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tistical evidence showing that the death penalty in trates the p Georgia was infected by racial disparities: black defen- has distorte dants convicted of killing white victims were far more Over the pas likely to be sentenced to death than any other group. Court has b Justice Lewis Powell’s opinion was unusually candid in chinery of d explaining why the Court could not accept McClesky’s mun’s haunt claim: “Taken to its logical conclusion,” Powell wrote, of the system In 1972, McClesky’s position “throws into serious question the principles that underlie our entire criminal justice sys- Court struck ishment sta tem.” Racial disparities marbled the criminal justice While three system, so they had to be ignored. Because the Court and Congress convinced the death p themselves that death row inmates were dragging all circumst out the process of post-conviction appeals, they have the fact tha dramatically restricted the ability of all defendants to arbitrary de seek habeas corpus, the primary vehicle for bring- standards. A ing constitutional challenges against state court capital puni convictions. The provisions of the Antiterrorism and unusual pun Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA) create Amendment a procedural obstacle course that prevents federal death was li Many s courts from addressing the merits of a defendant’s constitutional claims. For example, in the first week ing new cap of the current Supreme Court term, the Court heard purported to oral argument in the case of Cory Maples, a death 1976 the Su row inmate in Alabama who so far has been unable to these effort get the federal courts to hear his claim that his trial safteguards lawyer was ineffective at his sentencing. The reason? arate penalt The volunteer lawyers who later represented him the defenda moved on to new jobs, and when the state court ruled alty phase, against his claim, there was no one at their former a broad ran law firm to receive the letter announcing the decision. may diminis The letter was stamped “Return to Sender,” and the incline the ju replies, “That’s not an option”deadline and settles for But too for instead appeal passed before anyone noticed. “race unknown,” as if that could significant As offer a result, federal clinicourts accepted the state’s argu- that reassu cal information. lusory in pra ment that Maples had “defaulted” his claims. Race is engrained in American medical practice. A fortnight before, the Court stayed the execu- or outright Sometimes beliefs about racial even tion difference of Duane are Buck, whose death sentence Texas to provide wired into medical diagnostic seeks machines. For example, to insulate from federal review despite the adequate r you can’t get a bone scan evaluated without designatfact that, under questioning from a prosecutor, a by the Natio ing a race, because the formulae programmed into psychologist told the jury that being black “increas- quarter of th bone densitometers use different standards for ases [Buck’s] future dangerousness”—a necessary death row h sessing bone thinning in white, Asian, Hispanic, and element for a death sentence under that state’s law. trials by law African American women. The evidence difCasessupporting such as these—not to mention the recent suspended ferent standards is rarely questioned and of certainly un- which spurred worldwide crimes. A ca execution Troy Davis, known to the technicians whoprotests—receive operate the machines. focused attention both inside and assigned a Often even the radiologists who evaluate the results outside the Court. The Court’s rules single out capi- only a single don’t know much about the differing standards. tal cases for special treatment, directing that the by any court Or consider spirometers,notation which measure And how “CAPITAL lung CASE” appear at the beginning function. The normal functioning black people’s of anyofsuch request for review and mandating that Court has b lungs is typically presumed to the be 10–15 percent below fendants re government, which often waives its right to reply, that of white people’s. As Lundy Braun, who studies file a response. The the clerk’s office has a special staff sentation—i intersection of race and medical sciencecharged and technolattorney with overseeing the voluminous, Amendment ogy, has shown, the presumption stems from a poorly often last-minute filings in death penalty cases. The sistance of c supported idea that blacks inherently lesserlaw lung justices have and their clerks often scrutinize the fil- courts have capacities than whites. Yet spirometers calibrated ings with are great care. The bar has also responded: where the la to account for this difference. death Some machines actually row inmates typically receive superb legal ing part of have a “race” switch built into assistance them, whichbefore technicians the Supreme Court. Former Bush even less wi Administration Solicitor General Gregory Garre is now ness in who representing Maples. Current Solicitor General Don- some punis ald Verrilli previously represented several death row (1987) the inmates proconcentration bono before the Court. cases comes at a