Here are the reads for the upcoming week:

  1. For those who’ve forgotten: We’ve been at war in Afghanistan for 17 years. Our adolescent war is about to go to college. Death death death, and who cares? In case you are curious, here’s a story about the latest assassination, which, unsurprisingly, happened under the very eyes of the American high command .
  2. I read a tweet defending Saudi Arabia that said: the enemy of my enemy is my fiend. The misspelling created a profundity out of a half-truth. It is my new motto. I’ve long thought the U.S. should recognize Iran and pull a Nixon goes to China. But this isn’t because Iran’s regime is some neutralist wonder. Good article about the farce of anti-imperialist rhetoric that embraces anti-American regimes.
  3. In 2017, Middle Eastern studies academics wrote a letter to the NYT protesting against Tom Friedman’s famous column praising Prince Muhammed bin Salem.
  4. Daniel Soar has the last word on the tiresome Sokal-esque pranksters.
  5. Jazz piano and the glory of You Tube instructional videos.
  6. Historian Matthew Karp’s twitter thread on the Radical Republican doctrine of constitutional power – that the constitution is the people – is fabulous. Lincoln had some tricks in him. So did Frederick Douglass. That power must be seized again.
I am a translator, author and editor living in Paris. I finished a novel in March, and am busy trying to find an agent. In the meantime, I thought I'd like to start a magazine. Willett's is meant to be a venue for the review of books, personal reflections, and political bitching - and everything else.

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