December 22, 2008 | The Nation

In the Magazine

December 22, 2008

Cover: Cover design by Gene Case & Stephen Kling/Avenging Angels

Browse Selections From Recent Years













Yes, We Did

Pine Mountain, Calif.


An activist calls for engaging youth in political life beyond the election.

Her voice a force of nature and her theatrical sense undimmed, Odetta-made music of extraordinary compassion, intuition and grace.

Xavier Becerra, Obama's pick for US trade representative, could bring the change working people here and abroad can believe in.

The deep grievances of marginalized Indian Muslims are a source of major societal rifts, exacerbated by the anti-Muslim propaganda of Hindu fundamentalists.

Dissenting views on Iraq and Afghanistan will have to come not from the hawkish national security team, but from outside Washington, and from Obama himself.

Wal-Mart's toxic workplace; higher ed takes a hit; the right-wing blame game.

There is no military solution to the crisis in South Asia. It falls to Barack Obama to create a new path out of the deepening Afghan-Pakistan crisis.



Two presidents named Bush--aided by Bill Clinton--brought corporate socialism to America. Getting out of the mess they make requires much more than bailouts.

His NFL career shot to pieces because of a stupid stunt with a gun, Plaxico Burress now becomes the latest athlete everyone loves to hate.


Obama should make gender equality a keystone of his presidency--and the economic stimulus is a great place to start.

Why is it so hard for lawmakers, media and moguls to take moral responsibility?


Obama's transition is the earliest, biggest, fastest, best organized and most efficient on record. But has the media failed to see the larger architecture of this moment, and what it portends for the presidency to come?

The police shooting of a boy has unleashed riots and seething resentment in Greece among young people lost in the economic downturn and a society betrayed by a corrupt and incompetent government.

Federal charges are filed against Blackwater guards accused of killing and maiming Iraqi civilians. But the company continues to operate in Iraq and its executives escape scrutiny.

Venezuela's poor have seen life improve under Hugo Chávez. But opposition gains in regional elections signal corruption, and crumbling public services have taken their toll on his popularity.

Which idea of human rights will prevail: Western notions of freedom from fear or poorer nations' insistence on freedom from want?

Who, exactly, are the Taliban? It's clear Afghan insurgents are far from monolithic.

Obama calls Afghanistan "the right war." But sending more US troops into the quagmire will only make the crisis worse.

Books & the Arts


Gus Van Sant's Milk, Baz Luhrmann's Australia, Kelly Reichardt's Wendy and Lucy.


Re-reading a literary critic who regarded intelligence as a moral imperative.


The paintings of Giorgio Morandi render new meaning to the term natura morta.



 1 Until you run out of rope, far from a sweet beginning. (2,3,6,3)