From Racism to Catholicism – One Man’s Journey

Joseph Pearce recounts how he went from being a leader in a white supremacist organization to a committed Catholic.

1943: The Diplomats’ Battle

As Foreign Minister, and Viceroy of India before that, Lord Edward Halifax was the preferred choice of the Conservative Party and the King to succeed Chamberlain as Prime Minister, but he knew he was no match for Churchill and did not press his case. In this he showed an altruism which was commonly admired, notwithstanding [...]

What ‘Developing’ Countries Can Teach the U.S.

As Barack Obama huffs and puffs about his tax plan, which is unlikely to pass in the Democratic-majority Senate much less the Republican-controlled House, Robert Zoellick, president of the World Bank, has provided a much broader view of where the United States stands amid great changes in the world and some useful guidance on what [...]

India, Pakistan, and Unintended Consequences

When you get into discussions about the Middle East with certain people, you start hearing that the great mistake was the partition of Palestine and the creation of the state of Israel in 1948. If that had somehow just not happened, you hear, everything would be all right. That's not my view. I think the [...]

Was Ghandi a ‘Great Soul’?

A new biography on Mahatma Ghandi by Joseph Lelyveld called Great Soul depicts the famous Indian leader of independence as a "sexual weirdo, a political incompetent and a fanatical faddist."   Reviewing the book in the Wall Street Journal, Andrew Roberts says Lelyveld gives credit where it's due, but concludes that Ghandi was an "archetypal [...]

‘Assembling the Global Baby’

There's not a whole lot to say about this Wall Street Journal article on the rise of "global surrogacy" -- a new industry that uses "an international network of surrogate mothers and egg and sperm donors . . . to produce children on the cheap and outside the reach of restrictive laws." Or, rather, there [...]

India’s softer population programs still get it wrong

In the coming decades, India is expected to surpass China as the most populous nation on earth. Worried local Indian governments are using soft sell tactics to reduce family size, according to this article in the New York Times. Previously charged with coercing women to sterilize themselves in some regions, government officials are using new [...]

Eat, pray, love… hate

I read Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat Pray Love three years ago. The best thing about it was Gilbert's writing talent -- she's definitely got that. The book was entertaining in parts, but despite its rave reviews, there was nothing the least bit profound there. Although I enjoyed the sights and sounds of her adventures across the [...]

Gandhi, Churchill, and India’s Troubles

  Most of us know about Winston Churchill's heroic struggle in the 1930s to warn Britain about the dangers of Nazi tyranny. We also understand that Churchill at this time was "in the wilderness,"  Gandhi & Churchill: The Epic Rivalry that Destroyed an Empire and Forged Our Age Arthur Herman, Bantam, $30, 736 pages   [...]

Untouchable: The Human Face of India’s Caste System

  It was a scene that could have come straight from the pages of the New Testament—and one almost unimaginable in today's caste-ridden India. Around long tables under a large marquee in Hyderabad sat hundreds of people cross-legged on the floor. Clustered in groups of five or six, they ate curry and rice from a [...]

Sense and Nonsense: Redemption

My brother Jack in Reno has a television set with about 26 channels on it. After switching to all 26 channels in rapid succession a couple of times one evening, I just about decided that when it comes to what is worth watching on TV, 26 times zero still equalled zero. Indeed, my dear mother [...]