Syria: A Testament To International Moral Bankruptcy

by Alon Ben-Meir Added 18.08.2017
Much has been written about Syria’s civil war which has engulfed the country for the past six years, but sadly the mounting death and destruction in Syria has long since become mere statistics. The international community grew comfortably numb...

Are Nazis as American as Apple Pie?

by James Q Whitman Added 18.08.2017
NEW HAVEN – Is the United States threatened by Nazism? The short answer is no, notwithstanding the frightening events in Charlottesville, Virginia, this past weekend. In Charlottesville, the home of the University of Virginia, founded by Thomas...

Are There Really Two Sides When It Comes to Political Violence in the U.S.?

by Robert Creamer Added 16.08.2017
Three days after the violence in Charlottesville, Donald Trump doubled down on his shocking accusation that when it came to political violence in the United States, there were “two sides.”  In fact, he argued that the media simply ignored the...

A major uprising in Jerusalem and beyond is just a few missteps away

by Carlo Aldrovandi Added 16.08.2017
The last thing the Middle East needs is a major conflagration in Israel-Palestine – but a summer crisis in Jerusalem made it clear that in the right circumstances, it really could happen. The crisis began in the early hours of July 14. Three...

‘Locked & Loaded’ Trump’s 1960s Cowboyism re: N. Korea & Venezuela

by Juan Cole Added 13.08.2017
If you were away from news on Friday, you might like to know that in addition to hot wars in Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq and Yemen (and maybe Somalia and Libya), the Trump administration talks as though it is on the brink of opening new fronts in...

Surviving America’s Political Meltdown

by Jeffrey D. Sachs Added 11.08.2017
  NEW YORK – The US is in the midst of a political meltdown, unable to manage a domestic economic agenda or a coherent foreign policy. The White House is in turmoil; Congress is paralyzed; and the world is looking on in astonishment and dread....

Congress Should Curb Trump’s Ability to Launch First Nuclear Strike

by Robert Creamer Added 10.08.2017
Donald Trump actually threatened North Korea with a nuclear attack if their egomaniacal leader continued to “threaten” the United States. The idea that the United States of America would seriously consider launching a nuclear war over a verbal...

Will Trump Unite Europe?

by Zaki Laïdi Added 10.08.2017
PARIS – Beyond his bizarre, intemperate tweeting, the challenge that US President Donald Trump poses for Europe is real, but not always easily defined. There are differences between what Trump says, what his administration does, and what...

Trump's threat of 'fire and fury' is a gift to North Korea's propaganda machine

by Virginie Grzelczyk Added 10.08.2017
Anyone who thought August might offer a lull in geopolitical crises got a rude awakening when, from the confines of his New Jersey golf resort, Donald Trump essentially foretold a thermonuclear war with North Korea. Asked about the north’s...

Trump and the Cosmopolitans

by Ian Buruma Added 09.08.2017
NEW YORK – President Donald Trump’s administration has announced that it wants to cut legal immigration to the United States by half, and favor well educated immigrants who speak good English. When a CNN correspondent named Jim Acosta, the son...

America’s Dangerous Anti-Iran Posturing

by Jeffrey D. Sachs Added 06.08.2017
NEW YORK – In recent weeks, US President Donald Trump and his advisers have joined Saudi Arabia in accusing Iran of being the epicenter of Middle East terrorism. The US Congress, meanwhile, is readying yet another round of sanctions against...

Protectionism Will Not Protect Jobs Anywhere

by Kenneth Rogoff Added 06.08.2017
CAMBRIDGE – As US and European political leaders fret about the future of quality jobs, they would do well to look at the far bigger problems faced by developing Asia – problems that threaten to place massive downward pressure on global wages....

The Noose Tightens

by Elizabeth Drew Added 05.08.2017
WASHINGTON, DC – Even with a new minder trying to bring some order to the White House, President Donald Trump remains in a heap of trouble. The recent installation of retired general John Kelly, formerly Trump’s Secretary for Homeland Security,...

