Josh Sternfeld’s Winter Solstice, from his own screenplay, has been generally demeaned for its overabundance of usually praiseworthy qualities like subtlety, restraint and understatement. Still, for a first-time writer-director, Mr. Sternfeld is remarkably sure-footed as he tracks the travails of widower Jim Winters (Anthony LaPaglia) and his two rebellious teenage sons, high-school graduate Gabe (Aaron Read More
Conspiracy of Fools: A True Story, by Kurt Eichenwald. Broadway Books, 742 pages, $26.
The spectacular disintegration of Enron in 2001 left many shattered lives in its wake, both low-level workers whose pensions became worthless, and-at the other end of the culpability spectrum-executives, bankers and accountants who are now awaiting trial, sentencing or Read More
There is no reason why all lists today should have 10 items, numbered in reverse order. But as sonnets have 14 lines, so the modern list marches from 10 to 1.
What have been the failures of George W. Bush? In this election, that must mean: What have been his failures with respect to the Read More
“The person who is in charge is me,” said President Bush of his Iraq policy-and rightly so. Whenever foreign affairs intersects warmaking, the President rules. If through inattention or weakness, he allows policy to be made by ambitious underlings, he is still responsible for creating the conditions that allowed their ambition to flourish. One way Read More
What Went Wrong at Enron: Everyone’s Guide to the Largest Bankruptcy in U.S. History , by Peter C. Fusaro and Ross M. Miller. John Wiley & Sons, 256 pages, $14.95.
In the faraway burg of Houston, Tex., a once-modest utility, in the process of going bankrupt, sent $63 billion in shareholder value up to Read More
If you remember that terrible “energy crisis” in California a year or so ago, then you may also recall that everybody who is anybody had a strong opinion about its causes and cures. Actually, most members of the opinionated elite were promoting the same conservative certitudes: They exonerated the likes of Enron, blamed environmentalists and Read More
In a democratic society, successful propaganda generally relies on two elements: the fabrication of a useful, plausible, specific lie, and the deployment of visible professionals who are willing to repeat it until it’s believed. Like any other salesman, the resourceful propagandist must also be prepared to get lucky.
Fearful about the potential political impact of Read More
Has the Washington press corps lost its taste for White House scandal?
Having just begun to examine the details of the Enron crash and the tangled financial and political strands that connect the bankrupt energy trader to almost everyone who is anyone in the Bush administration, several of the most influential scandalmongers already think it’s Read More