Originally published 06/15/2013
Jim Cullen: Review of George Packer's "The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America" (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013)
Coming in at over 400 hefty pages, The Unwinding offers a granular, empirical confirmation, at the level of lived experience, of what many of us experience as the defining perception of our time. And that is that we are moving backward, that the hard-won gains of the welfare state -- a story whose lineaments Richard Hofstadter sketched in The Age of Reform (1955) and whose trajectory extended into the Great Society -- are unraveling at an accelerating rate.
Originally published 05/09/2013
During the Reagan Revolution, the Heritage Foundation was seen as the soul of the free market conservative revival. As senior vice president for research at the think tank from 1981 through 1992, Burton Pines was in charge of its intellectual output — “If Heritage were General Motors, I ran the factory,” he says — but as Heritage comes under fire this week for a controversial immigration report, Pines says the storied organization has lost its way.“It’s a new Heritage and it’s one that’s not standing by the principles of Ronald Reagan,” he told Salon Thursday. “I’m puzzled why they came out with this study and I’m more puzzled why they seem to be against immigration.”The foundation’s new report, which estimates that immigration reform will cost taxpayers $6 trillion, has touched off a civil war on the right....
Originally published 04/24/2013
Bernard von Bothmer is an adjunct professor of history at the University of San Francisco and Dominican University. He is the author of "Framing the Sixties: The Use and Abuse of a Decade from Ronald Reagan to George W. Bush" (University of Massachusetts Press, 2010).Ron Reagan, one of only twenty-seven living children of American presidents, has written a fascinating portrait of the nation’s fortieth president. My Father at 100 is a moving tribute to the eternal, and complicated, bonds between fathers and sons and between children and aging or deceased parents. It also offers detailed insight into the character and personality of the enigmatic Ronald Reagan.
Originally published 04/18/2013
MEXICO CITY — They were just children when Guatemalan soldiers rampaged through their villages, often killing their parents and siblings. Many fled to mountain forests, where they foraged for food and watched some of their numbers starve to death. Some were abducted and sent to other families to be raised, in cities and towns far from the life they had known.Now, the somber Mayan men and women in their 30s and 40s have traveled from their villages to tell their stories for the prosecution during the first month of the genocide trial of former dictator Efraín Ríos Montt in Guatemala City. In the tortured logic of military planning documents conceived under Mr. Ríos Montt’s 17-month rule during 1982 and 1983, the entire Mayan Ixil population was a military target, children included. Officers wrote that the leftist guerrillas fighting the government had succeeded in indoctrinating the impoverished Ixils and reached “100 percent support.”...
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