February 2024 Magazine

Our feature story this month, by Barbara Lloyd McMichael, is about John de Graaf's latest film that depicts Katharine Lee Bates, who wrote the lyrics for America the Beautiful. Yes, indeed, women are a force for good, and if you believe that, then please pass along this platform. #WomenBelieve. On an entirely different note, Art Gets a Free Ridedemonstrates how the rich use art to get richer. While we’re on the subject of wealth, please see Annie Searle’s Sanitizing Bad News that examines the elements of risk inherent in the structure of large corporations.

 


Sanitizing Bad News

I was thrilled to be the first expert interviewed by Sean Costigan in Red Sift’s new podcast series, “Resilience Rising,” available on Spotify. We covered a lot of ground, looking at firms like Wells Fargo, Boeing, Theranos, and JPMorgan Chase.  I had written about much of what we discussed in 2017 in an article for Risk Universe magazine called “Executives and Risk: What Your Teams Won’t Tell You.”


GLOBAL GOVERNANCE NOW!

There is very little time to make major improvements in world politics and to mobilize the resources and personnel needed for the unprecedented, life-threatening climate challenges that are already happening and will soon become much worse. Here is a plan for major changes/improvements to existing U.N. institutions and for the creation of two new U.N. agencies, a Global Infrastructure Fund (GIF) and a Global Emergency Management Agency (GEM), along with expanded roles for the World Bank and for INTERPOL. It could be called a large carrot, small stick strategy.  In the words of The New York Times’ columnist, Thomas Friedman, “later will be too late.”

 


Unsung Hero: The Woman Behind “America the Beautiful”

The third song to be sung in the Super Bowl pre-game program is “America the Beautiful,” a perennial favorite in the nation’s canon of patriotic music. The Woman Behind America the Beautiful is an unsung hero. The song was written first as a poem by Katharine Lee Bates, a young Wellesley College professor.


Robin Lindley Interviews Director Lynn Novick and Senior Producer Sarah Botstein on the Hemingway Documentary

Director Lynn Novick and Senior Producer Sarah Botstein discuss the research and production process for the new Ernest Hemingway documentary, which they worked with Ken Burns to complete. 


Trump’s Personality Will Deliver a Perilous Second Term for Everyone

The Atlantic Magazine hosted twenty-four liberal writers to comment on a possible second term for former President Donald Trump. Covering autocracy to science, they saw a future reminiscent of the Roman Republic’s decline as it slid into chaos and collapsed.


January 2024 Magazine

Welcome 2024! Among our resolutions for the new year, we can choose to become better listeners. Our feature Listen to This explores the idea that there is no greater gift we can give someone than the chance to be heard. Barbara McMichael writes about historic preservation in her article Preserving the Past | Protecting the Future. Thinking about historic preservation makes me remember my small book—The Death of a Library. With war raging in the Ukraine, and in Gaza, it’s a good time to ponder whether there is such a thing as a Good War. Many predict 2024 will be a tumultuous year. We offer the perfect antidotes to stress in Take Comfort in Small Things. This month we present the sixth and final chapter of Dr. Peter Corning’s groundbreaking new book Superorganism. My book review of  Picasso by Gertrude Stein asserts that Stein’s craft and technique does not stand the test of time. 

 


Robin Lindley interviews Elizabeth Samet on the Modern Memory of the Good War

World War II left behind the dangerous and seemingly indestructible fantasy that our military intervention will naturally produce (an often underappreciated) good. Each succeeding conflict has led to the reprise and reinvention of the Good War’s mythology to justify or otherwise explain uses of American power. - Elizabeth D. Samet, Looking for the Good War