Gaza — A Disaster In The Making

by Alon Ben-Meir Added 30.07.2017
It has been ten years since Hamas defeated the Palestinian Authority in Gaza and assumed control over the territory. Today, the socio-economic conditions in Gaza are so horrendous that if nothing is done immediately, the whole area is bound to...

The West’s Decadent Foreign Policy

by Chris Patten Added 25.07.2017
LONDON – Nowadays, the West can be described as decadent. That does not mean simply that we are addicted to “bread and circuses,” from welfare programs in Europe (which we can barely afford) to the Super Bowl in the United States. It means also...

Why Obamacare Survived

by Jeffrey Frankel Added 25.07.2017
CAMBRIDGE – Since the United States’ Affordable Care Act (ACA) – or “Obamacare” – was enacted in 2010, Republicans have been promising to “repeal and replace” it. When the 2016 presidential and congressional elections delivered all three...

Britain En Marche ?

by Bill Emmott Added 25.07.2017
LONDON – We live in a politically turbulent age. Parties barely a year old have recently swept to power in France and in the huge metropolitan area of Tokyo. A party less than five years old is leading opinion polls in Italy. A political...

The Middle East’s Next War

by Joschka Fischer Added 23.07.2017
BERLIN – With the retaking of Mosul in northern Iraq, the Islamic State (ISIS) could soon be a thing of the past. But the defeat of ISIS and the demise of its self-proclaimed Iraqi-Syrian caliphate won’t bring peace to the Middle East, or even...

A Question for Washington: Who in the Gulf Finances Terrorism?

by Giorgio Cafiero and Daniel Wagner Added 20.07.2017
Journalists in Middle Eastern media outlets have been engaged in harsh mudslinging ever since Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt, and Bahrain (aka the quartet) severed diplomatic and economic relations with Qatar in June over...

The History Is Too Deep, the Pain Is Too Real

by James J. Zogby Added 18.07.2017
  A week ago, a pro-Israel media monitoring group accused me of making "an unsubstantiated charge that Israel supporters are responsible" for discrimination, hate crimes, and the political exclusion of Arab Americans. Because this issue is so...

Is Productivity Growth Becoming Irrelevant?

by Adair Turner Added 18.07.2017
LONDON – As the Nobel laureate economist Robert Solow noted in 1987, computers are “everywhere but in the productivity statistics.” Since then, the so-called productivity paradox has become ever more striking. Automation has eliminated many...

The New Abnormal in Monetary Policy

by Nouriel Roubini Added 11.07.2017
NEW YORK – Financial markets are starting to get rattled by the winding down of unconventional monetary policies in many advanced economies. Soon enough, the Bank of Japan (BOJ) and the Swiss National Bank (SNB) will be the only central banks...

Poll: Negative Campaign Against Arabs and Muslims Has Consequences

by James J. Zogby Added 11.07.2017
    While, as president, Donald Trump has worked to cultivate a relationship with Arab leaders, the antipathy towards Arabs and Muslims that he and his party have cultivated in recent years continues to have a worrisome impact on American public...

Trump’s Flirtation with Violence

by Ian Buruma Added 10.07.2017
NEW YORK – Some people might have dismissed Donald Trump’s recent tweet of a video clip showing him punching the face of a man with a CNN logo on his head as yet another example of the US president’s vulgar buffoonery – unseemly, perhaps, but...

The G20’s Misguided Globalism

by Dani Rodrik Added 08.07.2017
HAMBURG – This year’s G20 summit in Hamburg promises to be among the more interesting in recent years. For one thing, US President Donald Trump, who treats multilateralism and international cooperation with cherished disdain, will be attending...

Trump’s Gift to Europe

by Joseph S. Nye Added 08.07.2017
OXFORD – At a recent conference in France, a number of Europeans surprised their American guests by arguing that US President Donald Trump might be good for Europe. With Trump returning to Europe for the G20 summit in Hamburg, it’s worth asking...

G20 summit: who will take the US's place as a global leader?

by Tristen Naylor Added 08.07.2017
Global summits were once extraordinary things, marking turning points in international political history. The 1814-15 Congress of Vienna marked the end of the Napoleonic Wars and the beginning of Europe’s “long” 19th century, during which...

