Tag: Nicholas Kristof

Look Who Nick Kristof’s Saving Now

For the last few months, I’ve had a draft post sitting in my dashboard listing all the words and phrases I’d like to see banished from the English language. At the top—jockeying for the #1 slot with “yummy,” “closure” and “it’s all good”—is “public intellectual.” I used to like the phrase; it once even expressed an aspiration of mine. But in the years since Russell Jacoby wrote his polemic against the retreat of intellectuals to the ivory tower, it’s been overworked as a term of abuse. What was originally intended as a materialist analysis of the relationship between politics, economics, and culture—Jacoby’s aim was to analyze how real changes in the economy and polity were driving intellectuals from the public […]

Ezra Klein’s Biggest Mistake

Like many people who supported the Iraq War, Ezra Klein has written his apologia. But he fails to identify—indeed, repeats—his biggest mistake in supporting the war: When thinking of the US government, he  thinks “we.” Iraq, [Kenneth Pollack] said, shouldn’t be America’s top priority. We should first focus on destroying al-Qaeda. We should then work on the Israeli- Palestinian conflict. Only then should we turn to Hussein. Moreover, when and if we did invade Iraq, we should do so only as part of a coordinated, multilateral operation… … After all, what other chance would we get to topple Hussein? … It wasn’t worth doing precisely because the odds were high that we couldn’t do it “right.” Klein doesn’t think a […]