On my second trip to Afghanistan in 2002, I heard a lot of stories about the bad old days when the Taliban briefly controlled Mazar-i-Sharif. They were hated not only for imposing fundamentalist Islamic law, but also because they were a mixture of ethnic Pashtuns and Pakistanis come to a Persian-speaking, heavily Turkic area. One Read More
We don’t quite know where to start with this help-wanted ad from one of Virginia‘s consultants, Leonore Blitz, who is “seeking an intern to work full-time at a consulting firm and assigned to work with a client who is a New York City Mayoral candidate, the only female running in the Read More
It is perhaps the only place in the world where one can wager that Theodore Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Erich Segal, Alastair Cooke, Jack Lemmon, David Rockefeller and George Plimpton have stood before their peers in women’s clothing. President John Adams was a member of the club that lived there; actor Harrison Read More
A year and a half ago, some smart-aleck Yale University students got a lot of media attention for starting an underground pornography club, Porn n’ Chicken-so named for the alleged parties where participants would watch adult films and eat fried chicken-and announcing their intention to film the Ivy League’s first porno, The StaXXX , in Read More
On the afternoon of Saturday, Nov. 17, with a convincing victory over Yale, Harvard concluded its first unbeaten season since 1913 and also won the Ivy League Championship. That is a considerable step forward, and an occasion for rejoicing among all those who love and care about the great institution on the bank of the Read More
Lots of lurid stories have been written about how hard it is
to get into college these days. Excuse me, but when I was applying to schools a
generation ago, Harvard wasn’t exactly giving away free cruises or tote bags to
anyone who would consider spending the following four years in the frozen
wastes of Read More
Sideline “reporters” are the bane of televised sports. Assigned to roam the grandstands and benches in search of “color,” they specialize in the shallow and obvious. They are ready to celebrate the flimsiest achievement of their interview subjects.
And then there is Jim Gray, the NBC reporter whose highly charged interview with disgraced baseball star Read More
The Big Test: The Secret History of the American Meritocracy , by Nicholas Lemann. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 406 pages, $27.
Most of us are painfully aware of the Scholastic Aptitude Test, the subject of Nicholas Lemann’s new book. We spent a few hours one day filling in little dots on a piece of flimsy Read More
Not long ago, a few of us old guys were sitting around after dinner, shooting the breeze. It was the sort of scene that Heart of Darkness , Victory and many other of Conrad’sbeststoriesbegin with.Youtellmeyour story, I’ll tell you mine, and all will comment. One guy reported on a moment of rare hideousness: the sight Read More
(1) A Summons From Cheever . You could think of it as the Skull and Bones of sporting events. In the sense that the Harvard-Yale game bears about as much relation to other football games as the legendary secret society tomb of Skull and Bones does to some Greek frat house. In other words, “The Read More