Yale and Harvard law schools have led a small movement of leading law schools refusing to participate in the corrupt practice of ranking schools led by institutions such as U.S. News & World Report. Leon Botstein, President of Bard College, explains why these rankings are not only silly, but dangerous.
David Remnick interviews Stephen Kotkin about Russian History and its influence on Vladimir Putin. He asks, “What is Putinism?” and why do the special characteristics of Putinism lead to the invasion of Ukraine.
It is widely believed that the Final Solution began in German at the Wannsee Conference led by Reinhard Heydrich, deputy to SS Chief Heinrich Himmler and superior to Adolf Eichmann. Christopher R. Browning argues that the Wannsee Conference was only one step in an often conflicted and unclear Nazi effort to make good on Hitler’s promise to make all of Europe Judenrein, free of Jews.
Peter Maguire reminisces about his time at Bard when his “teachers cared about my education, they did not care about my ego.” Maguire reprints some of the comments he received on the end of term criteria sheets that Bard professors still fill out for every student.
It was Vladimir Lenin who said, “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” And now it is Vladimir Putin who has punctuated Lenin’s remarks. Our world has changed.
The Jewish born Christian philosopher Simone Weil wrote: “Only he who has measured the dominion of force, and knows how to respect it, is capable of love and justice.” What war teaches, Weil argues, is the experience of utter misery, the reduction of man to a mere thing, a plaything of fate.
The recent invasion of Ukraine by Russia marks not just a seismic change in the global geopolitical order, but a historiographical shift in how citizens take in the documentation of war.
Hannah Arendt wrote about war, genocide, and totalitarianism. Her mantra was to look reality squarely in the face and seek to understand it and to resist it. But first to understand it. The Russian war of aggression against Ukraine is a human tragedy. It is also a geopolitical earthquake that threatens to transform the world in which we live.
P.J. O’Rourke died this week. His satirical essays on American democracy are essential reading, including my favorite “At Home in the Parliament of Whores”—a send up of a local town hall meeting in the fictional town of Blaterboro, loosely based on O’Rourke’s home in New Hampshire.