The World Order That Donald Trump Revealed

To Donald Trump’s critics, four years of posturing has left him exposed for all the world to see. The president hasn’t made America great again, they argue; he has made it weaker than it’s ever been: disrespected, ridiculed, and now even pitied, as it struggles to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic. He has failed to […]

The Great British Humbling

“The cretinous stupidity of it!” snaps the tragic hero in Joseph Roth’s The Radetzky March as he faces up to his likely death in a duel over his wife’s honor. He did not want the fight and no longer loves his wife anyway, but the “stupid, steely law” of honor that bound his cavalry regiment […]

How the Pandemic Revealed Britain’s National Illness

Faced with the coronavirus pandemic, Britain’s leaders asked their people to do three things, captured in one pithy slogan: “Stay home. Protect the NHS. Save lives.” On the first of those edicts, Britons largely followed through. Main streets, town centers, and public spaces were mostly abandoned, and the government pulled together a far-reaching job-protection program, […]

The Decline of the American World

“He hated America very deeply,” John le Carré wrote of his fictional Soviet mole, Bill Haydon, in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Haydon had just been unmasked as a double agent at the heart of Britain’s secret service, one whose treachery was motivated by animus, not so much to England but to America. “It’s an aesthetic […]