Benjamin Wallace-Wells

Right Man’s Burden

In early May, Niall Ferguson, the celebrity Scottish historian, looked out at a packed house seething with antagonism. He had come to Washington to deliver a talk at the Council on Foreign Relations defending his idea that the war in Iraq had not only been the right thing to do, but also ought to be… Read more »

There Goes the Neighborhood

You’ll be sitting in the audience listening to a sensible speech by, say, Gingrich, and all of a sudden you get the notion that aliens have captured his brain. Befuddled, you’ll turn to your friend next to you, the libertarian true-believer, and he’ll shrug his shoulders and whisper back: “Oh, it’s just Newt.” And then,… Read more »

Like Common People

They talked, almost wearily, about unsuccessfully trying to pick up the waitresses at the bar down the block; about the best restaurant bathrooms in which to blow cocaine; about a prep school friend who’d been pulled over for weaving along a Connecticut road and acted more drunk than he really was, hoping the cops would… Read more »

In the Tank

This spring, two economists, Ian Ayres of Yale and John J. Donohue III of Stanford, published a paper charging Lott with falsifying his statistics. Then things really got weird. Someone named “Mary Rosh” started turning up on Web sites where Lott’s work was being discussed, claiming to be a former student of the embattled academic… Read more »