cost. Ineffec But the on capital dence, inconsistent testimony, and impenetrable procedural thickets Nonetheless, the Court is far less likely to pay attention to these clai defendant seem less harsh. Criminal law and procedure scholars s ford and Douglas Berman of Ohio State have described how the Cou shortchange the constitutional claims of defendants facing lesser pu that about one in ten thousand state felony sentences is a death sen sitometers use different standards for assessing bone thinning in resources to reviewing death sentences than to reviewing claims in white, Asian, Hispanic, and African American women. The evidence And while the Court has repeatedly considered whether a death sent supporting different standards is rarely questioned and certainly lar class of crimes—for example, barring death sentences for non-h unknown to the technicians who operate the machines. Often even mentally retarded defendants—it has set virtually no limits on the sev the radiologists who evaluate the results don’t know much about years that the Court has been actively policing capital punishment, the differing standards. and the U.S. prison population has skyrocketed. With execution at th Or consider spirometers, which measure lung function. The ment, a life sentence begins to look something like leniency, and othe normal functioning of black people’s lungs is typically presumed Capital cases also consume thousands of hours of legal servic to be 10–15 percent below that of white people’s. As Lundy minds in America. The time those lawyers spend challenging death Braun, who studies the intersection of race and medical sci- is not seriously in doubt could be spent preventing and remedyin ence and technology, has shown, the presumption stems from that all defendants receive prompt appointment of competent c a poorly supported idea that blacks inherently have lesser lung prison conditions, not to mention providing civil justice to poor an capacities than whites. Yet spirometers are calibrated to ac- long as the death penalty is with us, superb and committed lawy count for this difference. Some machines actually have a “race” Southern Center for Human Rights, the Equal Justice Initiative, a switch built into them, which technicians flip depending on what Educational Fund will find themselves defending the lives of a fe race they believe the patient to be. Pegging the lung function continue to be ruined by pervasive flaws in our criminal justice sys of blacks at a lower level means, among other things, that they The next morning, Monday, the police chased them out, but m have to be sicker than whites in order to qualify for worker’s called for another sleepover that night. This time nearly 200 peop compensation or other insurance for lung-related illness. removed the occupiers before midnight. By Wednesday nearly a In The Nature of Race Morning uses the lenses of biology and out. A judicial injunction against the encampment only embolde medicine to isolate several conceptualizations of race. She finds Thursday the numbers increased further, and the first tents appea that there is no consensus among either social or biological sci- Seville followed suit, setting up camp in public spaces. By Friday, M entists and groups her respondents into three general categories: were camped in the Puerta del Sol. And many more came on Satu essentialists, anti-essentialists, and constructivists. thousand people spent the day holding back the police. The next morning, Monday, the police chased them out, but Throughout Europe, this is the season of protest. There are mas messages on Twitter and Facebook called for another sleepover of thousands in the streets of a dozen capitals laying siege to finance that night. This time nearly 200 people attended. The police ting down roads and rail, and seizing public spaces. One independe forcefully removed the occupiers before midnight. By Wednes- Spaniards have participated the movement known as Los Indignado day nearly a thousand people were camped out. A judicial inAmericans have reasons to be outraged too. But American pro junction against the encampment only emboldened the growing parison. The Occupy Wall Street protest that began in mid-Septe movement. On Thursday the numbers increased further, and the onstrations throughout the country, and the movement as a wh first tents appeared. Protesters in Barcelona and Seville followed public opinion about the financial crisis and its consequences. B suit, setting up camp in public spaces. By Friday, May 20, more American politics has become to the very idea of mass, angry pr than 10,000 people were camped in the Puerta del Sol. And many ingly sophisticated policing and changing notions about the bound more came on Saturday to express solidarity. Twenty thousand demonstration in the United States today is not only tamer than in people spent the day holding back the police. than at any time in the nation’s history. But the concentration on capital cases comes at a cost. InefAnd however unwilling the Supreme Court has been to ensure th fective trial lawyers, inconclusive evidence, inconsistent testimony, competent representation—its interpretation of the Sixth Amendme

