Wall Street, Rhodes Scholars, and the Soul of the University

Last Saturday the 2010 Rhodes scholars were announced and a full five Harvard students were among them (along with two Yale students and one Princeton student…but, really, who’s counting?) On the same day, Elliot Gerson, the American secretary of the Rhodes Trust, published an op-ed in the Washington Post, pointing out that more and more … Read more

Fall 2009

Fog of War Volume 36, Number 3, Fall 2009 Letter from the Editor Front Section Bursting at the Seams IAN MERRIFIELD Drug incarcerations, prison overcrowding, and community corrections Escaping the Poppy Field IVANA DJAK, NEIL PATEL American anti-opium efforts in Afghanistan The Source of the Problem ANGELA PRIMBAS Confronting prescription drug abuse Decriminalization in Massachusetts … Read more

The Taboo Solution

The silenced economics of legalization In 1998, the satirical newspaper The Onion boldly declared “Drugs Win Drug War.” Satire aside, the headline embodied the increasingly prevalent view that America’s War on Drugs is unwinnable, and that it has been ineffective at best, and counterproductive at worst. Still, the dominant view in American politics is that prohibited … Read more

The Source of the Problem

Confronting prescription drug abuse Prescription drug abuse is perhaps the most overlooked addiction problem in America today. According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, prescription painkillers now rank as the nation’s second-most popular drug, behind marijuana. Nonetheless, prescription drug abuse does not garner nearly as much public attention as drugs like cocaine or … Read more

The Fed and the Crisis of 2007

In Fed We Trust, by David Wessel, Crown Business, 2009. $26.99, 336 pgs. Screenwriters take note: this economic crisis will provide material for decades to come. The story of Ben Bernanke, the soft-spoken economist with humble roots in small-town South Carolina, is on its own the stuff of cinema. Bernanke, a Depression scholar, capped a … Read more

Republic, Refreshed

Cass Sunstein meets the Internet Republic.com 2.0, by Cass Sunstein, Princeton University Press, 2009. $19.95. 272 pgs. From Hamilton to Hofstadter, America’s observers have long labeled it a society reinforced by healthy debate. Harvard Law’s Cass Sunstein’s latest work, the awkwardly-titled Republic.com 2.0, offers a vision at odds with this optimistic tradition. Sunstein sees new … Read more

Reassessing Plan Colombia

Turning from the coca fields to the cocaine market While anti-drug policy rarely makes headlines in American politics today, the issue dominates politics in Colombia. The South American country is a hotbed for cultivation of the coca plant, the key ingredient in cocaine production. As of 2007, the Office of National Drug Policy reported that … Read more

Quelling Qualms

A look at marijuana decriminalization in Massachusetts On Nov. 4, 2008, Massachusetts became the twelfth state to decriminalize possession of less than an ounce of marijuana. Known as the Massachusetts Sensible Marijuana Policy Initiative, Proposition 2 was passed by a sweeping 65-35 margin, a more decisive showing than even Barack Obama in the famously blue … Read more

Love Thy Neighbor’s God

How religions learned to get along The Evolution of God, by Robert Wright, Little, Brown, and Company, 2009. $25.99, 576 pgs. When does God command holy war, and when is he a peacemaker? Robert Wright proposes an answer in The Evolution of God, tracing God’s propensity for intolerance and tolerance through a sweeping history of … Read more

Light Rail Policy Picks Up Speed

Governor Michael Dukakis on the politics and potential growth of high speed rail public transportation Former governor of Massachusetts, Michael Dukakis, is currently a Distinguished Professor of political science at Northeastern University. He is an advocate of innovations in public transportation and spoke recently with the HPR on this topic. HPR: In December, President Obama … Read more