The New York Sun, July 2004
IN THE COMING election, an unusually talented politician is likely to unseat his rival, restore international respect for a great nation that in recent years has seen its reputation stained, and rebuild America’s relationship with its European allies.
Fortunately for us all, that election is not the American election and that politician is not Senator Kerry. The election is the November contest for the leadership of France’s Union for a Popular Movement, or UMP, and the politician is Nicolas Sarkozy, France’s agile, conservative finance minister.
Continue reading Sarkozy’s Rise
Azure, September 2004
BORN IN MARSEILLE in 1924, French philosopher and essayist Jean-Francois Revel has led a quintessentially French intellectual life: A graduate of the Ecole Normale and a member of the Resistance, he began his career in the French cabinet, serving in the undersecretary’s Department of Arts and Letters. Thereafter he became a distinguished professor and lecturer at a series of elite French universities, abandoning teaching in the 1960s to edit the influential weekly L’Express. After a prolific writing career attacking sterile academism and defending Western democracies — his books include the best-selling The Totalitarian Temptation (1977) and How Democracies Perish (1984) — he was elected in 1997 to the French Academy. He is one of France’s best-known pundits, with a schedule of travel and television appearances that would exhaust a younger man.
Continue reading Revel’s Cause
Weekly Standard, January 27, 2003
ON DECEMBER 16, 2002, as a routine meeting of the Conseil d’Administration of Paris VI University drew to a close, a rump contingent of the administrative counsel seized the rare opportunity afforded them by the absence of their colleagues, most of whom had already departed for the holidays. The group — computer scientists and medical researchers, mostly — was suddenly and mysteriously seized with a desire to dabble in foreign policy.
Continue reading Israel’s French Friends
The Weekly Standard, February 2003
WIM DUISENBERG, THE president of the European Central Bank, is the most powerful man in Europe, at least among men without troops. His decisions determine the economic future of three hundred million Europeans; twenty percent of the world’s goods and services are produced in the currency zone over which he presides. He is responsible for the success or failure of Europe’s monetary union, a project that is at once the essence and the emblem of Europe’s renunciation of fratricide and reinvention as a continent united in peaceful cooperation. A pillar of the European establishment, he is the public face of the Euro and, by virtue of this role, the public face of Europe. His nickname, in fact, is Mr. Euro.
Continue reading Mrs. Euro’s Mideast Adventure
The Washington Post, June 2005
MOVE FROM AUSTERE Paris to this anarchic city as I have done this summer, and it’s hard to escape the conclusion that the idea of integrating Turkey into the European Union is and always has been ludicrous. Turkey is not Europe, and it is certainly not France.
I do not say this merely because the phones, electricity, hot water and front door lock have failed on me, serially, since my arrival, along with the Internet, refrigerator and stove.
Continue reading It’s History That’s Tearing the E.U. Apart
Azure, January 2005
THE COMMENCEMENT OF the second Palestinian Intifada, in late 2000, ignited the most extensive outbreak of anti-Semitic violence in France since the Holocaust. It continues to this day. The crimes have been perpetrated almost entirely by the beur — Arab immigrants. The political alliances forged between Jewish and Arab leaders during the rise of the right-wing National Front have broken down.
Continue reading The Hope of Marseille
The Sunday Times, February, 2006
by Maurice Chittenden
White Teeth was a whitewash, says Muslim who inspired prizewinning novel’s central character
WHITE TEETH, the novel that made Britain feel good about the state of its race relations, has been accused of whitewashing the truth by the real-life model for one of its characters.
Ziad Haider Rahman, the inspiration for Magid, one of the twin Muslim brothers at the centre of the novel, said Zadie Smith’s book, which was adapted for a television series, was divorced from reality.
Continue reading Zadie didn’t tell the real race story
Azure, March 2005
Rammstein — a made-up word meaning, more or less, “ramming stone” — is a popular German band. (1) Very popular. Rammstein released its first album, Herzeleid (“Heartache”), in 1995. Within days, it topped the German Media Control Charts. It stayed in the number one position for five weeks, then remained in the top ten for two years, an unrivaled achievement in Germany’s notoriously fickle pop music market.
Continue reading Rammstein’s Rage
The New York Times, January 2005
DURING THE GERMAN band Rammstein’s 1998 American debut tour, the lead singer, Till Lindemann, whipped out a monstrous black appliance in his performance of “Bück Dich” (“Bend Over”) and employed it to simulate sex with his keyboardist, who lay on the floor with a mask on his face, a chain around his neck and a gag in his mouth. When they tried this in Worcester, Mass., the two men spent the night in jail on obscenity charges.
This is nothing compared with the uproar they have caused in Germany, where people actually understand their lyrics.
Continue reading Das Jackboot: German Heavy Metal Conquers Europe
by Kathryn Jean Lopez
April 8, 2013
There Is No Alternative: Why Margaret Thatcher Matters is the title of a book by Claire Berlinski. Berlinski talks to National Review Online about why, in fact, she does!
KATHRYN JEAN LOPEZ: Why does Margaret Thatcher “matter,” as your book’s subtitle puts it?
CLAIRE BERLINSKI: I wrote much of this book in 2007.
Continue reading Thatcher Matters