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In Conversation: Robert Silvers

New York     |    April 10, 2013
 
Tags: Robert Silvers | New York Magazine | New York Book Review | Interviews | Journalism | Reporting

In Conversation: Robert Silvers

New York     |    April 07, 2013     |    INTERVIEW

As the New York Review of Books turns 50, its founding editor speaks with Review contributor Mark Danner about the poetry of Twitter, hiding the Pentagon Papers, and how his journal of ideas emerged from the flood of "little magazines" as possibly the unlikeliest success story in publishing.

To read a New York Times piece by Janny Scott about Robert Silvers' legacy -- and Danner's relationship with Silvers -- click here.
 
Tags: NY Magazine | New York Review of Books | Robert Silvers

How, and What, Obama Won

The New York Review of Books     |    December 20, 2012     |    ESSAY

Nyrb122012_png_208x857_q85 Clamorous and overpowering, campaign images are vivid as dreams and vanish as quickly. Was it real, that huge white aircraft hangar in Columbus, Ohio, the night before the election? I'd raced there from downtown Columbus's Nationwide Arena, where President Obama, introduced by Bruce Springsteen and Jay-Z, his voice hoarse and his face worn, had addressed fifteen thousand or so enthusiastic, mostly young supporters.
 
Tags: Karl Rove | Obama | Election

The Politics of Fear

The New York Review of Books     |    November 22, 2012     |    ESSAY

Nyrb112212_png_208x857_q85 Amid the clamorous controversies of this election campaign, what strikes one here on the West Bank of the Jordan is the silences. Though the issue of Palestine promises to have a much more vital part in the volatile, populist politics of the Middle East"s new democracies—whose vulnerable governments actually must take some account of what moves ordinary people—here in Ramallah we have heard virtually nothing substantive about it, apart, that is, from Mitt Romney"s repeated charge that President Obama, presumably in extracting from Israel a hard-fought ten-month freeze on settlement building early on in his administration, had "thrown Israel under the bus."
 
Tags: Barack Obama | Guantanamo | Election | U.S. Politics | Terrorism | Mitt Romney

Six Powerful Voices: Deep Inside Israel's Shin Bet

Telluride FilmWatch     |    September 02, 2012     |    INTERVIEW

Gatekeepers_01 The first duty of Shin Bet, Israel's feared internal intelligence service, is to be invisible. Its very motto, "Magen VeLo Yera'e," brands this shadowy organization as the "Defender that shall not be seen." So it is more than a bit startling to find a documentary film built around interviews with Shin Bet's surviving directors—not one but all six: Ami Ayalon, Avi Dichter, Yuval Diskin, Carmi Gillon, Yaakov Peri and Avraham Shalom. Persuading these feared professional spooks to sit for on-camera interviews was unprecedented; extracting the details they tell, not only about their shadow war with Palestinian terrorists but their bitter conflicts with Israeli politicians, was historical and, as the story unfolds, increasingly shocking. I sat down with Dror Moreh, director of The Gatekeepers, to ask him how he did it.
 
Tags: Dror Moreh | Telluride | The Gatekeepers

The Twilight of Responsibility: Torture and the Higher Deniability

Houston Law Review     |    April 08, 2012

Danner_houston

"A riddle wrapped in mystery inside an enigma" — Churchill's comment about Soviet motivations floated into my mind as I read Philip Zelikow's elegant and powerful analysis of American "Codes of Conduct" during our Twilight War. We as Americans stand today before a terrible and indisputable fact—that, as Mr. Zelikow puts it, "for the first time in American history, leaders of the U.S. government carefully devised ways and means to torment enemy captives." And though we know an immense amount about how this came to happen—the plot lines of who did what to whom, who wrote the memos and who was "tormented" and how, who was smashed repeatedly against walls, who was crushed into tiny confinement boxes, who was waterboarded and how many times—we know relatively little about how the momentous decision came to be made.

 
Tags: Houston Law Review | Frankel Lecture | Torture

Now That We've Tortured: Image, Guilt, Consequence

Torture: Power, Democracy, and the Human Body (book)     |    December 01, 2011     |    ESSAY

Torture_power Let me begin with what today has been a key word: amnesia. It is a striking word, and it makes a provocative point. When it comes to torture as practiced by the United States during the war on terror, there is certainly amnesia and an ongoing quest on the part of some to encourage and cultivate it.
 
Tags: Torture

After September 11: Our State of Exception

The New York Review of Books     |    September 11, 2011

13 We are living in the State of Exception. We don't know when it will end, as we don't know when the War on Terror will end. But we all know when it began.
 
