Benjamin Wallace-Wells

Kick Back

Sportswriters of a particular liberal-sensitive cast have spent three decades patiently pressing upon their readers the demographic inevitability of soccer’s conquest of the American sporting scene. First, they say, there are the participants: millions of suburban soccer kids, who will as adults lock onto the sport they grew up playing. Next, there are all those… Read more »

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 »