Evan Thomas

Stories by Evan Thomas

  • Obama Inauguration

    ‘I, Barack Obama’

    In Newsweek, Evan Thomas asks: For his second inauguration, can the president still reassure and inspire?
  • Brand X

    The Battle of Brand X

    The epic competition betweeen Newsweek and Time as told by two of the finest veterans of the weekly wars.
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    Obama Should Not Fall Prey to JFK's Blunders

    Appearances can deceive. We picture John F. Kennedy's inauguration, 50 years ago this month, through a warm haze of nostalgia and regret. How romantic it seems now, how far away, and how unlike our own dreary time. Washington must have been Camelot then, or so the mythmakers tell us, and so we wish to believe.
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    Why the Arizona Killings Won't Change Us

    For all its excesses, America is an extraordinarily stable country. The overlooked consolation of terrible, seemingly earth-shattering events like the slaughter in Tucson is that the country is not forever changed by lunatics with guns or even zealots flying airplanes into buildings.
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    What Obama Needs to Do

    Obama’s only real hope to be an effective president and secure his legacy: talk straight about the looming economic disaster facing the country.
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    A General Who Speaks His Mind (Even When He Shouldn't)

    Officers have been complaining about the politicians back in Washington for as long as anyone can remember, but they generally do it privately. But while Gen. Stanley McChrystal was foolish to be so unguarded around Rolling Stone, it’s better to have a commander who feels compelled to speak the truth than one who just tells his civilian bosses what they wish to hear.
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    Charter Schools Often Worse Than Public Schools

    Some 15 of NEWSWEEK’s top 100 public high schools are charter schools. Since charter schools amount to only about 4 percent of all public schools, that would seem to suggest that charter schools are a runaway success story, right?
  • Evan Thomas: Why We Love War

    The reasons and causes—territory, ideology, WMDs—may change with the times, but our lust for it is eternal.
  • 53 Hours: Faisal Shahzad's Near Disaster

    Frustrated sons of privilege, caught between East and West, sometimes make for dangerous militants. Mohamed Atta, the lead 9/11 hijacker, was the son of a Cairo lawyer and the grandson of a doctor. The so-called underwear bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, is the son of a wealthy Nigerian diplomat. Faisal Shahzad, too, appeared to be a fairly secularized, Westernized Pakistani. His father was once a high-ranking official in Pakistan’s Air Force, and Faisal had become a U.S. citizen. But unknown to many who knew him superficially, his life was riven by tensions that propelled him toward terrorism.
  • A Surge of Hate

    Antigovernment extremists are on the rise—and on the march.
  • How Obama Fights Terror

    Is he a lawyer too cautious in his approach to terror? Or is he a fighter who has failed to restore the rule of law? Yes.
  • How Sarah Palin Hurts the GOP And the Country

    Moderate Republicans—yes, they are not yet extinct, though most are in hiding—scoff at Sarah Palin and wish she would go away. But she's not going away. This week she's going on-air with Barbara Walters and Oprah Winfrey to flog her new book, Going Rogue: An American Life, and to promote her brand of in-your-face, power-to-the-people conservatism. President Obama is no doubt happy to have her out there on full display. He cannot help but relish the prospect, no longer farfetched, that the Republicans will nominate Palin to oppose his reelection in 2012. A student of history, Obama could be thinking of his predecessor in presidential coolness, John F. Kennedy. In 1963 Kennedy's advisers counseled against giving Sen. Barry Goldwater national stature by posing with the GOP's conservative insurgent at a White House photo op. "What are you giving that SOB all that publicity for?" demanded White House aide Kenny O'Donnell. "Leave him alone," JFK replied. "He's mine." (Article continued...
  • Kennedy Succeeded by Showing Up and Working Hard

    Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate sometimes liked to raise money by invoking Teddy Kennedy as a caricature of big, fat, out-of-control liberalism. Kennedy was not particularly bothered by these attacks; indeed he joked about them. He could afford to, because he knew that if a Republican senator wanted to get a law passed, sooner or later he or she would be in the office of Senator Kennedy, asking for help. For several decades, not much got accomplished in Congress without Edward Kennedy's active support.Kennedy was the second coming of Daniel Webster not because he was a terrific speechmaker. His greatest flights of oratory, like his "Dream Shall Never Die" speech at the Democratic National Convention in 1980, were written by someone else and actually out of character. A funny and salty storyteller in private, Kennedy was often bombastic or inarticulate in public. Nor was Kennedy a visionary. For years, he propped up Democratic interest groups whose thinking hadn't evolved...

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