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, October 15, 2007
Religion and Nation
One of my proudest boasts as a schoolboy was an ability to both identify and spell what my teacher insisted was the English language's longest word: antidisestablishmentarianism. I had, of course, no idea what it meant. Now I know that it defines the political third rail onto which John McCain threw himself when he recently said that the United States was established as a "Christian nation."
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Monday, October 08, 2007
A Troubling Turn in American History
If Columbus is the beginning of the story, and, say, Lincoln is the middle, what is the end? Each episode of the American narrative surfaced a problem, which prompted attempts to resolve it, which led in turn to a new problem. This movement from problem to resolution to new problem and ever new efforts to fix things is what makes the American story great. So Columbus arrived in 1492, but carried the European virus of ideological absolutism - what led Queen Isabella to expel Jews from Spain that same year.
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Monday, October 01, 2007
History and the Drumbeat of War
If you Google "war Iran," you will come up with more than 90 million results. The blogosphere is full of alarms about US intentions toward Iran. Newsweek said last week that Vice President Cheney has been looking to provoke an Israeli assault against Iranian nuclear facilities that would draw Iranian reactions, sparking a "justifiable" American attack. At the United Nations, meanwhile, President Nicolas Sarkozy of France seemed to second his foreign minister's recent warning that an unchecked Iranian nuclear program will lead to war.
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Monday, September 24, 2007
N.Y. Site Transcends Boundaries
So Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is forbidden by the United States to visit Ground Zero. Iran's president is to address the United Nations tomorrow, and while in New York, he had hoped to go to the World Trade Center site, as so many visitors do. New York authorities, together with the US State Department, said no. The prohibition was seconded by Hillary Clinton - she called the idea "unacceptable" - and by Rudy Giuliani, who blasted Ahmadinejad for his "threats against America and Israel."
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Monday, September 10, 2007
Forever The Victims
Talk about bad timing. It is unfortunate that the much-anticipated September accounting of "progress" in Iraq, centered on this week's congressional testimony by General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker, overlaps with the sixth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. American ears still ring from the blow we took on that crisp morning, and whenever the images of smoldering New York reappear on screens, the worst aspects of the trauma reassert themselves. The enormous injustice of that day comes back, and with it an unsatisfied longing for recompense.
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Monday, September 03, 2007
Labor's Failure
Labor Day can seem like a holiday that belongs to another era. That is not because the trade union movement is no longer relevant, nor does the impulse to honor work and workers ever lose its importance. But the word "labor" once defined an entire culture, with its "names, battle slogans, and costumes," in Karl Marx's phrase. Where did it go?
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Monday, August 27, 2007
Outsourcing Intelligence
The ways in which the Bush war has degraded the structures and culture of Iraq are obvious. Less so are its insidious effects on the United States, but President Bush is similarly destroying something essential to our own democracy. A signal of that was sounded last week when The Washington Post reported that the Defense Intelligence Agency is transferring "core intelligence tasks of analysis and collection" to private contractors -- up to a billion dollars worth.
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Monday, August 20, 2007
Questions for Hillary Clinton
The largest surprise in Senator Hillary Clinton's campaign for president, so far, is her success in establishing herself as a viable commander-in-chief.
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Monday, August 06, 2007
American Disconnection
As a child of 10 or 12, I could tell when the height of summer had arrived by the certain feeling that came over me. Even though I was part of a large, happy family, my main source of connectedness from an early age was school, and in summer I hardly ever saw the kids who, throughout the rest of the year, defined my life. I had chums in the neighborhood, with whom I played ball or crashed through the woods, but it was not the same.
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Tuesday, July 31, 2007
The Peril of Valuing Celebrity Over History
As we entered the stately house in the tony suburb of New York, we commented on what an impressive place it was. Our host looked around with satisfaction. He had a lot of new money, and had only recently acquired the place. It had a slightly Moorish feel, more west coast than east. "Yes, plus the house has history," he said. "It used to belong to Upton Sinclair." As his gaze moved across the high space of the foyer, he added absently, "Or Sinclair Lewis. One of them." His shrug said "What's the dif?"
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