I remember that a friend of mine in California sent me a heads-up on the 17th of December saying that the USA and Cuba were about to free some of their prisoners in a gesture of better times to come. But as everyone now knows, it wasn't just a mere prisoner exchange.
For those who enjoy debunking the reputations of national heroes, there can be few softer targets than Winston Churchill. The phrase “flawed hero” could almost have been invented to characterise his long, wilfully erratic career.
The American philosopher Richard Rorty once wrote that academe's obsession with theory creates a 'shibboleth' in the university system, sheltering and confining its debates and polemics from the public sphere.
Pulitzer Prize winning author Lawrence Wright has just published a thrilling, compulsively readable account of the 1978 Camp David accords titled Thirteen Days in September: Carter, Begin and Sadat at Camp David.
Periodically we hear the anguished voices of sensitive aesthetes lamenting the deplorable and degraded state of contemporary art.
As the end of the year approaches, we reflect on the past year and make resolutions for the one ahead, celebrating the transition between old and new.
What do James Taylor and The Beatles have in common with the Head of the National Institute of Health?
Our poor old world lurches from crisis to crisis:
Ebola. Ferguson. Syria. ISIS.
So New Year’s most welcome. Let’s start again
With peace on earth and goodwill toward men.
Do we need religion in order to be moral?
Rudy Giuliani is blaming President Obama for the murder of two NYPD officers.
The holiday season is always a good time to take stock of the year just past and see what we might anticipate in the 12 months to come. In the case of Pope Francis, it is fair to say that a great deal went well.
The day went something like a Keystone Kops comedy from the silent movie era.
Pope Francis has opened the Pearly Gates to Blue Heelers.
William Shatner is daring to go where no author has gone before.
The original Star Trek captain is using modern technology—Kickstarter—to fund a campaign to publish and market a new book.
There is a growing crisis haunting the Catholic Church. And it is a crisis larger than the events that have so greatly afflicted the American Catholic Church. The pedophilia scandals are a horrifying element of this crisis. So, too, are the bishops who covered up and excused these outrages.