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December 5, 2005

Cover art by: Cover by José Chicas/Avenging Angels


  • Features

    The Secret History of Rum

    Long before oil dominated geopolitics, rum was the original global commodity, tying Europe, the Americas, Africa and the Caribbean in a complex web of trade and credit. And Bacardi was the original multinational.

    Ian Williams

  • Buyers’ Remorse

    Home equity--for those lucky enough to own a house or condo--is a primary source of economic security. But unsold inventory, rising interest rates and record levels of mortgage defaults are making the future look grim.

    Nicholas von Hoffman

  • An Oil-Slicked Playing Field

    The scramble for petroleum by developing countries worldwide is reshaping global geopolitics in favor of oil-rich nations like Iran, Venezuela and Sudan.

    Dilip Hiro

  • The War With No Name

    For twenty-five years, Kurdish guerrillas have battled the forces of the Turkish state. For a while, things began to settle down, but the US occupation of Iraq changed all that.

    Christian Parenti

  • The Champ Meets the Chump

    When George W. Bush met Muhammad Ali at the White House last week, the Champ had one last rope-a-dope up his sleeve. You don't have to guess who won this match.

    Dave Zirin

  • Break Up Cheney’s Cabal

    If the United States is to extricate itself from the Iraq debacle, the first step is to break up the cabal of Bush Administration officials who have led the nation to war.

    Jeremy Brecher and Brendan Smith

  • Scooter Libby’s Doomed Defense

    Capitalizing on Bob Woodward's revelation that he was one of the first to learn about Valerie Plame's CIA status, Scooter Libby's legal team hopes that will get their client off the hook. That turkey won't fly.

    Elizabeth de la Vega

  • Editorials

    Emile Capouya

    Emile Capouya, literary editor of The Nation from 1970-1976, was both a working man and an intellectual, who brought trade book publishing to European standards and lived to oppose and be ground down by conglomerates.

    Ted Solotaroff

  • In Fact…

    On November 11 longtime Nation contributor Robert Scheer learned he'd been fired by the Los Angeles Times, where he has worked as a reporter and columnist for thirty years.

    the Editors

  • President Thelma

    Is Commander-in-Chief softening up the country for President Hillary? Americans may not not be ready to put a woman in the White House, but they may have calmed down enough to contemplate the pleasures of female power.

    Richard Goldstein

  • Bush’s War on the Press

    Until the Bush Administration is held accountable by Congress for its propaganda, manipulation of the truth and assaults on journalism, freedom of the press will exist in name only.

    John Nichols and Robert W. McChesney

  • In Kars and Frankfurt

    The winner of the 2006 Nobel Prize for Literature wrote this 2005 editorial in The Nation, addressing the issue of the artistic imagination at risk in a repressive state.

    Orhan Pamuk

  • More Leaks, Please!

    Power-friendly reporters like Judith Miller are easily manipulated by selective leaks. But what we need now is more civil disobedience by whistle-blowers exposing renditions, acts of torture and the flagrant abuse of power.

    Bruce Shapiro

  • The GOP Retreat

    Undoing the savage inequalities of the Bush era will require a titanic fight, but the new-found courage of GOP moderates hints that significant changes are in the wind.

    the Editors


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  • Columns

    Unholy Wars

    The conduct of the war in Iraq has embarrassed us, lowered us, endangered us and betrayed our best ideals. The debasement of our soldiers and the lawlessness of our leaders is shocking, merciless and infinitely destabilizing.

    Patricia J. Williams

  • The Lies That Bind

    Lack of candor is not surprising from Bush or Ahmad Chalabi, but why does the New York Times continue to struggle with the truth about Judith Miller? The Gray Lady might solve the problem by banning anonymous Administration sources in its news reports. If they're going to lie to us anyway, why not under their own names?

    Eric Alterman

  • Don’t Criticize Me

    Karl Rove and his Singing Slimemeisters riff You Go To My Head.

    Calvin Trillin

  • Books and the Arts

    The Secret History of Rum

    Long before oil dominated geopolitics, rum was the original global commodity, tying Europe, the Americas, Africa and the Caribbean in a complex web of trade and credit. And Bacardi was the original multinational.

    Ian Williams

  • Succès de Scandale

    American readers have long felt guilty about loving Lolita. As Vladimir Nabokov's nymphet heroine turns 50, Lila Azam Zanganeh traces the impact of a novel that has become both an icon and a cultural cliche.

    Lila Azam Zanganeh

  • The Tower of Babel

    Jerome Charyn's Savage Shorthand: The Life and Death of Isaac Babel examines the life the revolutionary idealist murdered by Stalin in 1940 and explodes the literary myths that have thus far defined his works.

    Lee Siegel

  • The Dying Animal

    Gabriel García Márquez's new novella begins as an autobiography, but the passion-filled story of an old man, mad with love and clinging to life, weaves Marquez's other fiction into the tale.

    Michael Wood

  • Mystic River

    Amartya Sen's latest collection of essays explores the rich flow of various peoples in and out of India and how they shaped the politics and spirituality of the nation today.

    Tariq Ali

  • All About My Mother

    The Caribbean island of Vieques is a fitting setting for Captain of the Sleepers, Cuban novelist Mayra Montero's engrossing story premised on violations of the dead.

    Kate Levin

  • Profane Illuminations

    New biographies of Rousseau and Voltaire help us appreciate how very fragile the eighteenth century's great movement of ideas was, and how remarkable it is that the Enlightenment not only survived but flourished.

    David A. Bell

  • Don’t Criticize Me

    Karl Rove and his Singing Slimemeisters riff You Go To My Head.

    Calvin Trillin

  • President Thelma

    Is Commander-in-Chief softening up the country for President Hillary? Americans may not not be ready to put a woman in the White House, but they may have calmed down enough to contemplate the pleasures of female power.

    Richard Goldstein

  • In Kars and Frankfurt

    The winner of the 2006 Nobel Prize for Literature wrote this 2005 editorial in The Nation, addressing the issue of the artistic imagination at risk in a repressive state.

    Orhan Pamuk

  • Agee’s Gospel

    Two new volumes in the Library of America series present the life and work of James Agee, whose flashes of greatness as an essayist, screenwriter, novelist and Nation film reviewer have secured his place in the American literary canon.

    Phillip Lopate

  • Soul on Ice

    Is jazz really dead--or has it simply moved to a cooler location? Four new books take a scholarly look at a musical genre that is on the wane in America, but finding new life and new audiences in Europe.

    David Yaffe

  • The Scrivener and the Whale

    Andrew Delbanco's new biography of Herman Melville reveals that the great writer came to realize that what torments men is not the longing to believe that there is meaning in the universe, but that behind the longing lies fear of nothingness.

    Vivian Gornick

  • I Act, Therefore I Am

    Admired from a distance and reviled up close, Laurence Olivier could establish a relation with his audience that was like an infection. His official biography chronicles a personal life of an actor who altered the cultural compass of a nation.

    David Thomson

  • Monster’s Ball

    Party in the Blitz, the final volume of Nobel laureate Elias Canetti's memoirs, is a chaotic, horribly fascinating memoir of a man who was a slave to love, an omnivorous intellect and a literary giant.

    John Banville

  • The Ring Cycle

    When Joe Louis defeated Nazi sympathizer Max Schmeling in 1938, it was the boxing match that reverberated across the world. Three new books chronicle the match and all the racial and political turmoil of which it was an emblem.

    Gerald Early

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