Commentary Upfront Blog

  • The largest patriotism

    On July 4, which marks Independence Day in the United States, it is worth noting how America has helped reshape the idea of what patriotism is.

  • Can the Arctic teach the world to cooperate?

    Must exploitation and conflict inevitably accompany exploration and expansion? Or can we learn the lessons of the past and reap the benefits of expansion without falling prey to its temptations?

  • Finding the good beyond the crisis

    By most metrics, Puerto Rico is not a success story. Yet Whitney’s story points to why it is too simplistic to look only at the negative – or only at the positive.

  • How progress drives purification

    Staff writer Ryan Lenora Brown had gone to Cape Town, South Africa, to report on “Zero Day” – the day the city’s faucets were going to go dry because of drought. But there had been a development.

  • Where maple syrup meets global economics

    The recent upheaval in Western democracies has several causes, but perhaps the greatest is this: How are they coming to terms with their shifting role in the global economy?

  • To improve the world, enlist girls, too

    Like other girls in her south Indian village, Kousalya Radakrishnan was told to stay at home, marry young, and have lots of babies. If she and a number of her teenage friends had listened, her village would have worse sanitation, fewer library books, and no streetlights.

  • Breaking the cycle of absentee fatherhood

    Lee began to understand the true nature of fatherhood when he began to understand the true nature of marriage, even though he wasn’t married himself.

  • The costs of liberty

    Peng Jie came to Beijing for the same reason rural migrants have come to cities for generations – to find opportunity and a new life. And she did. The problem was that her community was seen as a blight on the gleaming vision for a modern Beijing.

  • When a healthy environment is good business

    Dredging a swath through the Varadero reef would increase trade, create jobs, and drive down prices of some goods for Colombians. How do you weigh the value of a potentially unique ecosystem against the promise of greater prosperity and meaningful employment?

  • How to change Washington

    Washington isn’t working, the thinking goes. But what if that sentiment is wrong? What if Washington is working pretty much as it is set up to do?


Photos of the Week 07/16 Photos of the Week

Women in yukatas, or casual summer kimonos, pose to take their photos between paper lanterns during the annual Mitama Festival at the Yasukuni Shrine, in Tokyo on July 13.

More Upfront Blog
  • A different definition of violence

    How do you rein in hateful speech online without overbalancing into censorship? That is Germany’s challenge.

  • When and how America works best

    What happens to students who come from low-income backgrounds but catapult into the world of high-powered universities? For many, it is intensely unsettling, forcing them to bestride two worlds.

  • Warriors in a mental realm

    The danger of dismissing this fascination with video games is not just being thought of as uncool. It is missing where young people are living their lives.

  • A heart that refuses to close

    Staff writer Harry Bruinius’s cover story this week is an extraordinary look at the graces and trials of the attempt to forgive. It charts the stories of two mothers, Mörch and Jolyn Hopson, whose lives intertwined in the most searing way.

  • The way forward for

    Readers without a subscription to our digital Monitor Daily edition will be limited to five free articles on per month beginning May 8.

  • The long and winding road to progress

    The solutions to entrenched problems are almost never obvious or easy. So it’s no wonder that potential solutions aren’t one-size-fits-all.

  • The political question that matters

    Politics, at its best, is the real-time experiment to find out how that promise is most practically and effectively fulfilled in different places and times. 

  • Reconciliation’s process and promise

    The stories by Stacy Teicher Khadaroo in Louisiana and Fred Weir in Russia in this week’s issue are about the search for reconciliation. They are about injustice and inhumanity on two different continents and on a scale unthinkable.

  • Why truth is under fire

    Studies have long shown that human beings are resistant to information that upsets their worldview. But why do we appear so prone to that temptation now? 

  • Why the Olympics are worth saving

    Sport can ennoble us, demanding that we rebel against our limitations, find joy and fellowship in the mutual pursuit of excellence, and express grace in loss. The Olympics do not always reach this height, but perhaps no other event unites the world in so rigorously demanding that its participants aspire to a higher ideal.