in riot gear made a pre-dawn sweep of Lincoln Police departments face their own challenges. A prolonged enhe Colorado state capitol, arresting two dozen Oc- campment does create significant concerns about health, safety, ters. Shortly after midnight on October 26, police and inconvenience to neighbors. In some cities, elected officials are anta out of the city’s Woodruff Park. Occupy San also aware that protesters have significant public support, and in a from the city hall’s plaza on October 28; on Oc- media-saturated environment, abuses of police power quickly genert down an attempt to expand New York’s protest ate sympathy for protesters. The New York Police Department learned to Washington Square Park; and on October 31 as much when Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna pepper sprayed s moved Occupy Richmond out of Kanawha Plaza. penned-in protesters in September. And the Oakland Police Departpe, this is the season of protest. There are massive, ment had the same lesson after using tear gas and flash grenades in ns—tens of thousands in the streets of a dozen a botched effort to remove protesters, which resulted in the critical e to finance ministries and parliaments, shutting wounding of an Iraq War veteran. and seizing public spaces. One independent study But while the game is difficult for both sides, it is hardly an equal illion Spaniards have participated the movement contest. If local authorities want to shut down a protest, they can do so ados—“The Outraged.” decisively. Occupy Boston protesters realized this when they attempted e reasons to be outraged too. But American to expand their camp onto an adjacent patch of grass, part of the Rose muted by comparison. The Occupy Wall Street F. Kennedy Greenway, on October 10. Within hours hundreds of police in mid-September has inspired similar dem- officers, some in riot gear, had cleared the new site and arrested about hout the country, and the movement as a whole a hundred protesters. sharpen public opinion about the financial crisis Clearances in other cities have been just as efficient. On October ces. But it has also shown how hostile American 14, state police in riot gear made a pre-dawn sweep of Lincoln Park, e to the very idea of mass, angry protest. After across from the Colorado state capitol, arresting two dozen Occupy ngly sophisticated policing and changing notions Denver protesters. Shortly after midnight on October 26, police cleared es of legitimate protest, public demonstration in Occupy Atlanta out of the city’s Woodruff Park. Occupy San Diego was day is not only tamer than in Europe, but perhaps removed from the city hall’s plaza on October 28; on October 29 police any time in the nation’s history. shut down an attempt to expand New York’s protest from Zuccotti Park ton, and many other major cities, Occupy protesters to Washington Square Park; and on October 31 police and bulldozers te game with local police departments. Protesters moved Occupy Richmond out of Kanawha Plaza. r territory if they can, but above all to avoid the loss Where the camps persist, it is because local officials are exercising hich they are camped. Certain that local authorities forbearance. In Portland, Oregon Mayor Sam Adams warns that his “paeason to remove them, occupiers must keep their tience is wearing thin.” Down the coast, the Los Angeles Times cautions ain peace with their neighbors, and avoid confron- protesters that they are “wearing out their welcome.” The exasperated n famously remarked, Have you heard this one? A sociologist, a lawyer, s he is to be hanged and a biologist walk into a bar, scoot their stools up toare not against medical research per se but against ncentrates his mind the counter, order drinks, and begin to chat. Suddenly,bad research. Instead of looking for genes that cause precisely because a booming voice (God, the bartender?) envelops them.race and attending health outcomes (the standard approach) they point to evidence strongly suggesting s the public mind, “What is the meaning of race?” the voice asks. t has distorted the While the question may seem straightforward onthat everyday events alter our bodies, making them stem. Over the past its face, it quickly spawns further questions, often vex-sicker or more resistant to disease—events that the Supreme Court has ing. Is race purely a political construct, or is it biologi-political economy ensures are more or less common with the machinery cally encoded? Certainly there are aspects of humandepending on which racial categories one is assigned ce Harry Blackmun’s biology—skin color, hair color, the presence or absenceto. Indeed, it may be that biology doesn’t create race ther components of of epicanthic folds, etc.—that are commonly associ-but that racial marking creates new biological states oken down untended. ated with racial differences, but is race just the sumvia processes that all three of these thinkers discuss ote of 5-4, the Su- of these physical features, with all of the overlaps, ex-in new books. k down all existing ceptions, and ambiguities they involve? How do genes In The Nature of Race: How Scientists Think and statutes in the United factor into the story? And what connection—if any—isTeach about Human Difference, Morning gleans the Justices were pre- there between biological markers of race and the so-meaning of race from interviews with university students and their professors and from close reading of eath penalty uncon- cial experiences of racial groups? circumstances, two Each of the three drinking buddies has a lot to sayhigh school textbooks. She presents detailed informahe fact that the exist- to God or Sam Malone, and, by the way, their responsestion with great care and enlivens the discussion with bitrary decisions that don’t end in laugh lines. The biologist, Richard Francis,hilarious tongue-tied statements from students and tandards. As Justice engages other issues, though his concerns directly af-professors as well as personal anecdotes. When she t, capital punishment fect how we answer the loud voice. But the sociologist,takes her two-week-old daughter for a doctor’s visit, and unusual punish- Ann Morning, and the lawyer, Dorothy Roberts, are nar-the hospital admissions clerk won’t allow the baby Eighth Amendment rowly focused on the science of race and how medicineto be seen without first having a racial designation. enced to death was mediates racial experience. And with good reason: inWhen Morning suggests “multiracial”—she usually lightning.” the United States people of a darker hue (on average)identifies as black; her husband is Italian—the clerk