Tags: September 11th

Torture: Once anathema, now a choice

New York     |    August 27, 2011
 
Tags: Torture | NY Magazine

40 Years of Chez Panisse: The Power of Gathering

August 23, 2011
 
Tags: Chez Panisse | Alice Waters | Berkeley

To Heal Haiti, Look to History, Not Nature

The New York Times     |    January 21, 2010

Haitiart
Recovery can come only with vital, even heroic, outside help; but such help will do little to restore Haiti unless it addresses the manmade causes that lie beneath the Haitian malady.
 
Tags: Haiti

The Red Cross Torture Report: What it Means

The New York Review of Books     |    April 30, 2009     |    ESSAY

01c_nyrb043009 When it comes to torture, it is not what we did but what we are doing. It is not what happened but what is happening and what will happen.  In our politics, torture is not about whether or not our polity can "let the past be past"—whether or not we can "get beyond it and look forward."
 
Tags: Torture | ICRC | middle east | Black Sites

Paradoxes of Torture and Scandal

The Washington Post     |    April 26, 2009

Bush1 The first paradox of the torture scandal is that it is not about things we didn't know but about things we did know and did nothing about. Beginning more than a half-dozen years ago, Bush administration officials broke the law and did repugnant things to detainees under their control. But if you think that the remedy is simple and clear -- that all officials who broke the law should be tried and punished -- then ask yourself what exactly the political elite of the country has been doing for the last five years. Or what it has not been doing. And why.
 
Tags: Torture | CIA | War on Terror

US-Folter: Stimmen von dunklen Orten

antikrieg.com     |    April 20, 2009     |    REPORT

Bush1 Wir glauben, dass Zeit und Wahlen unsere gefallene Welt reinwaschen werden, aber das werden sie nicht.  Seit November scheinen sich George W. Bush und seine Regierung mit zunehmender Geschwindigkeit von uns entfernt zu haben, ein dunkler Komet auf dem Weg zum Ende des Universums.
 
Tags: IKRK | antikrieg.com | middle east | Folter | German

US Torture: Voices from the Black Sites

The New York Review of Books     |    April 09, 2009     |    REPORT

01c_nyrb040909_small_2__copy_(1) We think time and elections will cleanse our fallen world but they will not. Since November, George W. Bush and his administration have seemed to be rushing away from us at accelerating speed, a dark comet hurtling toward the ends of the universe.
 
Tags: ICRC | middle east | Black Sites | Torture

Tales from Torture's Dark World

The New York Times     |    March 15, 2009     |    WEEK IN REVIEW

Bush1 On a bright sunny day two years ago, President George W. Bush strode into the East Room of the White House and informed the world that the United States had created a dark and secret universe to hold and interrogate captured terrorists.
 
Tags: Black Sites | Torture | ICRC

On Dick Cheney

The Guardian (UK)     |    January 17, 2009     |    COMMENT

Dick-cheney-001 It made few headlines when Dick Cheney, in the last days of his vice-presidency, dismissed as a caricature the idea that he was "a Darth Vader type-personality".
 
Tags: Dick Cheney | Bush Years | The Guardian

Frozen Scandal

The New York Review of Books     |    December 04, 2008     |    ESSAY

12_4_08 Scandal is our growth industry. Revelation of wrongdoing leads not to definitive investigation, punishment, and expiation but to more scandal.
 
Tags: David Hare | Gethsemane | Frozen Scandal

Obama & Sweet Potato Pie

The New York Review of Books     |    November 20, 2008     |    ESSAY

11_20_08 You would think first of all of a village fair: the entire community of Germantown, Northwest Philly, taking itself up on the brightest of bright sunny fall days and moving en masse, clumps of people—groups of young men in the obligatory hoodies and low-riding jeans, moms pushing strollers, dads lugging car seats, and everywhere children, from toddlers on up, being pulled along ("You'll remember this all your life!")—almost all of them African-American and all melding together, as they crowded toward the entrance to Vernon Park, into a full running, laughing stream.
 
Tags: 2008 election | Obama | McCain | Sweet Potato Pie

2008: The Weight of the Past

The New York Review of Books     |    November 06, 2008     |    ESSAY

11_6_08 Panning across the faces of the country"s leaders gathered in the Cabinet Room to confront the "financial crisis" in late September, the camera"s eye moves from the President—looking tired, shrunken, desiccated—to his Treasury secretary and other powerful advisers, and then slowly makes its way down and around the long Cabinet table, trailing over the familiar waxen features of the barons of the Senate and the House, lingering for a moment on the self-consciously resolute face of the white-haired Senator John McCain, and finally reaches the table"s end where it settles at last on the figure of a lean, solitary black man slumped in his seat.
 
Tags: Obama | Election | US Politics
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