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, March 03, 2008
Torture Shocks
A piece of legislation sits on the desk of President Bush today, awaiting his signature. Every expectation is that he will veto it. Another mistake.
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Monday, February 04, 2008
JFK's Torch for Obama
When Senator Edward M. Kennedy and members of his family endorsed Barack Obama in Washington last week, the real meaning of that torch-passing was defined by where it occurred.
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Monday, January 28, 2008
Our One-Way Trip to Disaster
You and everyone you love are riding on a large bus. The bus driver, unskilled and careless, drives too fast, ignores traffic signals, and barrels off the road occasionally. Because the bus is huge, other vehicles swerve to get out of its way, with cars crashing repeatedly. But your driver just keeps going, leaving carnage in his wake. Naturally, you are terrified - but your reactions are irrelevant.
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Monday, January 07, 2008
Obama and the Ghosts of Racism
"They said this day would never come," Barack Obama declared in Iowa last week, and the ghosts of this nation nodded. With an African-American competing seriously for the presidency of the United States, the last act of a centuries-old drama begins. Obama's blood tie to the story of American slavery, ironically, comes through his white mother's ancestry, which apparently includes both slave owners and those who fought for the Union to end slavery.
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Monday, December 17, 2007
The Politics of Religion in America
What in the name of God is going on in American politics? Mitt Romney's "Faith in America" speech, riddled with mistaken assertions about religion, was itself a warning. But other presidential candidates, debate moderators, pundits, and religious leaders all share a dangerous confusion about questions of faith and citizenship. Here are only a few: Is America's goodness grounded in God? When Romney and others assert that American virtues, generally summed up in the idea of "freedom," are based on faith, a cruel fact of history is being ignored.
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Monday, December 10, 2007
The US: All Power, No Influence
A man bit a dog last week. Not just any man, and not just any dog. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates decried the vast disproportion between America's annual investment in the Pentagon - something like $700 billion - and what is spent on the State Department - about $35 billion. That's less, Gates said in a speech in Kansas, than the Defense Department spends on healthcare. The total number of foreign service officers is about 6,600 - which is less, Gates said, than the number of military personnel serving on one aircraft carrier strike group.
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Monday, November 12, 2007
Primitive Impulses of War
The interplay of religion and violence is considered by some a mark only of primitive culture. When the jihadist cries "God is Great" before detonating his explosive vest, or when, conversely, the Crusades are invoked to justify assault on radical Islam, secular critics can indulge a satisfying sense of superiority over believers, clinging to holy war.
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Tuesday, November 06, 2007
For Turkey, the War Is Real
Here in Turkey, Condoleezza Rice offered sage advice to Turkish leaders ahead of the Washington meeting between President Bush and Prime Minister Recep Tayip Erdogan. "Effective action means action that can deal with the threat," she said Friday, but won't "make the situation worse." The Turkish military, with a deployed force of up to 100,000 soldiers, is poised to attack positions of militant Kurdish separatist fighters in the Kandil Mountains of northern Iraq.
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Monday, October 29, 2007
Giuliani's Iron Fist
Could the United States actually elect as president a Yankee fan who has been rooting for the Red Sox? A father whose own children would boycott his inauguration? A husband whose first wife was his cousin and whose current wife can't remember how many times she married? Could the United States, for that matter, elect a cross-dresser? The Rudy Giuliani surge would be comic if its broader implications were not so grave.
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Monday, October 22, 2007
Forgotten Faces of War
One news story from Afghanistan last week told of two tragedies. In Paktika Province a young man, whose chest was wrapped with an explosive vest, was en route to the place where he would detonate himself. But then, he saw people at prayer in a mosque, and he changed his mind. He went to the police. He began removing his explosive vest, but it went off. He alone was killed. In Uruzgan Province, a young man, recently home from Pakistan where he had attended a religious school, announced a similar intention to his family. He was going to kill the enemy by killing himself.
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