A national flag show is seen at Chaoyang park in Beijing on Sept. 30, 2006.

The Power of Narrative

A new book explains why some nations rise and others don’t.

A photo from the film “The Mole Agent.”

Octogenarian Sherlock Holmes

Oscar-nominated “The Mole Agent” is a film noir take on life in a Chilean nursing home.

Refugees walk with their goats in floodwaters at the Dadaab refugee complex, in the northeast of Kenya, on April 17, 2018.

The West’s Obsession With ‘Good Refugees’ Is Bad Policy

Wealthy countries love to celebrate immigrant success stories, but they are letting many potentially productive citizens fall through the cracks.

A portrait of Jennifer Doudna, inventor of the revolutionary gene-editing tool CRISPR.

What Is It to Be Human Anymore?

Walter Isaacson explores the future of gene editing. But that future is already here, and it’s more than a bit scary.

Gabi Ashkenazi gives a statement at the Israeli Foreign Ministry.

Has Israel Pushed Realpolitik to Its Limits?

Two new books examine how an isolated state managed to expand its diplomatic horizons.

A German flag flutters at the stern of an excursion ship over the container gantry cranes of the Port of Hamburg on Oct. 26, 2018.

We All Live in Germany’s World

How the German government accelerated the 20th century’s economic march toward neoliberalism.

srebrenica genocide memorial

The Wounds of the Bosnian Genocide Haven’t Healed

An Oscar-nominated film exposes the crimes of Srebrenica at a time when the perpetrators are still celebrated in Serbia and beyond.

israel religious secular idf protest

How Liberals Lost in Israel

The decline of Israeli democracy holds lessons for the United States.

Inmates perform play by William Shakespeare.

Why Was Roman Politics So Stabby?

Emma Southon’s book on murder in Rome depicts a state built on death.

A still from Pacific Rim: The Black.

Small Stories in an Age of Giant Monsters

The new Netflix show “Pacific Rim: The Black” finally lives up to the franchise’s internationalist potential.

A still from the documentary film The Battle of the Somme purportedly shows British soldiers moving forward through wire at the start of the battle on July 1, 1916. This scene is now generally considered to have been staged well behind the lines but has regularly been used to represent British troops “going over the top” at the start of an assault on the Western Front.

Ending Wars Was Never Easy

A new book about a forgotten attempt to resolve World War I sheds light on the struggles facing the West’s diplomats today.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping leave a business leaders event at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, on Nov. 9, 2017.

Why China Is America’s Hardest Foreign-Policy Problem

A new book on Trump’s failures underscores just how tough it is to get Beijing right.

8 men sit around a table in a Xinjiang internment camp.

Painting Xinjiang’s Brutal Camps in 3D

A new VR documentary, “Reeducated,” uses illustration and witnesses to overcome secrecy.

People visit the Bund in Shanghai

Seeking Truth From Fiction

The provocative short stories in “Land of Big Numbers” offer a window into ordinary life in China with rich material from a reporter’s notebook.

Viet Thanh Nguyen poses during a photo session in Paris on June 28, 2017.

In ‘The Committed,’ Revolution and Colonialism Turn Into Crime

Viet Thanh Nguyen’s sequel moves from the United States to France but stays revolutionary.

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