Author: Clara Lovett


The tragic loss of life, the stream of refugees, the destruction of villages and cities in Ukraine is the latest tragedy of the young 21st century. It is also an exceptionally well documented tragedy, with Western journalists and photographers reporting every day from the front lines. The 24/7 news cycle requires a steady stream of … Continue reading “WHAT’S WORSE THAN A TRAGEDY? A SERIOUS DISTRACTION FROM IT.”

Old traditions, new opportunities.

A month ago I was asking friends and family members better informed than I to explain why the Russian government had chosen this particular moment in time to launch a military attack on Ukraine. I could understand several reasons for an expensive and unpopular move: fear of NATO’s eastward expansion, fear and loathing of Western … Continue reading “Old traditions, new opportunities.”

A New World Order?

My brother, a left-wing journalist and impressively thorough researcher, is looking for signals that a new world order is emerging. He is in good company. In today’s Washington Post Fareed Zakaria envisions the end of a world organized and controlled by the values and might of Pax Americana. America’s aging political leaders in the White … Continue reading “A New World Order?”

Censorship: Old Tools and New Filters.

Predictably, the Russian government is trying to control the flow of information about the ongoing military operations in Ukraine. Vladimir Putin can count on some percentage of fellow citizens who support his view of Russian history and share his fear of NATO and of American bases in their backyard. Still, the military operation is unfolding … Continue reading “Censorship: Old Tools and New Filters.”

The war in Ukraine: A familiar kind of tragedy.

Our 24-hour news cycle is filled with disturbing images. Millions of people fleeing the deliberate and unstoppable destruction of their homes and communities. The identity of the aggressor is clear; much less is known about what specifically triggered the aggression, and why it is happening now. In the United States as in much of Europe, … Continue reading “The war in Ukraine: A familiar kind of tragedy.”

Coronavirus: an opportunity to change course.

Daily news reports highlight areas of our society on which we should have focused well before disaster struck: HEALTH CARE: the heroic efforts of thousands of healthcare workers cannot fill the gaps we have accepted for decades: uninsured and under-insured families; the high costs of hospitalization and prescription drugs; the evident imbalance between ever more … Continue reading “Coronavirus: an opportunity to change course.”

Reflections on missed opportunities.

From coast to coast, colleagues at different types of institutions report struggles as they adapt pedagogies, supporting materials, and communication with students to distance teaching. These reports bring back memories of the mid-1990s. In 19944-1995, a bipartisan group of governors in the Mountain West came togethet to envision the future of their respective states. They … Continue reading “Reflections on missed opportunities.”

America and the Gun Culture.

With many friends, colleagues, and neighbors in the past couple of years I have participated in forums, marches, and vigils to honor victims of gun violence and to protest against the influence of the arms industry, and its principal lobbyist, the NRA, on our elected officials. I will probably continue to participate in such activities. … Continue reading “America and the Gun Culture.”

Re-reading Julien Benda’s La trahison des clercs

What do student debt, originalist interpretations of the American Constitution, TV drug advertisements, and wars of choice have in common? Separately and in various combinations they are doing serious damage to contemporary American society. Citizens who feel the impact of these trends try to understand them, and often they ask for relief. But who will take … Continue reading “Re-reading Julien Benda’s La trahison des clercs”

On stepping out of the bubble

My husband Ben was insatiably curious about the world we live in. Before he died in 2011 he had traveled to 150 countries. I lagged far behind. At his urging, I traveled to Egypt, returning home just a few days before the revolution in Tahrir Square shut down Cairo airport. When I finally decided to … Continue reading “On stepping out of the bubble”