Saving the World (Some Restrictions Apply)
Never has the humanitarian impulse been stronger. From Darfur to Myanmar, every crisis elicits global compassion and offers of assistance. But while today’s many eager helping hands are accomplishing a great deal, they must move with care, for even the most high-minded aid can sometimes do a lot of harm.
The Burden of the Humanities
What use are the humanities? Even some scholars no longer seem sure. But at a time when bioengineering throws into question what it means to be human, the answer should be obvious.
More Stories From This Issue
Human Trafficking? Call It What It Is: Slavery
The abolition of slavery was the great cause of 19th century humanitarians. In the 21st century, it needs new champions.
The Traffic Guru
An unassuming Dutch traffic engineer showed that streets without signs can be safer than roads cluttered with arrows, painted lines, and lights. Are we ready to believe him?
Why Can't We Build An Affordable House?
One explanation of America's housing market collapse is that too many people bought too much house. The solution: build more affordable houses. Here's what stands in the way.
The rapid expansion of relief efforts since the end of the Cold War has produced a surprising result: a series of difficult moral questions about the humanitarian enterprise.
The New Face of Global Giving
A new humanitarianism is emerging as private donors and governments respond to the world's needs.
How did the ‘population control’ movement go so terribly wrong?
It seemed an obvious answer to the ills of the developing world. So how did the population control movement go so terribly wrong?
Why do we send children weaned on video games into the woods with knives and kindling? A perplexed father considers the beloved American tradition that is summer camp.
The Death of Mercy
The quality of mercy may not be strained, as Portia said in Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice, but it's quantity certainly is - at least if you're an accused or convicted lawbreaker.
The Rise of the Donor Class
Meet the donor class, a small group of wealthy, highly educated urban and suburban residents with the means and inclination to influence the outcomes of congressional races far afield.
New Directions in Pork
Some little-known tips for reaping Federal pork dollars. Hint: Vote against the president.
Legislators with daughters are significantly more likely to cast liberal votes
Lobbyists take note: Having a female child significantly increases the likelihood that a legislator will cast a liberal vote, particularly on reproductive rights issues.
Unmasking the Surge
A foreign policy expert warns that the troop surge in Iraq, while yielding short-term gains, may endanger Iraqis later on.
Four Middle East dictators, backed by the U.S. for the stability they bring, are getting old, and none have a successor with clear popular support.
The Rule of Slogans
"The rule of law" is the latest thing in economics. Trouble is, no one is quite sure what it means, or whether it yields positive results.
CEO Pay: Worth Every Penny
Chief executive pay went up by more than 500 percent, on average, from 1980 to 2003, but so did the value of the top 1,000 firms.
The Baby Penalty?
Highly educated women delay having children longer than those without as much schooling, and face greater wage losses if they don't.
In Praise of Renting
One thing has been made clear by the housing crisis: not everyone should own their own home. Renting has its merits.
Those looking for the elusive ivory-billed woodpecker would do well to listen to the locals.
School Choice Apostasy?
A recent book criticizes the school choice movement, and opens up a hornets' nest of angry retorts.
Nut Gets Nukes
The news media focused on Kim Jong Il's peculiarities while missing the story on North Korea developing nuclear capabilities.
France Under Nazi Rule: Currying Maximum Favor
The French turned over far more money to the Nazi occupiers in World War II than the armistice called for, so much, in fact, that the Germans could not spend it all.
Blood for Liberty
John Stuart Mill believed the American Civil War to be a necessary evil, worth the terrible cost to eradicate slavery from society.
Nietzsche and the Nazis
Many scholars view Friedrich Nietzsche's exploitation by the Nazis as a travesty based on ignorance and willful distortion, but the truth may be more complicated.
Dad's Biological Clock
Women have long been warned that their own unhealthy practices can be devastating for children they bear, but new research is showing that fathers contribute their own medical legacies.
Maybe life really is one in a hundred billion. If so, that might be good news for Earth.
William Faulkner, a reclusive writer fond of drink, might seem a curious emissary to foster American goodwill abroad, but during the Cold War, artists and intellectuals were considered not only relevant but vital to U. S. foreign policy.
If embassy size relates proportionately to international prestige, what are we to make of two mammoth new entries -- the Chinese embassy in Washington, and the new U. S. embassy in Baghdad?
Spain's Memory Wars
Spain's calls for justice against Augusto Pinochet raised a clamor for the country to come clean about atrocities committed during the Franco years.
Cultural Learnings of Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan officials are frustrated by their most famous "citizen": Borat, the comic buffoon created by comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, who has brought unwelcome attention to the former Soviet satellite but boosted tourism.
Michael Anderson on Marcus Garvey, "the most confounding figure in the history of black America."
Russia's Flawed Hero
Lynn Berry on Boris Yeltsin, the complicated figure who "gave Russians a personal independence that they will not easily relinquish."