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Winter 2008

In his fine contribution to this journal, David Bell guesses that most World Affairs readers will not know anyone killed in Iraq. The same cannot be said of many of its contributors. The loss of a friend has a way of testing the depth of one’s convictions—a thousand times more if it was one’s convictions that led to one’s loss. The first impulse is to disparage the world of ideas, to mock the “ists” and “isms” and their remove from the “real world.” The second is to mourntheir relevance. ... Read More

Over Here: Iraq the Place vs. Iraq the Abstraction

One day in the summer of 2004, while I sat in the western Baghdad studio of Radio Dijla, Iraq’s first all-talk station, listening to a deputy interior minister being interviewed, a man named Haithem called in. His story sounded garbled and frantic: late at night bandits had forced him off an unlit highway overpass, destroying his car, crushing his chest against the steering wheel, and shattering his leg.

Prophets and Poseurs: Niebuhr and Our Times

As pastor, teacher, activist, moral theologian, and prolific author, Reinhold Niebuhr was a towering presence in American intellectual life from the 1930s through the 1960s. He was, at various points in his career, a Christian Socialist, a pacifist, an advocate of U.S. intervention in World War II, a staunch anti-Communist, an architect of Cold War liberalism, and a sharp critic of the Vietnam War.