Anyone who wants to learn how to be invisible should pick up a copy of Robin Nagle’s new book, Picking Up: On the Streets and Behind the Trucks with the Sanitation Workers of New York City. The tale is an odyssey of pure trash as Nagle rides along with one of the 10,000 sanitation w
Like many others, I’ve often wondered why democracy is slow in coming to the Middle East. In an article written for Foreign Affairs, Seth G. Jones looks at this question and arrives at an interesting conclusion. He believes that the energy wealth of these countries allows regimes t
“Urgent!” said the email I opened one morning last week. The note was from a friend alerting me to a plan our city commissioners were considering, one that would put unwanted chemicals into our drinking water. She asked me to communicate my objections to the commissioners at once.
One of the few benefits of being old is knowing I will escape certain disasters. By the time the world chokes on carbon emissions, or countries suffer acute water shortages due to droughts, or the national debt finally overwhelms us, I won’t have to worry because I won’t be here.
In poll after poll, Americans have voiced their preferences: they want low taxes and lots of government services. So writes Fareen Zakaria, Editor-at-Large of Time, in his essay, “Can America Be Fixed?” (Foreign Affairs, Jan/Feb. 2013 pg. 26) While the author doesn’t answer his
A year ago a Yemeni lawyer responded to a drone attack with anger on Twitter: Dear Obama, when a US drone missile kills a child in Yemen, the father will go to war with you, guaranteed. Nothing to do with Al Qaeda. (“Do Less Harm,” by Sarah Holewinski, Foreign Affairs, Jan/Feb 201
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote is an account of the life and execution of two murders, Perry Smith and Richard Hickock. The author described his work as journalistic fiction, a genre he claimed to have created in that he combined the reporting of actual events with high, literary styl
No doubt about it, the Republican Party appears to be in its death throes. A majority of voters is moving in one direction on issues like background checks for gun buyers, gay marriage, immigration and climate change, while the Grand Old Party is moving in another and acting as a sp
Last week I went downtown for the first time in several years and got stuck in a parking garage. All the employees had vanished and I couldn’t understand how I was to exit. Humans had been replaced by an electronic device that accepted credit cards only. I must have sat too long r
The other day, I was doing research on invisibility for an upcoming novel. As improbable as it may seem, I found more information than I needed in a matter of seconds — about the same amount of time it must have taken the Boston bombers to learn how to convert a pressure cooker