Magazine May 19, 2014, Issue

A Night at The Improv

The Triumph of Improvisation: Gorbachev’s Adaptability, Reagan’s Engagement, and the End of the Cold War, by James Graham Wilson (Cornell, 280 pp., $29.95)

In the early innings after the end of the Cold War, the media and much of the foreign-policy community wanted to give Mikhail Gorbachev the full credit for its surprising and abrupt end, portraying President Ronald Reagan mostly as a hindrance. After Gorbachev was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, Strobe Talbott’s 5,000-word treatment in Time magazine’s “Man of the Decade” valentine devoted but a single sentence to Reagan, chiefly to shove him offstage. But as was the case with Eisenhower, another Republican president dismissed as a simpleton during his time, subsequent revelations about Reagan spawned a significant upward revision even

In This Issue

Articles

Politics & Policy

Using Race

Each time the federal government of these United States comes close to emerging from its eternal psychosis on the question of using a crude system of racial classifications to condition ...
Politics & Policy

Liberal Slumlords

When Donald Sterling, the notoriously racist billionaire owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, was caught on tape saying hateful things about African Americans, it sparked a torrent of news coverage, ...

Features

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

All-American

In “Among the Euro-Weenies,” a classic report on European attitudes toward America in the 1980s, P. J. O’Rourke describes going to dinner in London. “Your country’s never been invaded,” sniffs ...
Politics & Policy

Old School

I’m, like, digging Charles Murray’s new book, which grew — at the suggestion of his colleague Karlyn Bowman — out of in-house tips on grammar and usage for super-smart kids ...
Country Life

Into the Woods

Every month I get a haircut; every decade my property gets a tree cut. This was a regular feature of old-time husbandry, as reflected in fiction or correspondence where one ...

Sections

Politics & Policy

Letters

Courses to Success A professor in college once told me that the first step in choosing your career is deciding whether you prefer to spend your life working with people, things, ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ The latest scandal lesson: When you’re talking to a mistress a quarter your age, be sure to be decorous. ‐ Speaker John Boehner said that the reason his House Republican ...
Athwart

Hashtag Diplomacy

From the Twitter account of State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki, April 2014: “The world stands #UnitedforUkraine. Let’s hope that the #Kremlin & @mfa_Russia will live by the promise of hashtag.” From ...
Politics & Policy

Poetry

ONE LIVED AND ONE DIED Young men and cars offer the joy of coming of age with the risks of tragedy. There is the monstrous injustice of the death, banal statistical references, and life goes on. And ...
Happy Warrior

Bigots by Birth

If you’re like me — a hominid American with external gonads and a melanin ratio that gives your epidermis a pinkish hue — then I’ve got some bad news for ...

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