1989 and the Birth of the Modern World

Revolutions — be they political, social, technological, or cultural — swept the world in 1989. From the fall of the Berlin Wall to the protests at Tiananmen Square; from the deaths of Ayatollah Khomeini and Emperor Hirohito to the birth of the world wide web and launch of GPS. Twenty-five years later, we look back at the impact of 1989, and the modern era it created.


As the U.S. prepares to withdraw from the longest war in its history, a look at the lives changed, promises made, and ideas shaped by war in Afghanistan.

Four Decades of Classic Essays

As we move to a new format, some of the classic essays we have published.

Mexican Momentum

After years of gridlock, is Mexico heading in the right direction?

Where Have All The Jobs Gone?

A chronically bleak job market is breeding unease in a country where economic gloom is rare.

The American Quest for Redemption

In a nation born with a sense that it had a redemptive mission in the world, the urge to take what is bad and turn it into something good often turns obsessively inward. The results can be surprising.

Is Democracy Worth It?

In the sobering aftermath of the Arab Spring, old questions about the pursuit of political freedom have come into fresh focus. Are the risks too great? Is the time too soon?

Will India Win?

India now rivals China as a model for the world’s developing nations. But its recent stumbles have raised doubts about whether it will demonstrate the superiority of the democratic path to development.

American Vistas

Twelve years into a new century, a kind of grimness pervades the United States. Is it just the post-crisis hangover of a stagnant job market, or have the era's upheavals and uncertainties, at home and abroad, changed something fundamental?

The Age of Connection

Technology is making it as easy to keep in touch with someone on the other side of the world as it is with a next-door neighbor. Social networks bring news and tidbits from far and wide, sometimes with startling results. But is technology really increasing understanding between people? Between nations?