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January 2, 2006 Issue

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

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  • Features

    Rembrandt’s Year

    2006 marks Rembrandt's 400th birthday, and an array of exhibitions, from the sublime to the silly, will open in Amsterdam, Washington and beyond. As the aesthetic hype escalates, can great art withstand great commerce? Can consummate genius triumph over cute?

    Abigail R. Esman

  • Dances With Ghosts

    As the House of Representatives voted to allow oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Ohio Democrat Dennis Kucinich decried the back-door methods and contemplated the impact on the indigenous Gwich'in people.

    Dennis Kucinich

  • Shoot the Moon

    How realistic is it to stop the Bush Administration from pursuing its war agenda? Former prosecutor Elizabeth de la Vega offers some hard-core advice about how to challenge the status quo.

    Elizabeth de la Vega

  • The Wonder and Horror of 2005

    In the gloom of post-election 2004 few people, if any, could have anticipated the wild surprises of 2005. Focusing on three unforeseen developments of the past year, a meditation on how life has changed in unexpected ways.

    Rebecca Solnit

  • Fear and Laughing in Las Vegas

    Lenny Bruce was a lone voice at a time when irreverent comedy could land him in jail on obscenity charges. But the spirit of Lenny Bruce hovered over the first annual Comedy Festival in Los Vegas, where the nation's top comics used laughs to bring down the establishment.

    Paul Krassner

  • Apollo Now

    Industrial society is on a collision course with nature. The devastation of New Orleans is a metaphor for what can happen next to us all. Will America decide to reshape the future in positive terms, or sit back and wait for the inevitable destruction to occur?

    William Greider

  • Left to Die

    If a society is measured by the treatment of its prisoners, we are in deeper trouble in New Orleans than we realize. The biggest prison crisis since Attica is now unfolding in the devastated city, with inmates jammed into inadequate facilities, often abused and unrepresented by attorneys or advocates.

    Billy Sothern

  • Katrina Lives

    The nation might believe it has moved on from Katrina, from the name so childish and somehow slightly foreign, not Sherry or Ann or Margaret. Moved on from the scenes of dark-skinned people in

    Susan Straight

  • In the Shadow of Disaster

    Faced with the challenge of rebuilding, New Orleans seems stuck in the mud--not just mired in the muck caking the city but also trapped by centuries of policy mistakes, especially the fantasy that it can be separated from its surroundings.

    Ari Kelman

  • Editorials

    In Fact…

    NADER'S 'UNSAFE' AT 40

    the Editors


  • A Year of Sweet Victories

    Among the sweetest victories of 2005: Social Security reform has been blocked, pressure to withdraw from Iraq is growing and progressive activists are making progress on local, state and national issues.

    Katrina vanden Heuvel and Sam Graham-Felsen

  • Conrad Black’s Fall

    Reading Patrick Fitzgerald's sixty-page indictment of publishing magnate Conrad Black and his associates, one gets the feeling that the next stop for this high-living power-broker will be a prison cell.

    Scott Sherman

  • The Ney Scandal Grows

    As Justice Department investigators follow the cash flow from lobbyist Jack Abramoff's influence-peddling scandal, the evidence mounts against Ohio Republican Congressman Bob Ney. Who's next?

    Ari Berman

  • Gene McCarthy

    Eugene McCarthy was a pure original, a great and good man, whose fundamental historical achievement was to be the standard-bearer for a moral and philosophical campaign against the Vietnam War.

    George McGovern

  • New Orleans Blues

    If New Orleans is to reclaim its greatness, the scope of the solution must match the scope of the problem. The city could become the nation's classroom by re-engineering levees, responsibly building neighborhoods and schools and repairing the environment, but time is running out.

    the Editors

  • The War and the Elections

    The Iraq debate will be a central issue of the 2006 Congressional elections, and there is reason to believe antiwar candidates will prevail. The first step in that process is to encourage support for such candidates.

    the Editors

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  • Books and the Arts

    Rembrandt’s Year

    2006 marks Rembrandt's 400th birthday, and an array of exhibitions, from the sublime to the silly, will open in Amsterdam, Washington and beyond. As the aesthetic hype escalates, can great art withstand great commerce? Can consummate genius triumph over cute?

    Abigail R. Esman

  • East Fifth Street: A Poster for the Oresteia

    Pasted bumpily on brick, life-sized. Inside,
    in a former foundry's casting vault, my father in the role
    of Agamemnon died. A thin-browed bronze mask skating

    Anne Winters

  • The Displaced of Capital

    "A shift in the structure of experience..."
    As I pass down Broadway this misty late-winter morning, the city is ever alluring, but thousands of miles to the south

    Anne Winters


  • 2005 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize

    Anne Winters's The Displaced of Capital, winner of the 2005 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, is a reflective, documentary and visionary volume of poetry inspired by the city of New York.

    Robert Pinsky

  • Farewell to the Working Class

    Two new books on indolence, How To Be Idle and Bonjour Laziness, issue low-energy cries for political apathy, a shorter work week and the fine art of slacking off.

    Austin Kelley

  • The Oceanic Feeling

    John Banville's latest novel, The Sea, winner of the Man Booker Prize, is a painstaking narrative of memory, grief and many losses, remarkable for what it richly conveys about what it is to be alive, while continuously experiencing loss.

    Claire Messud

  • Middlemarch

    The GOP is an object of popular loathing, yet prospects seem dim for ousting it from power. Three new books explain why: Off Center explores the GOP's genius for subverting the mechanisms of accountability, and Death by a Thousand Cuts and Stand Up Fight Back examine how the Republican machine dominates issues from tax cuts to energy conservation. Plus, the Clinton biography The Survivor looks at the man who once made liberals feel like winners, yet whose legacy holds them back.

    Eyal Press

  • Gene McCarthy

    Eugene McCarthy was a pure original, a great and good man, whose fundamental historical achievement was to be the standard-bearer for a moral and philosophical campaign against the Vietnam War.

    George McGovern

  • Fear and Laughing in Las Vegas

    Lenny Bruce was a lone voice at a time when irreverent comedy could land him in jail on obscenity charges. But the spirit of Lenny Bruce hovered over the first annual Comedy Festival in Los Vegas, where the nation's top comics used laughs to bring down the establishment.

    Paul Krassner

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  • Letters

    ‘Nation’ Readers on the Iraq War

    Our editorial statement that "The Nation will not support any candidate for national office who does not make a speedy end to the American war in Iraq a major issue in his or her camp

    Our Readers