The Wealth Explosion

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In Essence

Novelists ought to keep "a private address," in Eudora Welty's famous construction, but one critic believes too many writers are ignoring the advice.

Some Americans want to reconsider "birthright" citizenship, even though it's protected by the Fourteenth Amendment.

Bai Gano, the fictional satiric character who has become a legend in Bulgarian literature, was invented at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair.

The history of rebuilding cities after major disasters does not bode well for New Orleans.

Some of the greatest artists of the 20th century share one curious trait: misaligned eyes.

"America's expansiveness, intrusiveness, and tendency toward political, economic, and strategic dominance are not some aberration from our true nature," writes Robert Kagan. "That is our nature."

The New York Times account of Kitty Genovese's murder--and the 38 citizens who supposedly watched and did nothing--shocked the world. Much of the story, it turns out, was untrue.

Why can't experts figure out the reason for the educational gap between African Americans and whites?

One thing has remained fixed about the U.S. Census: It has never included a question about religion. According to one scholar, that's not likely to change.

All but lost amid the protest to Pope Benedict XVI's speech in September 2006 was the complex point he was trying to make.

A look at Haiti's brisk trade in discarded--and re-tailored--American clothing.

Raising taxes on cigarettes has not curtailed smoking, but rather made smokers consume each butt more intensively.

The era of optimism for democracy in the Middle East has ended, says one foreign relations specialist.

The English are descended from the Angles and the Saxons, right? Only if you ignore the DNA record, which shows that most share a heritage with the Basques.

Disability payments have reached an annual cost that is nearly three and a half times the budget of the Department of Homeland Security.

Women number fewer than men among bloggers, despite a few prominent voices on the Web. The explanation may be found in the Internet's history and culture.

Nobel Prize-winning poet Seamus Heaney, in the view of one critic, has succeeded because "his sense of responsibility extends to pleasure itself."

The Equal Rights Amendment may not have passed, but many of its principles seem embodied in the Fourteenth Amendment.

Iran's system of compensating organ donors is being watched closely by transplant advocates and medical ethicists alike.

Despite man's best efforts--or, more precisely, because of them--a Hawaiian raven is all but extinct in the wild.

Book Reviews

Aaron Dalton on the body's largest, and perhaps most mysterious, organ

Elizabeth MacBride on the culture of stock and commodities exchanges


When did the travel bug become such a plague?

James Morris

Religious conflicts in multi-faith America are mild compared with those in countries that have only one faith or virtually no faith at all.

Christopher Clausen

Rebuffed by the European Union, angered by U.S. policies in the Middle East, and governed by an Islamist political party, Turkey seems to have every reason to turn its back on the West. To most Turks, however, that would be inconceivable.

Soli Özel

Growing violence in Baghdad prompts many to question whether Iraq can survive or should be divided among its Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds. The first questions to ask ought to be historical: Is modern Iraq built on a solid foundation or is it largely a patchwork cobbled together by European grandees nearly a century ago? What precedents exist for a divided Iraq?

F. S. Naiden

An American-inspired redrawing of the Iraqi map along sectarian lines would do violence to the facts of Iraqi history.

Reidar Visser

The surge of new wealth in America is creating a bumper crop of large foundations. History suggests that they can accomplish a great deal. But it’s not always easy to do good.

Leslie Lenkowsky

If rich old King Croesus were living in America today, he’d be hard-pressed to keep up with the Joneses.

James B. Twitchell

The United States has not enjoyed a surge of new wealth to rival today’s since the days when people read by gaslight, yet that era holds valuable lessons about the hazards of new fortunes.

Steven Lagerfeld

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