Jim Sleeper

What If Timothy Snyder is Wrong About Ukraine?

“We easily forget how fascism works,” writes the Yale historian Timothy Snyder, author of the distinguished Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin, this week in “The Battle in Ukraine Means Everything: Fascism Returns to the Country It Once Destroyed,” an impassioned, eloquent essay in The New Republic. We also easily forget how intellectual observers work… Read more »

A Fond Farewell to Jonathan Schell

The writer Jonathan Schell, who taught courses at Yale on non-violence and nuclear arms through 2012, died of cancer last night at his home in Brooklyn. Although I doubt he would have put it this way, or even thought of himself this way, he was a luminous, noble, bearer of an American civic-republican tradition that’s… Read more »

Crimea vs Cuba: Remember, America Has Long Been Twitchy About Its Own Sphere of Influence

“Those who want to see a people’s democracy, let them come here and see this,” Fidel Castro told the UN General Assembly in 1960, after his Marxist insurgency overthrew Fulgencio Batista’s government in Cuba. The United States had long made forcefully clear that it preferred dictatorial banana republics (Nicaragua), coffee republics (Guatemala), or, in Cuba,… Read more »

Leon Wieseltier’s Moral Posturing on Crimea Suggests He Learned Nothing From his Moral Posturing on Iraq

“There is the question of how to respond practically to Putin’s aggression and there is the question of how to respond intellectually,” writes Leon Wieseltier, literary editor of The New Republic, in his most recent “Washington Diarist” column. “The latter is no less important than the former, because the Ukrainian crisis is not a transient… Read more »