Splinterlands

Part Field Notes from a Catastrophe, part 1984, part World War Z, John Feffer’s striking new dystopian novel, takes us deep into the battered, shattered world of 2050. The European Union has broken apart. Multiethnic great powers like Russia and China have shriveled. America’s global military footprint has virtually disappeared and the United States remains united in name only....
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How Donald Trump Changed Everything (2016-2020)

I didn’t vote in the pivotal American election of 2016. Thirty-five years ago, in that unseasonably warm month of November, I was in Antarctica’s Allan Hills taking ice core samples with a hand augur. The pictures I have from that time show my team drilling deep into the blue ice, but what we were actually doing was digging a million years into the planetary past to gaze upon the panorama of...
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Trump the Predictable

Shortly after taking office in 1969, President Richard Nixon devised his “madman theory.” It was the height of the Vietnam War, and Nixon believed that he could end the conflict. It just required a bit of unpredictability. “I want the North Vietnamese to believe I’ve reached the point where I might do anything to stop the war,” Nixon told his chief of staff H.R. Haldeman. “We’ll...
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What Europe Can Teach Us About Trump

Donald Trump might seem like a uniquely American phenomenon. The shape-shifting billionaire huckster reinvented himself first as a TV personality and then as a maverick populist politician. He rode to power on patriotic slogans – Make America Great Again – and tailored his policy prescriptions to specific American constituencies like West Virginia coal miners and Michigan factory workers. He...
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The Death of the International Community

The election of Donald Trump is not only a surprise for many American citizens. It’s a shock to the international community. In fact, the shock might be so severe that it will be the death of the international community. What has happened in the United States is not unprecedented. But, as with most things to do with America, the tragedy is on a bigger scale. It was one thing for Hungary and...
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Bartleby the American

In my senior year of college, my Russian teacher pulled me aside. He told me that the CIA was recruiting on campus. I should consider applying for a job. It was 1986. Mikhail Gorbachev had taken the helm of the Soviet Union, but the Cold War was still very much in place. “The CIA?” I said. “Really?” “I know your politics,” my professor said. “But don’t you think it’s better for...
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