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Learning the Great River
Mark Twain recalls his adventures—and misadventures—in learning to be a pilot on the Mississippi.
Putting America on Wheels
Reflecting on his success, the hero of mass production talks about his refusal to conduct business ...
Ashes of Soldiers
Walt Whitman’s record of ministering to young wounded soldiers offers one of the tenderest accounts of ...
The Solitude of Self
A champion of women's rights and the intellectual powerhouse of the woman's movement distills her most ...
The Color Line
Four essays, provocative and often poetic, about the black experience in America and the quest for ...
How the 1956 Hungarian Revolution offers a textbook portrait of an uprising against autocratic power.
The Federalist papers, first published in 1787–88, remain a brilliant analysis of the fundamental principles of ...
The Story of a Photograph
The story behind Walker Evans’s iconic photograph of Ellie Mae ...
Rethinking National Security
An Outmoded Concept Is Sapping America's Strength
by John Prados
In addition to its involvement in three major wars since the fall of the Soviet Union, the United States now spends far more on its military than any other nation. In a time of severe economic constraints that linger from the Great Recession, some policymakers question whether Washington can continue to act as the world’s policeman at the expense of mounting domestic problems.
In this trenchant analysis, the distinguished national security historian John Prados calls for a total rethinking of our concept of national security.
As we now view it, Prados says, it has become so expansive as to include almost any threat. We need to rein in “national security” and make hard decisions about existential and marginal dangers to the United States. If we don’t, he concludes, we will find ourselves in a death spiral as a nation, committing ever-increasing portions of our treasure in a vain attempt to achieve perfect security.
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