Tomgram: Rebecca Gordon, Can Bean Counters Save the World from Trump?

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Recently, I visited New York’s Guggenheim Museum for a show of conceptual art by Danh Vo, whose family fled Vietnam as the American war there ended in 1975. He was four years old when he became a refugee and, through a series of flukes, found himself in Denmark, which has been his home ever since. Much of his read more

Tomgram: Steve Fraser, Teaching America a Lesson

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At almost 74, of all the people in my life, it may be the teachers I remember most vividly. Mrs. Kelly, my first grade teacher (who began it all); my fourth grade teacher Miss Thomas (who, when I approached her that initial day in class and said “Hey, you,” assured me in the kindest possible way that I would never call her anything but “Miss Thomas” again); Mrs. Casey, read more

Tomgram: Engelhardt, America Last?

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A Tale of American Hubris
Or Five Lessons in the History of American Defeat
By Tom Engelhardt

The lessons of history? Who needs them? Certainly not Washington’s present cast of characters, a crew in flight from history, the past, or knowledge of more or less any sort. Still, just for the hell of it, let’s take a few moments to think about what some of the lessons of read more

Tomgram: Andrew Bacevich, Creating a Perpetual War Machine

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Here’s how Colonel Robert Heinl, Jr., began a June 1971 article in Armed Forces Journal bluntly headlined “The Collapse of the Armed Forces”:

“The morale, discipline, and battleworthiness of the U.S. Armed Forces are, with a few salient exceptions, lower and worse than at anytime in this century and possibly in the history of the United States. By every conceivable read more

Tomgram: Alfred McCoy, A New Age of Sea Power?

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The rise and fall of empires has long been a story at the heart of history. Since the Europeans first burst out of their then-marginal region on wooden sailing ships mounted with cannons in the fifteenth century, the planet seldom has had a moment in which several imperial powers weren’t competing for supremacy. In 1945, that number was reduced to two and then, for what the read more