What We’re Reading
Preeti Aroon “Innocents Abroad” and nine other vignettes about studying abroad in Washington Post Magazine. These short pieces offer a sense of how such an experience can provide American college students with the epiphanies and life lessons — on identity, race, heritage, and patriotism — needed to navigate our increasingly interconnected world. Jerome Chen “The ...
“Innocents Abroad” and nine other vignettes about studying abroad in Washington Post Magazine. These short pieces offer a sense of how such an experience can provide American college students with the epiphanies and life lessons — on identity, race, heritage, and patriotism — needed to navigate our increasingly interconnected world.
“The Edge of an Empire” in the New Statesman. Alice Albinia travels to the western region of Xinjiang, where a progressive Muslim society may not survive growing Chinese influence. Often overlooked, Xinjiang suffers many of the same problems as Tibet: ethnic strife between the locals and the majority Han Chinese and a deep resentment of Beijing rule.
For more than a year now, we’ve seen both U.S. presidential candidates make their cases on the campaign trail. Seldom do we get to read their words outside a transcript, but the Wall Street Journal offers editorials by both Barack Obama and John McCain today. Read about “Change We Need” vs. “What We’re Fighting For” one last time. Then vote!
“The Test.” New Yorker writer Steve Coll argues that “great presidencies can arise only from great causes.” The real test causes awaiting tomorrow’s champ? Energy economy and healthcare. He adds the shocking detail that more U.S. deaths result each year from lack of health insurance than from murder.
Imperial Hubris, pp. 47-58. Is Michael Scheuer’s “list of ignored Afghan checkables” coming back to haunt us? “The reestablishment of an Islamic regime in Kabul is as close to an inevitability as exists,” the former CIA analyst wrote in 2004. “One hopes that Karzai and the rest of the Westernized, secular, and followerless Afghan expatriates installed in Kabul are able to get out with their lives.”
Turkmeniscam: How Washington Lobbyists Fought to Flack for a Stalinist Dictatorship. The author, Harper’s editor Ken Silverstein, had a novel idea for how to expose the corruption of Washington lobbying. Posing as a shady energy company representative looking to do business in repressive Turkmenistan, he let elite lobbying companies bid for the right to clean up the country’s image. Silverstein’s “scam” pays off, but the book feels like an overly padded version of a magazine piece, which is exactly what it is.
“Two Crucial U.S. Allies Display Divergent Loyalties.” In The National, writer Philip Sands profiles two of Iraq’s powerful tribal sheikhs — Sheikh Amash, who fought al Qaeda and Sunni extremists, and Sheikh Malik, who funded the very same insurgents — examining their very different outlooks, while foreshadowing the fighting that will likely occur as U.S. forces prepare for withdrawal.
Photo: EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images
Rebecca Frankel was an editor at Foreign Policy from 2013-2018.
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