Monthly Archives: February 2004

Helen Vendler

Facebook0 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 0Because she’s one of my favorite critics, I just read Vendler’s new book, Coming of Age as a Poet (Harvard, 2003). It’s a study of the first mature and fully successful verse of four major poets: Milton, … Continue reading

Posted in fine arts | Leave a comment

“social capital”: political and apolitical

Facebook0 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 0Robert Putnam is mainly famous for reviving the concept of “social capital.” As he measures it, social capital is the aggregate of certain habits and attitudes that individuals possess–especially trust for other people and membership in groups. … Continue reading

Posted in philosophy | Leave a comment

the press and respect (Part II)

Facebook0 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 0If reporters showed more respect for democratic institutions (see yesterday’s post), they might also think about “balance” in a different way. Journalistic “balance” usually means quoting an equal number of people on both sides of an issue–an … Continue reading

Posted in press criticism | Leave a comment

the press and respect for democracy

Facebook0 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 0Jay Rosen has posted a brilliant and comprehensive essay about the poverty of political coverage in America. He ends with a long list of proposals for different attitudes and methods that reporters might adopt. Along similar lines, … Continue reading

Posted in press criticism | 2 Comments

Ralph Nader, 1934-2000

Facebook0 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 0Ralph Nader was a major figure. Along with John Gardner, the founder of Common Cause, he was one of the leaders in a reform movement that reached its apogee around 1974. It was in many ways a … Continue reading

Posted in revitalizing the left | Leave a comment

Lord Mayor Peter Levine

Facebook0 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 0I admit it–I “ego-surf” now and then. Searching for my own name last week, I discovered that the Lord Mayor of London is none other than Peter Levine. This eminent person (no relation) gave a speech in … Continue reading

Posted in memoir | 2 Comments

Brett Cook-Dizney: political artist

Facebook0 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 0I heard a great presentation this morning by Brett Cook Dizney, a muralist/activist/hip-hop artist/teacher. He tells wonderful stories about his own “non-permissional” art works, like the time he erected big (illegal) murals of the police officers who … Continue reading

Posted in fine arts | Leave a comment

a free novel on this site

Facebook0 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 0In 1995, I published a mystery with St. Martin’s Press, entitled Something to Hide. I then wrote another novel, a thriller called Tongues of Fire. I accumulated some flattering letters from publishers, but no contract offers for … Continue reading

Posted in verse and worse | 4 Comments

deliberation book

Facebook0 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 0John Gastil of the University of Washington and I are co-editing a book on deliberative processes. We have the chapter authors lined up and are about to sign a contract. Each chapter will describe a concrete experiment … Continue reading

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youth voting, from various angles

Facebook0 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 0The most interesting reading on this blog today are the comments and the link that others have contributed in response to my post on Howard Dean. (See yesterday.) On a similar topic: I spoke this morning to … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment