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 19, 2007
The Many Forms of Fundamentalism
Nearly a decade and a half ago, this condemnation of fundamentalism was issued: "The fundamentalist approach is dangerous, for it is attractive to people who look to the Bible for ready answers to the problems of life . . . instead of telling them that the Bible does not necessarily contain an immediate answer to each and every problem. . . . Fundamentalism actually invites people to a kind of intellectual suicide.
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Monday, March 12, 2007
60 Years of Faulty Logic
SIXTY YEARS AGO today, Harry Truman went before a joint session of Congress to announce what became known as the Truman Doctrine. "At the present moment in world history, nearly every nation must choose between alternative ways of life." With that, an era of bipolarity was inaugurated, dividing the world between forces of good and evil.
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Monday, March 05, 2007
Candidates' Stories Tell Us What We've Become
IN ANNOUNCING his candidacy for president on David Letterman's show last week, John McCain used the word "wasted" in reference to American lives lost in Iraq. The next day, apologizing profusely, he said he should have used the word "sacrifice." McCain was doing more than avoiding the pit into which John F. Kerry fell with the "botched joke" that seemed to disrespect the troops.
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Monday, February 26, 2007
Discourse in the Middle East
Each year, Jews, Christians, and Muslims come to this city to join in speaking of peace. This is the 20th annual theological conference at the Shalom Hartman Institute. Year by year, however, peace seems increasingly impossible, which chastens us because religion adds more to the problem than to the solution.
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Monday, February 19, 2007
The Irony of Romping Monday and Fat Tuesday
Today is Rose Monday. In parts of Germany, the pre-Lenten carnival is in full swing. "Rose" is said to derive from a word meaning romp, and that is what thousands of revelers do, taking to the streets of cities, especially, along the Rhine. Noise, kissing of strangers, public drunkenness, mocking of gender roles, wearing of masks, breaking of rules -- anything goes.
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Monday, February 05, 2007
Retirement Syndrome
Four years ago today, then Secretary of State Colin Powell testified before the UN Security Council on the absolute necessity of going to war against Saddam Hussein. What followed is history. That testimony will define the bleak legacy of Colin Powell, but lately he has marked his distance from the war that his testimony both justified and enabled.
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Monday, January 29, 2007
Deathtrap
"Who the hell is shooting at us?" a US soldier yelled last week. His platoon was in a strife-torn part of Baghdad, teamed with an Iraqi Army unit. Gunfire was coming from all directions. "Who's shooting at us? Do we know who they are?"
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Monday, January 22, 2007
Sigh for America
"The Pass of the Moor's Sigh" is the place on the outskirts of a city in Spain where its last Moorish ruler, upon being expelled from Iberia, stopped to weep. His companion rebuked him, as the writer Robert Grudin recounts , for waiting until all was lost to express his feeling. Why did he not manifest his devotion to his realm before, when a different outcome was still possible?
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Monday, January 15, 2007
An Unrealized Dream of Justice
The memory of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. has never had more urgent relevance than it does today. America is at a crossroads moment, much as it was when he was murdered. Five days ago, President Bush marked the boundaries of the national crossroads by escalating the war in Iraq and recommitting himself to "victory." Five days before King's death in Memphis, Lyndon Johnson gave an equivalent speech to the nation, although with an opposite purpose. The date was March 31, 1968.
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Monday, January 08, 2007
The Lynching of Iraq
The hanging of Saddam Hussein Dec. 30 offered a view into the grotesque reality of what America has sponsored in Iraq, and what Americans saw should inform their response to President Bush's escalation of the war. The deposed tyrant was mercilessly taunted. As he stood on the threshold of the afterlife and was told to go to hell, the world witnessed a chilling elevation of the ancient curse, making an absolute villain an object of pity.
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