Evan Thomas

Dickey: Halberstam's Lessons About Quagmires

In the early 1980s, inspired partly by "The Best and the Brightest," David Halberstam's book on how the East Coast foreign policy establishment got America into the Vietnam War, my colleague Walter Isaacson and I (back when we both worked at Time magazine) embarked on what we hoped would be a kind of prequel—a book called "The Wise Men" about the rise of the establishment after World War II.

Ties Of Blood And History

The last time the United States and Britain threatened to go to war against each other was in 1895. As European powers raced to expand their empires, Britain coveted a mineral-rich slice of Venezuela along the border of its colony British Guiana.

Spycraft as Thespianage

Moral ambiguity is the none-too-subtle point of two new movies about the creation of Pax Americana after World War II. In "The Good German," an antihero war correspondent (played by George Clooney) is caught up in a tangle of lies as the Americans cover up the war crimes of a Nazi rocket scientist.

Decline and Fall

This is how a revolution ends. Not with a bang, or a "thumping," as President George W. Bush called the 2006 Republican defeat at the polls, but with a misdirected phone call and a certain sinking feeling that even the most well-intentioned politicians can grow weary of rectitude and sell out their principles for the right price.The scene happened almost 10 years ago, when the GOP revolution in the House of Representatives was still fresh, less than three years after Newt Gingrich and his...

Dead In the Water

During the Second World War, it was very unusual to be standing on the deck of an American warship and actually see a Japanese vessel. Most sea battles in the Pacific War were fought at night or from great distances--by carrier-based planes flying many miles from their ships.

Transition

BUCK O'NEIL, 94 He missed the Hall of Fame by one vote, but Buck O'Neil won't be forgotten. The Negro League star and major-league coach and scout found celebrity at 82 in Ken Burns's "Baseball" documentary, and spent the last years of his life as chairman of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Mo. "I truly believe I have been blessed," said the man who saw so much wrong.

Stopping the Census Clock

At 11:03 on the morning of Nov. 20, 1967, a giant "census clock" in the U.S. Department of Commerce building in Washington marked the moment when the population of the United States reached the 200-million mark.

The Woodward War

Another book, another political blow. How the Bush team is handling the rain of bad news on Iraq, and what it means for Secretary Rumsfeld's future.

Transition: Ann Richards, 73

An ardent feminist who could make the most unrepentant male chauvinist laugh out loud, Richards seized the national stage with her keynote address to the 1988 Democratic convention. "Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did," she drawled. "She just did it backwards in high heels." With perfect timing, she skewered the GOP nominee, then Vice President George H.W.

'24' Versus the Real World

It's probably not too farfetched to say that what most Americans know about torture comes from watching the TV show "24." (There is even a Web site called The Jack Bauer Torture Report.) Jack and his comrades and enemies have at various moments on the Fox television program used electrical wires, heart defibrillators, old-fashioned bone breaking and chemical injections to wrest information from their captives.

Bold. But Risky.

Harvard's decision to end early admissions has created an interesting dilemma—and a tempting opportunity—for its rival schools. Students admitted to Harvard as well as another school tend to choose Harvard in overwhelming numbers.

Reading Lessons

According to the White House, President Bush has read more than 60 books in the last year. This is a remarkable accomplishment, even if his motivation was competitive.

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