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

Views
Monday, October 06, 2008
Making Some Sense of $700b
How much is 700 billion? The mind registers the number with such imprecision as to make it meaningless. One blogger proposed this way of grasping the figure: As a stack of $100 bills, it would reach 54 miles high. But who can imagine that? On the other hand, someone at the Smithsonian once calculated that counting to one billion, at the rate of one digit per second, would take 30 years. By that scale, counting to 700 billion would take 21,000 years.
Read more
Views
Monday, June 30, 2008
A Blind Eye on Soldiers' Suicides
"Support the troops" is an American lie. This nation is grievously and knowingly failing the young men and women who wear the uniform of its military services, and nothing demonstrates that more powerfully than the suicides of soldiers. According to the Army's own figures, the rate of suicide among active duty personnel nearly doubled between 2001 and 2006. The number then grew even higher in 2007, when suicide ranked third as the cause of death among members of the National Guard.
Read more
Views
Monday, June 23, 2008
If Poison Gas Can Go, Why Not Nukes?
Nuclear abolition is for dreamers. That is the "realist" assessment of the ever-slowing movement to eliminate nuclear weapons from the planet. Despite treaty obligations to the contrary, US planners take for granted the permanent legitimacy of the nuclear arsenal, and, therefore, the necessity of enhancing it with next-generation weapons. This assumption undergirds the determination of other nations either to maintain their nukes, or, if they have none, to acquire them. Here is what keeps the Iran crisis simmering, and ignites future crises with other nuclear wannabes.
Read more
Views
Monday, June 02, 2008
The War-Hero President and the Pacifist
'I may not be able to see you," the partially blind, stroke-impaired Ted Sorensen told a crowd at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston last week, "but I have more vision than the president of the United States." Over 1,000 people gathered to hear JFK's speechwriter discuss his new book, "Counselor: A Life at the Edge of History." Those who expected a satisfying draught of the old Kennedy mystique were not disappointed.
Read more
Views
Monday, May 26, 2008
Guantanamo's Day In Court
TOMORROW a number of the detainees held at Guantanamo Bay will finally get their day in court - although, alas, not literally. Thirty-five Americans who were arrested at the US Supreme Court last January during a demonstration protesting the illegal detention center will go on trial in Washington. They are charged with "causing a harangue." Instead of entering their own names, each defendant will enter the name of a prisoner held at Guantanamo. Father Bill Pickard, a Catholic priest from Pennsylvania, will identify himself as Faruq Ali Ahmed.
Read more
Views
Monday, May 12, 2008
Preventing an Arms Race in Outer Space
As World War I broke out, Henry James identified an inexorable current that had been running below international events, leading to the "monstrous scene" of August "as its grand Niagara." Below the glassy upriver surface, the swift tide had been driven by habits of mind, arms merchant greed, imperial hubris, and a politics that was wholly inadequate. At the deadly cascade, nations tumbled into the most violent century in history. Writer Jonathan Schell cites the Niagara metaphor to define the still running momentum of war.
Read more
Views
Monday, May 05, 2008
The New Immorality of Iraq War
Insanity is defined as repeating one mistaken action again and again, each time expecting a better result that never comes. Prime example: the United States in Iraq. Washington perceived a weapons of mass destruction threat from Saddam Hussein, but instead of responding with diplomacy -- internationally coordinated weapons inspections -- it went to war. When Saddam Hussein was toppled, the initiative should have passed from the Pentagon to a State Department-led program of stabilization and reconstruction, but instead a crudely violent military occupation was begun.
Read more
Views
Monday, April 28, 2008
Hunger Affects Us All
Of all the marks of difference that separate humans, none is so drastic as hunger. Not only does the physical sensation of being famished set a person off from those who are sated, but the well-fed are hard put even to imagine the desperation that goes with an empty stomach. Among the relatively well-off, hunger is like a vague rumor, having little more substance than the report of bad weather in a distant part of the globe.
Read more
Views
Monday, April 07, 2008
Paranoia Backed by Just Cause
When the United States pushes a missile defense system on Europe, locating critical elements in Poland and the Czech Republic, Moscow refuses to believe that Iran is the target. Russian complaints are dismissed as unfounded. When NATO expansion continues not only to Russia's border, but - if the Bush administration gets its way - into integral states of the former Soviet Union, Moscow's warnings of a new Cold War are taken to be slightly crazy.
Read more
Views
Monday, March 31, 2008
Forty Years After Vietnam, a Reckoning
Anthropologists speak of "foundational" violence, acts that establish a broad milieu of destruction and discord. Forty years ago, America was in the grip of the foundational violence of its war against Vietnam, which, while killing thousands in Southeast Asia, was causing massive divisions in the United States, divisions that were increasingly violent. There was no separating that distant war from the broad social, political, and racial discord that made 1968 America's annus terribilis.
Read more

Pages