Nicholas Lemann

Nicholas Lemann is the dean of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and a national correspondent for The Atlantic. He has also worked for the New Yorker, the Washington Post, and the Texas Monthly. Lemann has written several books, including his bestseller, The Promised Land: The Great Black Migration and How It Changed America (David Mckay, 1991), and The Big Test(Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1999) for which he received the 1999 Washington Monthly political book award. His most recent book was Redemption: The Last Battle of the Civil War (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007). He was the editor of the Washington Monthly from 1977 to 1979.

Tilting at Windmills

This column marks the dawn of the post-Charles Peters era of “Tilting at Windmills”; at eighty-seven, Charlie has decided to stop writing the column himself, and from now on a rotating cast of alumni of the magazine will be writing it. It’s appropriate that I am beginning the rotation, because I’m the one who, many… Read more »

Deconstructing Reconstruction

The tumultuous decade that followed the Civil War failed to enshrine black voting and civil rights, and instead paved the way for more than a century of entrenched racial injustice.

Windmills, Revisited

reported for duty at the Washington Monthly on July 1, 1976. For the magazine, it was a time of economic distress (nothing new there) and psychological glee. Jimmy Carter, by then the certain Democratic nominee for president, was an actual subscriber to the Monthly, meaning that every year a renewal check came in drawn on… Read more »

What No Child Left Behind Left Behind

he biggest upward ratchet ever in the federal governments role in public educationhistorically a state and local functionand possibly the most significant piece of domestic social legislation since the Great Society is George W. Bushs No Child Left Behind law, which sailed through Congress in the spring of 2001. Perhaps because so many of them… Read more »

Long Good Buy

The conceptual rubric under which Cohen places all this comforting material is new, however: It’s the idea that the mid-to-late-20th-century United States became the first country to organize itself politically around the idea of its people as individual consumers. Consumerism, as she presents it, has its roots in the New Deal, but it took off… Read more »