Ask Brett Kavanaugh About Facebook

What is Facebook? I ask this question as I am well embarked on a two-week intensive seminar, “Democratic Crisis and the Politics of Social Media,” part of the 27th annual Democracy and Diversity Institute sponsored by The New School’s Transregional Center for Democratic Studies in Wrocław, Poland. Facebook and Twitter, and the unregulated (often untruthful) political narratives they … More Ask Brett Kavanaugh About Facebook

We Hold These Truths to Be Self-Evident

 On this July 4 I am in Poland, where President Andrzej Duda has just decapitated the judiciary, and Poles are, as I write, in the streets to protest the continuing theft of their democracy. Perhaps because of this, a stirring performance of Krzysztof Penderecki’s “Polish Requiem” I attended at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Kraków last night, a … More We Hold These Truths to Be Self-Evident

When New York City Almost Failed

Public Seminar had the privilege of printing an excerpt of historian Kim Phillips-Fein’s recent book, Fear City: New York’s Fiscal Crisis and The Rise of Austerity Politics. Originally published in 2017 by Metropolitan Books, it is now available in paperback from Picador. The book tells a complex story of an iconic moment in the so-called “urban crisis” of the 1970s, in … More When New York City Almost Failed

Bill Clinton’s Symphony of Hypocrisy and Rage

I used to love Bill Clinton (known in our household for years as The Big Dog) and now I just want someone to get him off the stage. Two days ago, in an interview with The Today Show‘s Craig Melvin about a new thriller co-written with James Patterson, former president William Jefferson Clinton seemed to be completely, and … More Bill Clinton’s Symphony of Hypocrisy and Rage

A Historian Obsessed With the Present

If, at some point, a new diagnosis is announced that describes people who can’t stop purchasing and reading books about the 2016 presidential campaign, I could be one of the first to sign up for treatment. I imagine that while wellness professionals will recommend some combination of meditation and exercise, psychologists will have a behavior … More A Historian Obsessed With the Present

For Conservatives, It’s Stormy Weather

Why are so many Christian conservatives refusing to criticize Donald Trump’s pay to play sex life? The news of a $130,000 settlement made to porn star Stephanie Clifford, a.k.a. Stormy Daniels, via alleged fixer Michael Cohen, is only the latest episode in which conservative religious leaders and the voters they influence seem unperturbed by personal … More For Conservatives, It’s Stormy Weather