Trump And Kim Think A Lot Alike: Why Not Take Advantage Of It?

by Daniel Wagner Added 07.07.2017
There is no need to engage in too much geopolitical strategizing, intelligence analysis, or weapons capability calculations. What can be done when two nations’ leaders have very similar personality traits, do not like each other, have nuclear...

Putin and Trump’s Tainted Love

by Nina L. Khrushcheva Added 06.07.2017
MOSCOW – US President Donald Trump must be giddy: this week, on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, he will finally meet his Russian counterpart and strongman-hero Vladimir Putin. It is rare for someone who has reached the...

Shaking Russia’s Weak Economic Hand

by Kenneth Rogoff Added 05.07.2017
CAMBRIDGE – When Russian President Vladimir Putin meets his American counterpart, Donald Trump, at this week’s G20 summit in Hamburg, he will not be doing so from a position of economic strength. To be sure, despite the steep drop in oil prices...

Should We Be Worried About Productivity Trends?

by Sandile Hlatshwayo and Michael Spence Added 01.07.2017
MILAN – Economists concern themselves not only with addressing difficult questions thoughtfully, but also with formulating the questions themselves. Sometimes, rethinking those questions can hold the key to finding the answers we need. Consider...

Russia’s Oligarchs-in-Waiting

by Anders Åslund Added 30.06.2017
STOCKHOLM – Under President Vladimir Putin, cronyism has replaced Russia’s once-burgeoning capitalism. If Putin lives by any motto, it is this: “To my friends, anything; for my enemies, the law.” In his 2000 “autobiography,” First Person , Putin...

Another Lesson from Japan

by Stephen S. Roach Added 27.06.2017
NEW HAVEN – Yet another in a long string of negative inflation surprises is at hand. In the United States, the so-called core CPI (consumer price index) – which excludes food and energy – has headed down just when it was supposed to be going up....

We’ll Always Need Paris

by Adair Turner Added 25.06.2017
LONDON – President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement is deeply regrettable and based on flawed economic analysis. But unstoppable technological progress, plus determined action by other...

The Underside of Uber

by Lucy P. Marcus Added 25.06.2017
LONDON – The car-hailing app Uber’s board members and investors have received an outpouring of praise in recent days for forcing CEO Travis Kalanick to resign. They don’t deserve it. On the contrary, while Kalanick did indeed need to go, the...

A year on from Brexit, the UK is more divided than ever

by Sean Lang Added 23.06.2017
Of all the oddities surrounding Theresa May’s decision to call a snap election, perhaps the oddest was her assertion that “the country is coming together but Westminster is not”. The evidence seemed to show exactly the reverse. The result of the...

The Russian-Roulette Presidency

by Elizabeth Drew Added 22.06.2017
WASHINGTON, DC – Unless US President Donald Trump decides that he has had enough, and returns to his gilded Manhattan tower, his presidency’s metastasizing crisis will continue to haunt him. Investigations in the United States Senate and House...

The End of the Trump Administration?

by Jorge G. Castañeda Added 16.06.2017
MEXICO CITY – The world’s view of US President Donald Trump’s administration is changing for the worse. In fact, the chaos and controversy that have marked Trump’s short time in office have deepened doubts, both inside and outside the United...

Can US States Right Trump’s Wrongs?

by Barry Eichengreen Added 13.06.2017
VENICE – US President Donald Trump, with the help of a Republican-controlled Congress, is undermining many of the fundamental values that Americans hold dear. He is jeopardizing their access to health care by seeking to repeal the 2010...

How to Prevent the UK’s Self-Destruction

by Jim O'Neill Added 13.06.2017
LONDON – If you were a Briton who had been stuck in Antarctica for the past year and a half, you might be forgiven for wishing you had stayed put. The decisions taken during your absence by British politicians, especially the leaders of the...

Defending Academic Freedom in a Populist Age

by Michael Ignatieff Added 08.06.2017
BERLIN – I am the President of Central European University, which is now under attack. CEU is fighting to remain a free institution in Budapest, Hungary’s capital, following the passage of new legislation that would, in essence, require the...

