Is Equality Self-Evident?

Robert A. Dahl— In words that were to become famous throughout the world, in 1776 the authors of the American Declaration of Independence an­nounced: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among

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Two Consequences of Tough-On-Crime

Russell Crandall— A hallmark of the tough-on-crime era was the militarization of domestic law enforcement, especially on the anti drug front. Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams were first formed from police ranks in the 1960s to handle extreme cases such as mass shootings and hostage situations. But by the

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A Personal Canon: Witold Rybczynski on Five Influential Texts

The five titles I have chosen are a mixed bag, but then so are the more than twenty books I have written over the last four decades, covering architecture, furniture, tools, urbanism, real estate, history, and biography. Yet when I look at my library, much reduced since our last downsizing

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Artemisia’s Fame, Present and Past

Jesse Locker — 2020 was, without a doubt, a terrible year for most of us; however, it was a very good year for the seventeenth-century Italian painter Artemisia Gentileschi. The exhibition “Artemisia” at the National Gallery, London, despite being delayed for months and then interrupted by lockdowns, nevertheless sparked a

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Little Red Riding Hood

Alberto Manguel— There are characters whose name reveals their skin color (Snow White), their ability (Spiderman), their size (Thumbelina). Others, their dress. A short blood-colored cape defines the adventurous girl dreamt up by Charles Perrault towards the end of the seventeenth century. She has a whiff of the guileless temptress,

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Empire and the origins of the panorama

Tim Barringer– Jeff Wall’s photograph Restoration of 1993—a luminous transparency almost five meters wide—reveals the spectacular scale and complex mechanics of nineteenth-century panoramic paintings. The word “panorama” was coined in 1791 to describe circular painted canvases, some reaching 300 feet in length and 50 feet high. Installed in specially-constructed buildings,

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I Could…

David Thomson— Really, you could. We all know the feeling and we might as well admit it. And don’t take false comfort in its being a game. Just cross your fingers that you won’t be put in the position of having to live with a concentration camp in the next

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The Nineteenth-Century Origins of Internationalism

G. John Ikenberry— Liberal internationalism was born in the nineteenth century, and by the century’s end it had begun to crystallize into a recognizable school of thought—a distinctive cluster of ideas and agendas for organizing international relations. The intellectual roots of this tradition trace back to the Enlightenment and the

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The Battle for Syria

Christopher Phillips— The Syrian civil war is the greatest human disaster of the twenty-first century. Since conflict broke out in 2011, it is estimated that over 500,000 have been killed and 1.9 million wounded. Over 5 million have fled the country and 6.6 million more are internally displaced, more than

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