Magazine April 25, 2016, Issue

Art and the Free Man

Guernica, by Pablo Picasso (Wikipedia.org)
David’s Sling: A History of Democracy in Ten Works of Art, by Victoria C. Gardner Coates (Encounter, 368 pp., $27.99

For art historian Victoria Coates, David’s sling, in Michelangelo’s colossal statue of the Old Testament David in Florence, is not just a representation of the weapon with which the diminutive future king of Israel put down the huge brute Goliath: It is also an icon for a small, but free and wily, Renaissance Florence that held its own in the rough neighborhood of 15th- and 16th-century Italy and the Mediterranean beyond. Had Michelangelo been conscripted to work for the Ottoman sultan, I suppose he might have been hired instead to glorify the aggressor Goliath.

In other words, Coates advances a familiar

In This Issue

Articles

Features

Books, Arts & Manners

Sections

Politics & Policy

Letters

Why Banks Hate Bucks In his piece “The Abolition of Cash” (April 11), Andrew Stuttaford left out the “drag” on the economy imposed by the “cut” that the banks and processing ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ Lindsey Graham has proven he’s willing to do just about anything to stop serving in the Senate alongside Ted Cruz. ‐ Could Paul Ryan emerge from the Republican convention with ...
The Long View

Choose Your Adventure!

The Republican Party Edition™ BEGIN HERE Republican-party front-runner Donald J. Trump pads into the “thinking room” in his elegant, palatial Palm Beach estate, Mar-a-Lago. As he sits on his gilded and intricately ...
Politics & Policy

Poetry

WHO IS THE STRANGER WHO OVERTAKES ME Who is the stranger who overtakes me On a dark street and taps me on the shoulder? I turn and there is nobody there but me, And ...

Most Popular

Education

Husband of Sen. Dianne Feinstein Admits to Helping Well-Connected Applicants Gain Admission to University of California: ‘No One Ever Told Me It Was Wrong’

The husband of Senator Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) admitted on Thursday to sending an inappropriate letter identified in a state audit that appeared to help an applicant to the University of California, Berkeley, get accepted to the school. The California State Auditor issued a scathing report on Tuesday ... Read More
Education

Husband of Sen. Dianne Feinstein Admits to Helping Well-Connected Applicants Gain Admission to University of California: ‘No One Ever Told Me It Was Wrong’

The husband of Senator Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) admitted on Thursday to sending an inappropriate letter identified in a state audit that appeared to help an applicant to the University of California, Berkeley, get accepted to the school. The California State Auditor issued a scathing report on Tuesday ... Read More

The Arson Party

About that peaceful transfer of power . . . I do not have access to my friend Mario Loyola’s Donald J. Trump super-secret decoder ring, but I am inclined to accept Loyola’s explanation that what President Trump was trying to say, but couldn’t quite manage to say, was the usual witless Trump trolling -- ... Read More

The Arson Party

About that peaceful transfer of power . . . I do not have access to my friend Mario Loyola’s Donald J. Trump super-secret decoder ring, but I am inclined to accept Loyola’s explanation that what President Trump was trying to say, but couldn’t quite manage to say, was the usual witless Trump trolling -- ... Read More
Law & the Courts

No, the Democrats Won’t Pack the Court

For many progressive opinion-makers, the only way to save the Supreme Court is to destroy it.   They believe the best response to the Republican-held Senate confirming a Trump nominee to fill Ruth Bader Ginsburg's seat on the Supreme Court is to pack the Court if Democrats win in November. Holding out the ... Read More
Law & the Courts

No, the Democrats Won’t Pack the Court

For many progressive opinion-makers, the only way to save the Supreme Court is to destroy it.   They believe the best response to the Republican-held Senate confirming a Trump nominee to fill Ruth Bader Ginsburg's seat on the Supreme Court is to pack the Court if Democrats win in November. Holding out the ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Do You Want 51 or 52 States Next Year?

“The prospects of statehood for Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., have never been greater, but many significant obstacles loom,” The Hill declares. The Constitution declares, “new States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Do You Want 51 or 52 States Next Year?

“The prospects of statehood for Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., have never been greater, but many significant obstacles loom,” The Hill declares. The Constitution declares, “new States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction ... Read More
Education

Bring Civics Back to the Classroom

Margaret Thatcher once said, “European nations were made by history. The United States was made by philosophy. Unique among all nations, the United States knows precisely when and exactly why it was founded.” Today, that may be changing. Survey after survey shows that Americans have a dismally poor ... Read More
Education

Bring Civics Back to the Classroom

Margaret Thatcher once said, “European nations were made by history. The United States was made by philosophy. Unique among all nations, the United States knows precisely when and exactly why it was founded.” Today, that may be changing. Survey after survey shows that Americans have a dismally poor ... Read More