-year-old Kurdish woman Jina-Mahsa Amini? Definitely not. The use of heavy military weaponry to crack down on protests in Kurdish cities in Iran, which… Read More »

Henry Ford, Elon Musk, and the dark path to extremism

James Risen writes: Elon Musk is on his way to becoming the next Henry Ford. That is not a compliment. In his early entrepreneurial years, Ford was a revolutionary: an innovative genius who transformed the way Americans traveled, worked, and lived. Ford effectively created the modern assembly line, driving down manufacturing costs, raising productivity, and… Read More »

Are we really prisoners of geography?

Daniel Immerwahr writes: Russia’s war in Ukraine has involved many surprises. The largest, however, is that it happened at all. Last year, Russia was at peace and enmeshed in a complex global economy. Would it really sever trade ties – and threaten nuclear war – just to expand its already vast territory? Despite the many… Read More »

In Iran, pluralism begins to take root

Paymon Azmoudeh writes: There are few places in Iran further from Saqqez, in Iranian Kurdistan, where Zhina (aka Mahsa) Amini was born in 1999 and buried on Sept. 17, than Zahedan, 1,200 miles away in Sistan and Balochistan province. Yet, despite living at opposite ends of the country, Iran’s Kurdish and Baloch communities face similar… Read More »

What did the Russians dig up when they dug trenches in Chernobyl?

Michael Marder writes: Contemporary events appear in ever-shifting configurations. They seem to be entirely contingent, their amplification on the global scale dependent on how many people are paying attention. The vicissitudes of spotlighting various events are daily, if not hourly: something that was the focus of attention yesterday may be forgotten today. A massacre and… Read More »

Iran’s protest movement has been years in the making

Ali Hashem writes: [I]n the span of less than half a century, many Iranians have undergone a seismic shift in attitudes – moving from a tendency toward Islamism under secular rule to a yearning for secularization under theocracy. This shift illustrates what the renowned Iranian scholar Homa Katouzian has dubbed Iran’s “short-term society.” Katouzian likens… Read More »

The wreckage of neoliberalism

Chris Murphy writes: For millions of Americans—especially those who don’t live in the high-income urban mega-economies—it feels like life itself is unspooling. This sense of dislocation is what Donald Trump’s politics of grievance seized upon when he launched his campaign for the presidency in 2015. He offered easy scapegoats—immigrants, Muslims, and economic elites—to blame for… Read More »