Unbalanced Scales

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Monday, November 07, 2011

Glenn Greenwald argues that America has developed a two-tiered justice system—one where the political and financial elite are immune from prosecution while the powerless are imprisoned with greater ease than anywhere else in the world. Tony Horwitz looks at the life of John Brown, the man whose raid on Harpers Ferry played a key role in sparking the Civil War. Aatish Taseer tells us about his latest novel, Noon. Plus, historian Niall Ferguson discusses the rise (and maybe the decline) of Western civilization.

Glenn Greenwald on Our Justice System

Glenn Greenwald argues that, over the past four decades, the principle of equality before the law has been replaced with a two-tiered system of justice—the country's political and financial class is virtually immune from prosecution, while the politically powerless are imprisoned with greater ease and in greater numbers than in any other country in the world. With Liberty and Justice for Some reveals the mechanisms that have come to shield the elite from accountability. He shows how the media, both political parties, and the courts have abetted a process that has produced torture, war crimes, domestic spying, and financial fraud.

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Aatish Taseer on His Novel, Noon

Aatish Taseer talks about his latest novel, Noon. Set against the background of a turbulent Pakistan and a rapidly changing India, it addresses some of the most urgent questions of our times—about nationhood and violence, family and identity.


John Brown and the Raid That Sparked the Civil War

Tony Horwitz talks about John Brown, the abolitionist whose raid on Harpers Ferry led to the Civil War. Midnight Rising: John Brown and the Raid That Sparked the Civil War tells the true story of the raid—plotted in secret, launched in the dark, it was a pivotal moment in U.S. history. Unlike most abolitionists, he was willing to take up arms, after Brown's capture, his defiant eloquence galvanized the North and appalled the South.

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Civilization: The West and the Rest

All over the world, more and more people work for Western-style companies, study at Western-style universities, vote for Western-style governments, take Western medicines, wear Western clothes, and even work Western hours. Historian Niall Ferguson looks at Western civilization’s rise to global predominance in Civilization: The West and the Rest, he argues that, beginning in the fifteenth century, the West developed six concepts that the rest lacked: competition, science, the rule of law, consumerism, modern medicine, and the work ethic.

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