sponded by enacting ment statutes that alize decision makpreme Court upheld orts, pointing to key ards, such as the arate penalty phase ther the defendant this penalty phase, an present a broad g evidence that may dant’s culpability or jury to mercy. e formal safeguards Court have proved . Underfunded, unincompetent lawyers e their clients even e representation. A National Law Journal r of the inmates then h row had been reprials by lawyers who ed, suspended from d of crimes. A capital a was assigned a lawame of only a single decided by any court. willing the Supreme ensure that capital truly competent repterpretation of the guarantee of effecunsel sets the bar so e upheld convictions lawyer was actually f the proceedings—it willing to police syswho is targeted for punishment. In Mc7) the Court rejected evidence showing nalty in Georgia was disparities: black deof killing white victims to be sentenced to r group. Justice Lewis s unusually candid in



die sooner than pink-skinned people. They are afflicted with higher rates of particular diseases, such as high blood pressure, strokes, and kidney failure. So the race you’re born with, or, rather, which race you are born into, might mean a healthier, longer life—or not. These days large numbers of medical research dollars are devoted to finding genetic differences between races that might explain health disparities. But many students of biology and race, and at least some of our bar mates, think that is a bad idea. They Each of the three drinking buddies has a lot to say to God or Sam Malone, and, by the way, their responses don’t end in laugh lines. The biologist, Richard Francis, engages other issues, though his concerns directly affect how we answer the loud voice. But the sociologist, Ann Morning, and the lawyer, Dorothy Roberts, are narrowly focused on the science of race and how medicine mediates racial experience. And with good reason: in the United States people of a darker hue (on average) die sooner than pink-skinned people. They are afflicted with higher rates of particular diseases, such as high blood pressure, strokes, and kidney failure. So the race you’re born with, or, rather, which race you are born into, might mean a healthier, longer life—or not. These days large numbers of medical research dollars are devoted to finding genetic differences between races that might explain health disparities. But many students of biology and race, and at least some of our bar mates, think that is a bad idea. They are not against medical research per se but against bad research. Instead of looking for genes that cause race and attending health outcomes (the standard approach) they point to evidence strongly suggesting that everyday events alter our bodies, making them sicker or more resistant to disease—events that the political economy ensures are more or less common depending on which racial categories one is assigned to. Indeed, it may be that biology doesn’t create race but that racial marking creates new biological states via processes that all three of these thinkers discuss in new books. In The Nature of Race: How Scientists Think and Teach about Human Difference, Morning gleans the meaning of race from interviews with university students and their professors and from close reading of high school textbooks. She presents detailed information with great care and enlivens the discussion with hilarious tongue-tied statements from students and professors as well as personal anecdotes. When she takes her two-week-old daughter for a doctor’s visit, the hospital admissions clerk won’t allow the baby to be seen without first having a racial designation. When Morning suggests “multiracial”—she usually identifies as black; her husband is Italian—the clerk replies, “That’s not an option” and settles instead for “race unknown,” as if that could offer significant clinical information. Race is engrained in American medical practice. Sometimes beliefs about racial difference are even wired into medical diagnostic

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Arguments for libertarian policy conclusions

MOTHERS WHO CARE TOO MUCH What feminists get wrong about family, work, and equality

Applying behavioral economics to global development






Using early intervention to reduce inequality









BETRAYAL Persistent myths of combat

Politicians listen to money. What can make them stop?




