James Carroll

James Carroll

James Carroll a 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: God, My Father, and the War That Came Between Us," won the National Book Award. His forthcoming book (2021) is "The Truth at the Heart of the Lie: How the Catholic Church Lost Its Soul." 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, 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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Monday, July 23, 2007
Waking Nightmare
Last night I had the strangest dream. Its soundtrack was the ticking of a kitchen timer. Suddenly, the timer sounded, which was my signal to take a large pot out of the oven. The roast of beef was finished cooking. But before I could remove the cut of meat, a live, foot-long fish leaped out of the pot instead, flopping to the floor.
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Monday, July 09, 2007
A New Declaration of Liberty
The holidays of July Fourth and July 14th are linked by the philosophical and chronological affinities between the American Declaration of Independence and the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. That the grand ideals of the French and American revolutions were only partially realized takes nothing away from their importance as milestones on the march toward a better world.
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Monday, July 02, 2007
CIA's Darkest Secret
Every so often, the front page trumpets ethical and legal lapses committed by US intelligence agencies. In Iraq, they have run the gamut from pre war falsification of weapons data to surveillance of American citizens to kidnapping to torture of prisoners. During the Cold War, it was "black operations" that included staging coups, assassinating foreign leaders, infiltrating American organizations, conspiring with Mafia groups, spying on journalists -- perhaps even murder.
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Monday, June 18, 2007
War's Sacred Toll
Last week, explosions once again tore through the great Askariya mosque in Samarra, one of the Shi'ite faith's most revered shrines. Its massive golden dome had been destroyed by bombs last year, and now its proud golden minarets are gone. Dozens of mosques, Sunni as well as Shi'ite, have been targeted in the sectarian violence. These deliberate provocations initiate cycles of attack and revenge, aiming at a broader collapse of moral order that will finally drive the American occupiers out of Iraq, fully discrediting those who embraced them.
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