James Carroll

James Carroll, bestselling author of Constantine’s Sword, is a columnist for the Boston Globe and a Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence at Suffolk University in Boston. His newest book, Jerusalem, Jerusalem: How the Ancient City Ignited Our Modern World (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), has just been published.

Articles by this author

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012 - 2:52pm
A Bankrupt War Policy Takes Its Toll
President Obama last week addressed the growing problem of "green on blue" attacks in Afghanistan, in which members of Afghan security forces turn their guns on their Western partners. "We are concerned about this, from top to bottom," the president said. In the two weeks before he spoke, there were seven such attacks, killing nine Americans, and about 40 coalition troops have been killed by Afghan allies this year.
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Monday, July 25, 2011 - 7:38pm
As Stores Die, So Does Book Culture
THE LIQUIDATION of Borders Books, announced last week, is like the death of an unlikely friend - unlikely because Borders was itself implicated in the slow-motion degradation of the culture of the book.
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Monday, June 20, 2011 - 8:27am
A Solstice Approaches, Unnoticed
ONCE, HUMANS were intimate with the cycles of nature, and never more than on the summer solstice. Vestiges of such awareness survive in White Nights and Midnight Sun festivals in far northern climes, and in neo-pagan adaptations of Midsummer celebrations, but contemporary people take little notice of the sun reaching its far point on the horizon.
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Monday, May 23, 2011 - 9:10am
Amid Disaster, Community
Genesis says that after the flood of Noah, God promised “never again’’ to so wreak destruction on the earth. Try telling that to folks living in the nine states affected by the floods of the Mississippi. “It’s an act of God,’’ one woman told a reporter. But then, hinting at the wonder of this event, she added, “So who should I be angry at?’’ Blaming God opened a gate into a refusal to blame.
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Tuesday, May 17, 2011 - 7:13am
A Declaration of Empire
The House of Representatives is debating a new definition of America’s military mission in the world, replacing the mandate adopted immediately after 9/11.
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Monday, March 21, 2011 - 10:41am
Our Silent Spring
When Rachel Carson entitled her prescient 1962 book “Silent Spring,’’ she was imagining the dawning of the season without the sweet sounds of wildlife. She noted that, even then, in many parts of the United States, spring “comes unheralded by the return of birds, and the early mornings are strangely silent where once they were filled with the beauty of birdsong.’’ Carson’s book was heard as a resounding alarm, jumpstarting the contemporary environmental movement.
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Tuesday, March 8, 2011 - 11:12am
The Disappearance of the Nightmare Arab
Since 2001, Americans have been living with a nightmare Arab, a Muslim monster threatening us to the core, chilling our souls with the cry, “God is great!” Yet after two months of world-historic protest and rebellion in streets and squares across the Arab world, we are finally waking up to another reality: that this was our bad dream, significantly a creation of our own fevered imaginations.
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Monday, March 7, 2011 - 10:37am
Saving Our Young from Ourselves
In addressing the cadet corps at West Point last month, Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates unknowingly plucked the mystic chords of the Abraham-Isaac story in Genesis. A father is prepared to sacrifice his beloved son, but at the last moment his knife-wielding hand is stayed by a God who desires no such offering. Gates is Abraham, the cadets are Isaac, but the staying voice now is not God’s, but history’s.
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Monday, January 3, 2011 - 7:25am
Now the Rich Get Richer Quicker
The new year requires an inventory of the old. Mostly, this is an individual impulse, leading to resolutions and renewal. Such reckoning can seem an intensely private exercise. But what of a whole society? Can we assess the year just past with an eye on the entire land? Morally, how fares the United States of America?
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Monday, November 8, 2010 - 11:02am
The Prison Boom Comes Home to Roost
Will the fiscal collapse that has laid bare gross inequalities in the US economic system lead to meaningful reforms toward a more just society? One answer is suggested by the bursting of what might be called the “other housing bubble,’’ for these two years have also brought to crisis the three-decade-long frenzy of mass imprisonment. If there was a bailout for bankers, can there be one for inmates?
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