Russia’s Cold War Habit

by Vladislav Inozemtsev Added 06.06.2017
MOSCOW – A few weeks ago, Mikhail Gorbachev – the last leader of the Soviet Union and the man who did more than anyone to end the Cold War – told the German newspaper Bild that it is possible “to recognize all the features of a new cold war in...

Angela Merkel’s Challenge to Europe

by Joschka Fischer Added 06.06.2017
BERLIN – German Chancellor Angela Merkel has never been regarded as an especially inspiring orator. In fact, she has a reputation for gently talking her audiences to sleep. But that all changed a few days ago. While campaigning in the Munich...

The Truth Behind Today’s US Inflation Numbers

by J. Bradford DeLong Added 02.06.2017
BERKELEY – In December 2015, the US Federal Reserve embarked on a monetary-tightening cycle, by raising the target range for the short-term nominal federal funds rate by 25 basis points (one-quarter of a percentage point). At the time, the...

America’s Broken Democracy

by Jeffrey D. Sachs Added 31.05.2017
NEW YORK – US President Donald Trump’s ravings against the 2015 Paris climate agreement are partly a product of his ignorance and narcissism. Yet they represent something more. They are a reflection of the deep corruption of the US political...

Taming the Murdochs’ Toxic Corporate Culture

by Lucy P. Marcus Added 29.05.2017
The commentary by Lucy Marcus, “Taming News Corp’s Toxic Culture,” has been corrected and revised to take account of the 2013 division of News Corporation into News Corp and 21st Century Fox, the owner of Fox News.  We apologizes for any...

Trump’s ‘Historic’ Visit To The Middle East: Much Ado About Nothing

by Alon Ben-Meir Added 28.05.2017
Sadly, President Trump’s visit to the Middle East only confirmed my skepticism about what might come out of it. Trump went to the region with nothing to offer to mitigate the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and received no commitment from either...

Democracy Trumps Terrorism

by Chris Patten Added 27.05.2017
LONDON – As I strolled through Paris the other day, the air was warm, the sky was blue, and I felt like I was in the best of all possible worlds. As always, Paris looked elegant and exuded confidence and cheerfulness. France had just elected a...

Rethinking the Next China

by Stephen S. Roach Added 26.05.2017
NEW HAVEN – For the past seven years, I have taught a popular class at Yale, called “The Next China.” From the start, the focus has been on the transitional imperatives of the modern Chinese economy – namely, the shift from a long-successful...

The GCC’s View of “One Belt, One Road”

by Giorgio Cafiero and Daniel Wagner Added 26.05.2017
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How reducing the number of stressful events in our lives could help beat dementia

by Claire J. Hanley Added 13.08.2017
Stress is bad for our physical and mental health. It has been linked to several leading causes of death, including heart disease and mood disorders, such as depression. Now new research suggests that the actual number of stressful experiences we...

Are your parents to blame for your psychological problems?

by Darya Gaysina and Ellen Jo Thompson Added 05.08.2017
Psychologist Sigmund Freud famously proposed that our personal development is pretty much determined by events in our early childhood. While many of his ideas are now outdated, some modern psychological theories also suggest that childhood...

How dieting encourages your body to replace lost weight

by David Benton Added 04.08.2017
Obesity is a risk factor for numerous disorders that afflict the human race, so understanding how to maintain a healthy body weight is one of the most urgent issues facing society. By 2025, it is estimated that 18% of men and 21% of women will...

How to slam dunk creationists when it comes to the theory of evolution

by Paul Braterman Added 04.08.2017
The 2001 discovery of the seven million-year-old Sahelanthropus, the first known upright ape-like creatures, was yet more proof of humanity’s place among the great apes. And yet Mike Pence, then a representative and now US vice president, argues...

If you could ‘design’ your own child, would you?

by Vivek Wadhwa Added 29.07.2017
Scientists in Portland, Ore., just succeeded in creating the first genetically modified human embryo in the United States, according to Technology Review. A team led by Shoukhrat Mitalipov of Oregon Health & Science University is reported to...

