Watching the mass impulse toward democracy in Iran over the past week has been alternately inspiring and terrifying. The power and clumsiness of the state never fails to scare me and the courage and intensity of the public in the street continues to inspire. Something is different about political participation in these early years of Read More
Traitor to His Class:
The Privileged Life and Radical Presidency of Franklin
By H. W. Brands
Doubleday, 888 pages, $35
Talk about smart timing. As Americans choose a new president to rescue the United States from economic despair, H. W. Brands’ biography of Franklin D. Roosevelt hits the bookshelves.
Roosevelt took office in Read More
Last night on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, author and This American Lifer Sarah Vowell made an unusual endorsement. "This morning I got the paper and I was about to read it and I was"—Ms. Vowell let out a pained grown—"and I just went over to the computer and looked Read More
By Jean Edward Smith
Random House, 858 pages, $35
The riotous climax of the 1936 Democratic National Convention came when Franklin Roosevelt took the podium to accept his party’s nomination for the second time. As Jean Edward Smith tells it in his new biography, FDR, the speech, with its grandiose, penultimate line—“this Read More
I knew that one day I’d be reading in the paper about Arthur’s death, but never really believed it. He was too intensely, happily alive—too energetic. The consummate New Yorker, he was a man about town even as he began to fail physically in the final months. Those of us who were lucky enough to Read More
Lincoln and Jefferson, not to mention Jesus Christ, are still ahead of Franklin D. Roosevelt as compelling, complex figures fated to endure never-ending revisionist biographical inquiry—historical fact vying with gospel. But F.D.R. is closing the gap, edged forward by powerful images and tropes: a paralyzed man saving a paralyzed nation, a traitor to his class. Read More
PHILADELPHIA—The last time Republicans gathered in this city, they nominated a New Yorker with a mustache to be their Presidential candidate. Though he would never have suspected it, Thomas E. Dewey was to be the last New Yorker to win a major-party Presidential nomination in the 20th century.
Other New Yorkers have sought the Read More
I bang my head against the impermeable object that is Eliot Spitzer for a bit, and wind up with this profile. It’s mostly a look at Spitzer’s personality and his campaign, though he does take a passing whack or two at Tom Suozzi and his “talents.”
Jason talks to Bloomberg policy advisor Ester Read More
Historical falsification, when spoken by the President of the United States to slander one of his greatest predecessors, should not go unanswered. In a display of the extremist ideology that drives politics and policy in his administration, George W. Bush chose a platform in Latvia to repeat an old right-wing slur against Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Read More
Evaluating the President’s proposals to raid, ruin or-as he prefers to say-”reform” Social Security should begin by contrasting what his minions tell the public with what they tell each other in private. They are manipulating us with images while they mislead us about their purposes.
The most inspiring and venerable image was provided by Progress Read More