New this week on F&O

In Commentary: A new age of ignorance, by Tom Regan Ordinarily, it would be laughable for a U.S. Republican senator to throw a snowball in the chamber, as did climate change denier James Inhofe, and say that recent cold temperatures in Washington,

From Shakespeare to “Blue Bloods”: Len Cariou

BRIAN BRENNAN: BRIEF ENCOUNTERSFebruary, 2015  By envisioning King Lear’s age as “four score and upward,” Shakespeare created a great role for an actor to play in the autumn of his career. So wasn’t Len Cariou, at age 44, a bit young for

The Reichsmarschall’s Apprentices

 “Why, of course, the people don’t want war. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist

New on F&O: Boko Haram; press freedom; Tennessee Williams, and more

  Boko Haram heaps electoral bad luck on Goodluck Jonathan, by Jonathan Manthorpe (Paywall)   Reports from the Nigerian military that they have launched a major offensive against Boko Haram, killed 300 of the group’s fighters and recaptured 11 towns and villages

Freedom of the press ain’t so free anymore

TOM REGAN  February 20, 2015  Many years ago, when I was a Nieman fellow at Harvard University, a colleague and friend from Uganda, Charles Unyongo-Obbo, and I were the last two people to leave a function. As we walked out into the crisp

One Playwright’s Homage to Another: Tennessee Williams

BRIAN BRENNAN: BRIEF ENCOUNTERSFebruary, 2015  Tennessee Williams had always wanted to reimagine Anton Chekhov’s 1896 play, The Seagull. He considered it the greatest of modern plays after Brecht’s Mother Courage, and he felt it had never been properly released from the confines

Boko Haram heaps electoral bad luck on Goodluck Jonathan

JONATHAN MANTHORPE: International Affairs February 20, 2015 Reports from the Nigerian military that they have launched a major offensive against Boko Haram, killed 300 of the group’s fighters and recaptured 11 towns and villages should be treated with skepticism and caution.  It

Anwar Ibrahim and a campaign of political vilification in Malaysia

Malaysia’s Anwar Ibrahim is showing signs of eccentricity and paranoia, notes International Affairs columnist Jonathan Manthorpe. It’s not surprising — but it is also true that he will have wrought real change. An excerpt of Manthorpe’s new column, Co-opted judiciary sentences Malaysia’s Anwar Ibrahim to 5

Brief Encounter with a child prodigy pianist-turned-comedian

When Arts columnist Brian Brennan asked the then 66-year-old Victor Borge why he continued to maintain a heavy touring schedule despite a health problem that had forced him to temporarily stop performing, the Danish-born entertainer had a simple answer: “I travel because people

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