Shell, terrified of EVs, expects ‘low forever’ Gasoline Prices; it is too Optimistic

by Juan Cole Added 29.07.2017
The Telegraph reports that Royal Dutch Shell, the massive oil company, has abruptly decided that petroleum prices are likely to remain low “forever,” given the rise of the electric vehicle. France and Britain have both just vowed that they will...

Scientists discover how the brain's hypothalamus controls ageing – and manage to slow it down

by Richard Faragher Added 29.07.2017
If you are reading this and you don’t smoke, then your major risk factor for dying is probably your age. That’s because we have nearly eliminated mortality in early life, thanks to advances in science and engineering. But despite this progress,...

Britain better fix its identity crisis fast – or risk a disastrous Brexit

by Timothy Oliver Added 25.07.2017
There are lots of productive ways to analyse Brexit – why it happened, how it’s developing, and how it might turn out. One of the most interesting is to use the idea of an identity to understand both why the process is proving so painful for the...

Why I remain optimistic about Tesla

by Vivek Wadhwa Added 25.07.2017
Tesla’s stock price recently took a hit because of concerns about its delivery capabilities and about increasing competition from carmakers who are switching their product lines to electric. With a market cap still exceeding $50 billion, it can...

‘The Sound of Sleat,’ On Abstract Expressionist Jon Schueler

by David Galenson Added 20.07.2017
The Sound of Sleat is a body of water in western Scotland, between the mainland and the Isle of Skye. The Sound of Sleat is the best book I have ever read about an American painter. Jon Schueler, 1981, photograph by Archie McLellan, © Jon...
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‘Wrong Notes’ – the skeleton key to free thinking

by Jack Kohl Added 09.06.2017
  As a pianist, I have spent a lifetime reading interviews with other pianists. But I would know, above all, what it is precisely that others think about when they play. People often ask me that question. I do not know if I have ever answered...

ESCAPE VELOCITY: An author’s battle to conquer an Emersonian orbit

by Jack Kohl Added 06.02.2017
During all of my adult life as an author and pianist, Ralph Waldo Emerson has been for me the supreme and unremitting guide to the Western canon. Emerson’s writings have dominated so much of my thought that the routines I have given to the study...

Author Jack Kohl just ‘stole it from life’

by Michael Johnson Added 01.02.2017
Rarely does a musician with a Juilliard background and a Ph.D. in piano performance find the energy, much less the time, to conceive, plot, write and publish a series of well-constructed novels. Jack Kohl, by Michael Johnson. After I read Jack...

Fact-Checking the WSJ [Editor's note: re Mark Twain]

by David Galenson Added 24.01.2017
The Wall Street Journal has made an egregious error. I'm not talking about their coverage of Donald Trump, Russian hacking, or any other such ephemera. This concerns something much more serious: classic literature. Mark Twain, ca. 1907. Image...

Elie Wiesel’s Early Work: Four Novels

by Mary L. Tabor Added 07.01.2017
A Talmudic question has much intrigued me: Two men are stranded in the desert. Only one has water. If he shares it, they both die; if he keeps it, he lives and his companion dies. What should he do? Rabbi Akiva taught that the man has the right...

Why Bob Dylan deserves his Nobel prize in literature

by Richard Brown Added 14.10.2016
To the surprise of many, Bob Dylan has become the first singer-songwriter to win the Nobel prize in literature. As the news broke, I was in the middle of teaching James Joyce to some undergraduates – an author who did not win the Nobel, but is...

The man behind Matilda – what Roald Dahl was really like

by Pojana Maneeyingsakul Added 13.09.2016
It is 100 years since the birth of Roald Dahl – considered by many to be the world’s number one storyteller. His books have received enthusiastic responses from millions of children all around the world. And his tales of the unexpected continue...
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Elvis's voice: like Mario Lanza singing the blues

by Adrian York Added 16.08.2017
Much of the mythology that surrounds Elvis Presley, who died 40 years ago, tends to surround his rags to riches story, his film-star looks, his outrageous stage outfits, his marriage to child bride Priscilla and his descent into overindulgence...

