Review Essays

Refine By:
Review Essay,
Tansen Sen

Since at least the first half of the twentieth century, Chinese and Indian elites have justified present-day friendship between China and India on the basis of allegedly harmonious ancient ties. But an increasing number of scholars are acknowledging that this narrative drastically distorts historical reality.

Review Essay,
2014
Joseph S. Nye Jr.

During the early Cold War, the Dulles and Bundy brothers played critical roles in shaping U.S. foreign policy. New biographies make clear that the all four men had some common ideological blindspots. But how much of their worldview and behavior can be attributed to their WASP establishment backgrounds is an open question.

Review Essay,
2014
Keith Gessen

Two recent books about Soviet history help answer questions raised by the ongoing crisis in Ukraine: What is wrong with Russia and why, despite two decades of optimistic predictions that it was on track to become a “normal” country, has it never become one?

Review Essay,
2014
Peter Hoffmann

In profiling two leading figures in the German resistance, Elisabeth Sifton and Fritz Stern have revealed an important truth about the anti-Nazi underground: although those who opposed Hitler often had motives unrelated to anti-Semitism, the most influential resisters were driven primarily by a shared horror at the mass murder of Jews.

Review Essay,
May/June
2014
Margarita Estévez-Abe

David Pilling's useful book, Bending Adversity, takes a relatively hopeful view of the conservative nationalism advocated by Japanese president Shinzo Abe. But a more thorough accounting of Japan’s recent past and the country's political system would suggest a less sanguine outlook.

Review Essay,
May/June
2014
Tyler Cowen

Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-first Century is a truly important book, a groundbreaking work of analysis of economic inequality. It is frequently brilliant, but also flawed, and its policy recommendations are wildly impractical.

Review Essay,
Mar/Apr
2014
Deborah R. Coen

A new book by Geoffrey Parker examines how the Little Ice Age of the seventeenth century contributed to an era of war and upheaval. But it offers a blinkered view of the implications for current environmental policy.

Review Essay,
Mar/Apr
2014
Jack Shafer

In his new book, Rahul Sagar asks when it is legitimate for a government official to disclose secrets. Although conventional, his answer is far too restrictive -- as the case of Edward Snowden shows.

Review Essay,
Mar/Apr
2014
Minxin Pei

As the United States and China try to keep their relationship from exploding, one might think that leading technocratic experts in both countries would be a force for calm rather than conflict. A new collection of essays dispels any such hope.

Review Essay,
Mar/Apr
2014
Jay M. Harris

A masterful new biography of Maimonides by Moshe Halbertal reveals why the medieval Jewish sage's work still matters: it represents a powerful bastion against the retreat from rationality.

Syndicate content