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September 26, 2005 Issue

Cover art by: Cover photo by Kyle Niemi/US Coast Guard/Getty Images, cover design by Gene Case & Stephen Kling/Avenging Angels


  • Editorials

    America’s Imaginary Frontier

    America's narcissism and willful blindness to its own moral failings have been placed in sharp relief as the nation fitfully responds to the needs of storm victims.

    Norman Birnbaum

  • A War Over Meaning

    Knowing what America owes its dead--be they soldiers lost in Iraq or civilians lost in the Gulf Coast storm--could prod the nation toward a decisive rejection of the Bush Administration's war policies.

    Robert Jay Lifton and Greg Mitchell

  • New Orleans: Voices in the Storm

    The chronicle of an unfolding catastrophe, as told by the victims of Hurricane Katrina, the bureaucrats, the rescuers, the journalists and the politicians.

    the Editors

  • William Rehnquist

    William Rehnquist showed little regard for the social consequences that followed his unrelenting application of conservative legal theory.

    Bruce Shapiro

  • The Big Easy Dies Hard

    At first glance New Orleans looks like a cross between a giant conceptual art installation or the set of a cold war disaster movie.

    Christian Parenti

  • Looting the Black Poor

    New Orleans is the classic tale of two cities: one showy, middle-class and white; the other poor, downtrodden and low-income black.

    Earl Ofari Hutchinson

  • FEMA: Confederacy of Dunces

    FEMA enjoyed bipartisan praise during the 1990s under President Clinton. By the time Hurricane Katrina roared into the Gulf, the Bush Administration had dismantled it.

    Jon Elliston

  • The Disaster President

    The incompetence revealed by the response to Hurricane Katrina can be traced to a twenty-five-year project, begun in the Reagan era, of discrediting government.

    the Editors


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  • Books and the Arts

    Out of Touch on ‘The OC’

    What makes Fox's The OC so addictive is its California-kissed story lines and appealing characters. But what is it about women the show doesn't understand?

    Christine Smallwood

  • America’s Imaginary Frontier

    America's narcissism and willful blindness to its own moral failings have been placed in sharp relief as the nation fitfully responds to the needs of storm victims.

    Norman Birnbaum

  • A Continent for the Taking

    What to make of The Constant Gardener, a movie focused on Europeans set in Africa, the return of Terry Gilliam and the New York City-set Keane?

    Stuart Klawans

  • Love and Betrayal in Colonial Africa

    Abdulrazak Gurnah's seventh book, Desertion, revisits the theme of exile and expands it to relationships---between lovers, between families, between countries.

    Laila Lalami

  • Robert Kaplan: Empire Without Apologies

    In his new book, Robert Kaplan proposes that the antidote to anarchy is empire, policed by soldiers holding an assault rifle in one hand and candy bars in the other.

    Andrew J. Bacevich

  • Desert Storm

    This might be a good time for the Bush Administration to step up its reading on Saudi Arabia, starting with these three books.

    Milton Viorst

  • Memorial Chauvinism

    The controversy over the World Trade Center cultural institutions is one more episode in a long, often bitter dispute over how 9/11 should be remembered and understood.

    Alisa Solomon

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