Piano history: The legacy of the Labèque sisters

by Michael Johnson Added 02.08.2017
Katia and Marielle Labèque -- the glamorous French keyboard siblings -- have achieved a solid legacy of exuberant performances in the two-piano repertoire, ranging from experimental contemporary works to traditional classical-romantic composers....

Piano clusters: How to frighten the old ladies of both sexes

by Michael Johnson Added 24.06.2017
I was flipping through my copy of Prokofiev’s Piano Sonata No. 6 recently and spotted his two “col pugno” markings. My memory took me back many years to the day I first encountered these violent directions. At the time, I didn’t know what to...

Vengerov and Saïtkoulov wow a formal-dress Bordeaux audience

by Michael Johnson Added 21.06.2017
  One of the world’s greatest living violinists, Maxim Vengerov, accompanied by an equally accomplished pianist Roustem Saïtkoulov, dazzled a full house at the 18th century Grand Théâtre of Bordeaux Sunday night (18 June) with a faultless...

Bergmann interview: Unlocking music from the unconscious mind

by Michael Johnson Added 17.06.2017
  A classical-trained German pianist working in a range of musical disciplines has just launched his most audacious experiment yet – an original piano sonata consisting almost entirely of creations from his unconscious mind. Boris Bergmann’s...

Sounds of Soviet Russia  are revived  in Bordeaux

by Michael Johnson Added 05.06.2017
  The Orchestre National de Bordeaux Aquitaine added another feather to its cap last week (June 1-2) with the engagement of a leading international guest conductor, Michail Jurowski, who led the ONBA in two demanding orchestral pieces, the...

François Dumont interviewed: The music never stops

by Michael Johnson Added 24.05.2017
Taking a break in gaps between a Mozart piano concerto in Izmir, Turkey, (No. 9, “Jeunehomme”), a recording session of three Mozart concertos in Rennes, France (Nos. 1, 24 and 27), and a performance tour in China, François Dumont graciously...

Uchida in fine form with a Mozart classic

by Michael Johnson Added 15.04.2017
Pianist Mitsuko Uchida delivered a sparkling Mozart piano concerto No. 20 in D minor (K.466) with the Boston Symphony Orchestra under Andris Nelsons on Thursday, the eve of Easter weekend, to an enthusiastic full house at Symphony Hall. Ms....

Review of Seattle Opera’s production of Katya Kabanova

by James Bash Added 08.03.2017
Tragedy can happen anywhere. That’s why the 1950s setting in the United States looked comfortably appropriate in Seattle Opera’s production of “Katya Kabanova.” Designed by Genevieve Blanchett and Mark Howett, the white picket fence, the...

Relax, it’s just contemporary music

by Michael Johnson Added 02.03.2017
A friend of mine in Italy who has recorded some of John Cage’s prepared piano pieces struggles with many of the new keyboard works coming down the pike, devoting hours of practice to the mind-bending notation. He concludes, alas, that the level...
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Sofia Coppola emerges from her father's shadow with Cannes triumph for The Beguiled

by Fiona Handyside Added 08.06.2017
Sofia Coppola’s triumphant win at Cannes as best director for The Beguiled is the latest in a series of notable successes for a director quietly but forcefully blazing her own trail as a female director in a film world in which most of the...

La La Land deserves its 14 Oscar nominations for asking us, quite simply, to feel

by Rebecca Harrison Added 24.02.2017
Having won five BAFTAs, including coveted awards for Best Film, Best Director (Damien Chazelle) and Best Actress (Emma Stone), La La Land is likely to win more statuettes at the Oscars – it has a record-equalling 14 nominations. Both lauded as...

Scorsese’s Silence is admirably faithful to the original Japanese novel

by Mark Williams Added 07.01.2017
The blogosphere has been awash this month with reviews of Martin Scorsese’s latest movie, Silence. The work represents a powerful reworking of the novel of the same name by the Japanese novelist, Endō Shūsaku and I, for one, shall never forget...
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