SLEEPER: To Singapore — with love?

September 26, 2014
But why should Yale have contracted itself with Singapore’s national university and, through it, the regime of a tightly-run city-state whose ruling party and judiciary keep a finger in virtually everything that moves? Are we liberalizing Singapore, or becoming more like it?

SLEEPER: Schell’s legacy

March 27, 2014
Although I know that he didn’t think of himself this way, the writer Jonathan Schell, who taught courses at Yale on non-violence and nuclear arms through 2012 and who died Tuesday night, at 70, of cancer, in his home in Brooklyn, was a luminous, noble bearer of an American civic-republican tradition that is inherently cosmopolitan and embracing.

9/11 Reflection: Jim Sleeper

September 9, 2011
Under the aspect of eternity, the attack on Pearl Harbor 60 years ago was eclipsed on 9/11 by a darkness more fateful, frightening and — if we can keep clear about it — instructive. —September 12, 2001 When four American civilian planes brought low the world’s only superpower and greatest nerve center 10 years ago, »

Sleeper: All the news that’s fit to sell

February 25, 2011
Whether you’re reading this in print or online, you may be the last of a dying breed — even if you’re under 21. I don’t mean that newspaper readers are dying, or even that print itself will die. But I do worry that few people can still pick up a newspaper that comes from and »

Sleeper: Yale’s real social network

October 15, 2010
At the turn of the 18th century, Yale was founded to stop a Harvard-based “social network” from diverting the holy Puritan mission toward one that emphasized worldly “works” and wealth in a society connected, but flattened, by commerce. The world isn’t flat, Yale’s founders insisted. It has abysses, and students need a faith that can »

Sleeper: Yale lessons in ’69 and ’09

April 30, 2009
BERLIN Forty years ago I spent the weeks between final exams and my Yale Commencement in Israel on an Arab-Jewish relations project. That country had recently won the Six-Day War and seemed morally and physically indestructible. But Yale had taught me to look for undersides, and I went to find them and help if I »

Sleeper: The value of ‘Barack Hussein Obama’

November 14, 2008
Even as we lurch from symbolism to substance with President-elect Barack Obama, I hope that he (and most Yalies) will appreciate the symbolic and substantive rewards of being sworn in on Jan. 20 as “Barack Hussein Obama.” During the campaign, neo-conservatives such as Daniel Pipes of Campus Watch and Obama detractors thought it smart to »

It’s not liberals who are weakening humanities

September 18, 2007
An essay in Sunday’s New York Times Book Review noted that “humanities departments thrive at elite institutions (at Yale, for example, History has long been the most popular major, with English usually beating out Economics).” But the News reported Friday that “undergraduate humanities classes [at Yale] saw their lowest enrollment in three decades last year. »

How revivalism beat republicanism

November 8, 2004
Since I teach a seminar on “New Conceptions of American National Identity” here at Yale, where George W. Bush, John Kerry and I overlapped as undergraduates in the late 1960s, I couldn’t avoid showing my students last week how Bush is reviving an old conception of our national identity. That conception depends on assumptions about »

The preaching of hate to the already converted

April 23, 2003
Joe Scarborough, the shouting ex-Congressman from California and a nicely made-up Man of the People, smirked into his show’s MSNBC’s cameras Sunday night and lied. “He did not return our calls,” he said about me, oozing contempt at yet another supposedly anti-war leftist Yale professor who’d bullied Scarborough’s two freshmen guests by calling them Stalinists »

Recalling Yale in ’68: Let’s have that civility again

April 14, 2003
As a supporter of the current war who is dismayed at how some others have supported it, I’d be glad if the worst of the controversy on this campus were confined to a few instances of barging into people’s rooms, spitting on them, or defacing property. Such acts have been so widely and rightfully condemned »