James Carroll

James Carroll

James Carroll, a TomDispatch regular and former Boston Globe columnist, is the author of 20 books, including the new novel The Cloister (Doubleday). Among other works are: House of War: The Pentagon and the Disastrous Rise of American Power and Christ Actually: The Son of God for the Secular Age. His memoir, An American Requiem, won the National Book Award. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He lives in Boston with his wife, the writer Alexandra Marshall.

 

Articles by this author

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Monday, June 20, 2011
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
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
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
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 08, 2011
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 07, 2011
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 03, 2011
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 08, 2010
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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Monday, June 28, 2010
A Nation Under Post-Traumatic Stress
It belongs to every citizen to have in mind what the nation’s present wars are doing — not only to US troops, Iraqis and Afghans, and the faceless enemy, but to the American character. We have come to understand that the brutalities of combat can shatter participants psychologically as well as physically.
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Gen. David H. Petraeus was before the Senate Armed Services Committee when he collapsed; he later said he was dehydrated. Views
Monday, June 21, 2010
On the Verge of Collapse
‘IT WASN'T Sen. McCain's question,'' General David Petraeus said. "I just got dehydrated.'' The head of US Central Command was accounting for the fact that, moments before, while testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee, he had briefly passed out. Senator McCain's undisguised skepticism about what he was hearing of the American war in Afghanistan was not the problem. It was explained that Petraeus had not had breakfast.
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