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Section: The Atlantic (USA)

    Understanding Stalin
    Oct15

    Understanding Stalin

    How did Stalin become Stalin? Or, to put it more precisely: How did Iosif Vissarionovich Djugashvili—the grandson of serfs, the son of a washerwoman and a semiliterate cobbler—become Generalissimo Stalin, one of the most brutal mass murderers the world has ever known? How did a boy born in an obscure Georgian hill town become a dictator who...

    China’s Dangerous Game
    Oct13

    China’s Dangerous Game

    In the tranquil harbors that dot the coastline of Palawan, a sword-shaped island in the western Philippines, the ferry boats are crowded with commuters traveling back and forth between sleepy townships, and with vendors bearing fresh produce. On Sundays, they fill with people dressed up for church. From nearby berths, fishermen set out to sea for...

    The Micromanager in Chief
    Oct09

    The Micromanager in Chief

    Throughout 2012, as signs mounted that militants in Syria were growing stronger, the debate in the White House followed a pattern. In meeting after meeting, as officials from agencies outside the executive residence advocated arming pro-Western rebels or other forms of action, President Barack Obama’s closest White House aides bluntly...

    A Hollow Ukrainian Ceasefire
    Oct08

    A Hollow Ukrainian Ceasefire

    On Tuesday, the United Nations reported that at least 331 people have died in eastern Ukraine since a ceasefire between the Ukrainian government in Kiev and the armed separatists was signed in early September. There are plenty of ways to look at this figure: Reuters went with the rate of 10 people per day. Placed alongside the 3,660 reported...

    Peacemaker Putin?
    Oct08

    Peacemaker Putin?

    Walking down East 20th street in the Gramercy neighborhood of New York City, you may pass a tile shop or two, a delicious Thai restaurant, and starting today, a pop-up shop dedicated to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Julius Kacinskis, Emily Anne Epstein/The AtlanticThe “Peacemaker” store and brand is the brainchild of Julius...

    Let’s Take a Look at Vladimir Putin’s Birthday Gifts
    Oct08

    Let’s Take a Look at Vladimir Putin’s Birthday Gifts

    Today is Russian President Vladimir Putin’s 62nd birthday. He chose to make it a low-key affair: Putin spent the day in remote Siberia, about 200 miles away from the nearest town. His spokesperson said the president was planning to “rest” and wouldn’t disclose who, if anyone, was invited to the quiet birthday party. Across...

    The Americans Who Inspired Hong Kong’s Protesters
    Oct03

    The Americans Who Inspired Hong Kong’s Protesters

    Last week at the United Nations, after condemning Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and ISIS’s barbarism in the Middle East, Barack Obama acknowledged what, for non-Americans, is usually the elephant in the room: the morality of American behavior itself. “I realize that America’s critics will be quick to point out that at times we...

    An Unhappy Anniversary to the Government Shutdown and Healthcare.gov
    Oct01

    An Unhappy Anniversary to the Government Shutdown and Healthcare.gov

    Democrats and Republicans are each shouting “Happy anniversary!” on Wednesday, but being true to form, they are commemorating different milestones. The start of October marks one year since the federal government shut its doors amid a partisan budget fight, a damaging political misstep for Republicans that Democrats hoped would hand...

    Which Deaths Matter?
    Sep29

    Which Deaths Matter?

    The past several months have been scarred by international crisis and turmoil, from strife in Gaza to the downing of Flight MH17 and the gruesome murders of the American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff. News is so grim that The Washington Post recently published an accounting of what it called “the hideous carnage wreaked” between June...

    Stronger Than Democracy
    Sep26

    Stronger Than Democracy

    Last week, the world’s most globe-spanning empire until the mid-20th century let its fate be decided by 3.6 million voters in Scotland. While Great Britain narrowly salvaged its nominal unity, the episode offered an important reminder: The 21st century’s strongest political force is not democracy but devolution. Before the vote was...

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