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.
The mass warehousing of convicts is a sign of America’s faltering belief in second chances. Considering how individuals atone for their crimes can help us restore rehabilitation as an ideal.
Feel free to help yourself: there is a booming market for self-improvement guides.
Online review culture — on sites like Yelp, Amazon, and IMDb — is dotted with black holes of bad taste.
Pulling back from America’s global commitments would amount to a “massive experiment.”
The unlikely origins of the slide guitar.
Print encyclopedias once occupied a privileged cultural position — even if owners seldom consulted them.
The folly of neo-environmentalism.
Did genetic diversity play a decisive role in determining which lands would hit the economic jackpot?
Swallow at your own risk.
Moving poor people to better neighborhoods has a surprising effect.
Until the Civil War, hasty burials on the battlefield were the norm.
A growing number of Americans don’t identify with either political party.
Patents used to protect intellectual property. Now they stifle innovation.
One effective way to fight poverty: prevent people from falling into it.
Congress has shirked its weighty constitutional responsibilities, says one former senator.
Social psychologists call it “priming,” and it’s a topic of much debate.
The Afghan economy isn’t strong enough to stand on its own.
Call it the Jewish Head Start.
America’s Cold War wizards botched many predictions. But that was often for the better.
Thwarting conventional wisdom, the impoverished of León report high rates of happiness. Why?
Students whose parents help pay are also more likely to graduate.