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Glenn C. Altschuler
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Thomas and Dorothy Litwin Professor of American Studies and Vice President for University Relations at Cornell University.

Entries by Glenn C. Altschuler

Back in the U.S.S.R.

(0) Comments | Posted July 7, 2014 | 2:57 PM

Review of The Zhivago Affair: The Kremlin, the CIA, and the Battle Over a Forbidden Book. By Peter Finn and Petra Couvée. Pantheon Books. 352 pp. $26.95


Following her arrest in October, 1949, Olga Ivinskaya, the mistress of Boris Pasternak, was interrogated by Victor Abakumov, Joseph Stalin's minister...

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The Problematic Primacy of Primaries

(0) Comments | Posted June 12, 2014 | 3:55 PM

The defeat of Eric Cantor, the Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, by David Brat, a little known professor of economics at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, in the Republican primary in Virginia on Tuesday shocked professional politicians, pundits, and political junkies. Since none of them thought Brat had a...

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The L-Word

(0) Comments | Posted June 11, 2014 | 5:58 PM

Review of Liberalism: The Life of an Idea. By Edmund Fawcett. Princeton University Press. 468 pp. $35.

"We all declare for liberty," Abraham Lincoln declared in 1864, "but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing."

Lincoln might well have made the same claim for...

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ARMed and Dangerous

(0) Comments | Posted May 20, 2014 | 12:07 PM

Review of Other People's Houses: How Decades of Bailouts, Captive Regulators, and Toxic Bankers Made Home Mortgages a Thrilling Business by Jennifer Taub, Yale University Press, 406 pp., $30.

Following the savings and loan crisis of 1987, Secretary of the Treasury Nicholas announced that the federal government's response had been...

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Deep in the Heart of Taxes

(0) Comments | Posted April 14, 2014 | 6:02 PM

American Tax Resisters
By Romain D. Huret
Harvard University Press. 370 pp. $29.95

To pay the expenses incurred in fighting the Civil War, the government of the United States sold bonds and levied several taxes, including a small graduated income tax. Despite the threat to the Union, an...

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Start Spreading the News

(0) Comments | Posted March 20, 2014 | 11:32 AM

Review of The Invention of News: How the World Came to Know About Itself. By Andrew Pettegree. Yale University Press. 445 pp. $35

In Italy, in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, news gathering scribes began offering their services to subscribing customers. Relying on a web of contacts across Europe and...

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The Russians Are Coming! The Russians Are Coming?

(0) Comments | Posted February 11, 2014 | 1:16 PM

Review of The Limits of Partnership: U.S.-Russian Relations in the Twenty-First Century. By Angela E. Stent. Princeton University Press. 355 pp. $35.

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At her first meeting with Sergei Lavrov in Geneva in March 2009, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave the Russian Foreign Minister a small gift...

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Breaking China

(1) Comments | Posted January 21, 2014 | 12:18 PM

Review of Unbalanced: The Co-Dependency of America and China. By Stephen Roach. Yale University Press. 326 pp. $32.50


The United States and China are political and economic rivals. They are also joined at the hip in many ways. A source of inexpensive products and surplus financial capital, China...

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Class Rules

(6) Comments | Posted December 4, 2013 | 5:51 PM

Review of White-Collar Government: The Hidden Role of Class in Economic Policy Making. By Nicholas Carnes. The University of Chicago Press. 188 pp. $50.


Michael Michaud, a member of the United States House of Representatives, grew up in Medway, Maine, graduated from high school in East Millinocket, and...

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Urban Legends

(0) Comments | Posted November 5, 2013 | 11:06 AM

Review of If Mayors Ruled The World: Dysfunctional Nations, Rising Cities. By Benjamin R. Barber. Yale University Press. 416 pp. $28.

"The difference between my level of government and other levels of government," Michael Bloomberg has said, "is that action takes place at the city level." While the federal government...

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Bon Mots

(0) Comments | Posted October 14, 2013 | 1:35 PM

Review of Wordbirds: An Irreverent Lexicon for the 21st Century. By Liesl Schillinger. Illustrations by Elizabeth Zechel. Simon & Schuster. 208 pp. $17.99

With its iPads and iPhones, email, IM, texts, and tweets, the digital age has, for better and worse, transformed our professional and personal lives. The average teenager...

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Anatomy of an American University

(0) Comments | Posted September 3, 2013 | 6:47 PM

Review of Higher Education in America. By Derek Bok. Princeton University Press. 479 pp. $35.

In Francis Cornford's satire, Microcosmographia Academica (1908), the dons in Great Britain dismiss a proposal to change traditional practices at their college because "Nothing should ever be tried for the first time." This principle, the...

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Butterflies in Boxes

(0) Comments | Posted August 12, 2013 | 6:42 PM

Review of To The End of June: The Intimate Life of American Foster Care. By Cris Beam. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 352 pp. $26.

Dominique, a foster child, has a tattoo of a butterfly on her left hand. "I think they symbolize freedom," she said, "because I've never seen them standing...

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Thinking Locally, Acting Globally

(0) Comments | Posted July 1, 2013 | 3:20 PM

Review of The Electronic Silk Road: How The Web Binds The World Together In Commerce. By Anupam Chander. Yale University Press. 278 pp. $28.00.

The information and services delivered on the World Wide Web generate jurisdictional conflicts, Anupam Chander, a Professor of Law at the University of California, Davis, reminds...

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Tea Party Poopers

(0) Comments | Posted June 3, 2013 | 1:39 PM

Review of Change They Can't Believe In: The Tea Party and Reactionary Politics in America. By Christopher S. Parker and Matt A. Barreto. Princeton University Press. 361 pp. $27.95

The Tea Party was born less than a month after Barack Obama was inaugurated as president. Reporting from the floor of...

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Hire Education

(1) Comments | Posted May 7, 2013 | 5:33 PM

Review of College (Un)Bound: The Future of Higher Education and What It Means For Students. By Jeffrey J. Selingo. New Harvest. 238 pp. $26.

Since the 1970s, Jeffrey Selingo, editor at large for the Chronicle of Higher Education, acknowledges, plenty of people have predicted the end of colleges and universities...

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Kirk's Wager

(3) Comments | Posted April 22, 2013 | 2:33 PM

Review of Who Owns the Future? By Jaron Lanier. Simon & Schuster. 396 pp. $28.


Jaron Lanier is making James T. Kirk's wager. Like the fictional captain of the USS Starship Enterprise on Star Trek, played on television by William Shatner, Lanier,...

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Free Will Hunting

(1) Comments | Posted March 28, 2013 | 6:23 PM

Substance abuse and addiction have reached epidemic proportions in the United States. Every day, on average, about 8,120 individuals age 12 and over try drugs for the first time and 12,800 try alcohol. About 60 million people binge drink. Mortality rates from abuse of...

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Raising Keynes

(5) Comments | Posted February 20, 2013 | 12:03 PM

Review of The Leaderless Economy: Why The World Economic System Fell Apart And How To Fix It. By Peter Temin and David Vines. Princeton University Press. 315 pp. $29.95

Whenever he argued with John Maynard Keynes, the philosopher Bertrand Russell recalled, "I felt I took my life in my hands...

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Friend and Faux

(0) Comments | Posted January 27, 2013 | 11:32 AM

Review of 'Friendfluence: The Surprising Ways Friends Make Us Who We Are.' By Carlin Flora. Doubleday. 276 pp. $25.95

Good friendships, formed in adolescence, according to psychologist Carl Pickhardt, give individuals a capacity to forge and sustain other relationships, including romantic ones. "But we have a funny culture," Pickhardt adds....

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