Magazine May 25, 2009, Issue

The Long View

The Literary Arlen Specter

From the Oresteia of Aeschylus, trans. Arlen Specter:

[Enter Chorus of Argive elders, very old men who carry staves to help them stand up. As they speak, servants come out of the palace and light oil lamps in offering to the statues of the gods outside the palace doors.]

CHORUS:

But when Agamemnon strapped on the harsh yoke of necessity, his spirits changed, and his intentions became profane, unholy, unsanctified. He undertook an act beyond all daring.

Troubles come, above all, from delusions, inciting men to rash designs, to evil. So Agamemnon steeled his heart to make his own daughter the

In This Issue

Articles

Politics & Policy

Socialized Failure

The health-care systems of all developed countries face three unrelenting problems: rising costs, inadequate quality, and incomplete access to care. A slew of recent articles, published mainly in medical journals, ...

Features

Politics & Policy

Diagnosis

We are bombarded with messages about the need for health-care reform. But we are not always clear about the problem we are trying to solve. Most Americans are satisfied with ...
Politics & Policy

Placebo

The key congressional committees have yet to introduce the legislation that will carry Democrats’ hopes for “universal coverage” — i.e., a government guarantee that all Americans will have health insurance, ...
Politics & Policy

Prescription

The most powerful constituency in the debate over the future of health care in the United States comprises those families enrolled in stable, employer-based health plans run by large and ...

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

Hinge of History

In this important debut book, Michael Kimmage — a young scholar who promises to become one of America’s preeminent intellectual historians — addresses himself to the journeys of two Columbia ...
Politics & Policy

Four Nights

Salzburg, Austria The summer festival that takes place here in this fair city is a very big deal: probably the most prominent music festival in the world. It stretches for ...
Politics & Policy

A Strange Voyage

Across more than 40 years of Star Trek — the five television incarnations, the eleven motion pictures, the galaxy knows how many novels — there have been few sequences as ...

Sections

Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ In a recent press conference, a New York Times reporter asked President Obama what had “enchanted” him the most during his first 100 days as president. Obama might have ...
The Bent Pin

The Bent Pin

Pleasantly Peasantry The sudden transformation of the American consumer from drunken sailor to Silas Marner is the talk of the economic meltdown. After barely a year of hard times, we have ...
The Long View

The Long View

The Literary Arlen Specter From the Oresteia of Aeschylus, trans. Arlen Specter: [Enter Chorus of Argive elders, very old men who carry staves to help them stand up. As they speak, servants ...
Politics & Policy

Poetry

THE INHERITANCE Blond, you favored your mother, But named John, after your dad, You inherited all he had: A farm in debt, an old hound, Long-horns and Rhode Island Reds, Guinea and pea fowl, A family of ...
Happy Warrior

Happy Warrior

I was in one of those hotels where they give you the New York Times whether you want it or not. And, even if you leave it in the corridor, ...

Most Popular

History

The 1620 Project

On November 11, 1620, the Mayflower arrived on the eastern coast of North America. She had weathered the slings and arrows of maritime misfortune for almost ten weeks at that point, but the passengers thought the discomfort of crossing a small price to pay for passage to the Promised Land. After all, these were ... Read More
History

The 1620 Project

On November 11, 1620, the Mayflower arrived on the eastern coast of North America. She had weathered the slings and arrows of maritime misfortune for almost ten weeks at that point, but the passengers thought the discomfort of crossing a small price to pay for passage to the Promised Land. After all, these were ... Read More
History

Thanksgiving Is Not a Lie

We live in a time of heedless iconoclasm, and so one of the country’s oldest traditions is under assault. Thanksgiving is increasingly portrayed as, at best, based on falsehoods and, at worst, a whitewash of genocide against Native Americans. The New York Times ran a piece the other day titled, “The ... Read More
History

Thanksgiving Is Not a Lie

We live in a time of heedless iconoclasm, and so one of the country’s oldest traditions is under assault. Thanksgiving is increasingly portrayed as, at best, based on falsehoods and, at worst, a whitewash of genocide against Native Americans. The New York Times ran a piece the other day titled, “The ... Read More
U.S.

Raise the Entrance Fees for Our National Parks

In my role as your go-to purveyor of unpopular opinions, I offer this: We should jack up the entrance fees for our national parks — a lot. One of the many disappointments of the Trump administration is that in spite of his DGAF posturing, Donald Trump has always been a slave to public opinion, which made his ... Read More
U.S.

Raise the Entrance Fees for Our National Parks

In my role as your go-to purveyor of unpopular opinions, I offer this: We should jack up the entrance fees for our national parks — a lot. One of the many disappointments of the Trump administration is that in spite of his DGAF posturing, Donald Trump has always been a slave to public opinion, which made his ... Read More
The Economy

The New York Times Sells Envy

A product always sure to sell, even on Thanksgiving, and especially amid a pandemic, is envy. So I can hardly blame New York Times columnist Farhad Manjoo for capitalizing on a bull market. Lamenting that the portfolios of America’s richest men and women have made a quicker recovery from the ... Read More
The Economy

The New York Times Sells Envy

A product always sure to sell, even on Thanksgiving, and especially amid a pandemic, is envy. So I can hardly blame New York Times columnist Farhad Manjoo for capitalizing on a bull market. Lamenting that the portfolios of America’s richest men and women have made a quicker recovery from the ... Read More