To NATO from Plato

Justice Among Nations: On the Moral Basis of Power and Peaceby thomas l. pangle and peter j. ahrensdorfuniversity press of kansas, 362 pages, $45 Makers of American foreign policy today are experiencing a philosophical dearth, a want of broad principles of governmental conduct in world affairs. This . . . . Continue Reading »

The Great Terror

The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repressionby stéphane courtois, nicolas werth, jean-louis panné, andrzej paczkowski, karel bartosek, and jean-louis margolinharvard university press, 856 pages, $37.50 Publication of The Black Book of Communism in November 1997 in France stirred up a . . . . Continue Reading »

American Dreaming

Americans have always thought of their country as other and better than anyplace else. The most obvious measure of comparative superiority was with Europe, the place where, through most of the nation’s history, most people came from and against which they assessed their achievements. The protean . . . . Continue Reading »

What Can We Reasonably Hope For?

It is of course the case that only God knows what will happen in the next century and the next millennium. But we human beings are created with an irrepressible disposition toward the future, as well as a capacity to recall the past. In the last year we published a “millennium series” of . . . . Continue Reading »

Return of the Gods

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. And the earth was waste and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God swept over the face of the waters like a whirlwind. And God said, Let there be light! and there was light. But the light was young and helpless . . . . Continue Reading »

How the Court Became Supreme

The past half-century has witnessed the rise to prominence of a constitutional theory that gives the U.S. Supreme Court a virtual monopoly in American constitutional law. This theory grants the Court conclusive authority to determine the meaning of constitutional provisions—even those that . . . . Continue Reading »

Melville in Manhattan

It should have been easy for Herman Melville to hate Manhattan—the “Babylonish brick-kilns of New York,” as he wrote Nathaniel Hawthorne in 1851. It was there in Manhattan he was born in 1819, at 6 Pearl Street, down by the Battery, while his ambitious, hard-driven father busily bankrupted . . . . Continue Reading »

When Rights Are Wrong

It is common in some circles to say that our legal system worries too much about rights and not enough about responsibilities. The complaint is a fair one, as far as it goes. But the real problem with rights—and with what Mary Ann Glendon calls “rights talk,” a kind of talk that dominates . . . . Continue Reading »