DANGEROUS PLACES If richer states provide security, the poorest can finally grow BIG PHARMA, BAD MEDICINE How corporate dollars corrupt research and education



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EXTRAORDINARY CONTRIBUTORS From public officials to Nobel Prize winners, our contributors represent some of the most original, accomplished, and influential voices today. Nobel Prizes

Pulitzer Prizes

Kenneth Arrow Joseph Brodsky Seamus Heaney James Heckman Paul Krugman Edmund Phelps Amartya Sen Herbert Simon Robert Solow Wisława Szymborska James Tobin

Rae Armantrout John Ashbery Junot Díaz Stephen Dunn Jorie Graham Chris Hedges David M. Kennedy Jumpha Lahiri Mark Strand John Updike

Public Officials

Clockwise from upper left: Heather McHugh, Jumpha Lahiri, James Heckman, Paul Krugman, Chris Hedges, Sen. Elizabeth Warren


National Book Awards

U.S. Rep. Bob Barr Vice President Joe Biden U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper U.S. Rep. Donna Edwards Senator Russ Feingold U.S. Rep. David Price Gov. Charles "Buddy" Roemer Senator Warren Rudman Senator Elizabeth Warren

John Ashbery Frank Bidart Mark Doty Charles Johnson John Updike

National Book Critics Circle Awards

MacArthur Fellows ("genius" awards)

John Ashbery Mary Jo Bang John Updike

Caine Prize Noviolet Bulawayo

John Ashbery Paul Berman Harold Bloom Robert Coles Ernesto J. Cortéz, Jr. Edwidge Danticat

Junot Díaz Paul R. Ehrlich Nancy Folbre Randall Forsberg Howard Gardner Jorie Graham Heidi Hartmann Aleksandar Hemon Richard Howard Charles Johnson Michael Kremer Heather McHugh Deborah Meier Thylias Moss Michael Piore Adrienne Rich Joel Rogers Kay Ryan Charles Sabel Emmanuel Saez George Saunders T.M. Scanlon Stephen H. Schneider Charles Simic Susan Sontag Richard Stallman Susan Stewart Mark Strand Loïc Wacquant William Julius Wilson C.D. Wright


ACCLAIMED BOOKS THAT DIG DEEP With 34 in print and more than 100,000 copies sold, BR's books find new audiences and longer life for our most important content. What We Know About Climate Change

Taking Economics Seriously

by Kerry Emanuel

by Dean Baker

“Perhaps the single best thing written about climate change for a general audience.” —The New York Times

Back to Full Employment by Robert Pollin “[This book] helps the reader appreciate the impoverishment not just of our labor markets but of our politics.” —Robert Kuttner, The American Prospect

“A terrific book. Dean Baker deconstructs the myth that big corporations have any interest in free markets and deregulation. Industry interests support government intervention all the time­—when it helps them. Taking Economics Seriously explains how.” —Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts Senator

Movies and the Moral Adventure of Life by Alan A. Stone “This brilliant book is like that ideal conversation after a movie. With his psychologist’s eye for complex elemental human relationships, Stone is an inspired guide through the American and foreign film world.” —Elaine Scarry, Author, The Body in Pain

Why We Cooperate by Michael Tomasello “[A] fascinating approach to the question of what makes us human renders this a singularly worthwhile read.” —Publishers Weekly

Africa’s Turn by Edward Miguel “A refreshing take on the fortunes of Africa in the current century and a fascinating compendium of some of the leading theorists of African development.” —Publishers Weekly




BTWN 2006 & 20I0




Overall print circulation










IN 2011, 66   PUBLICATIONS  put content on their website






YOU SUSTAIN IT. When you contribute to Boston Review, you are joining a community of engaged citizens who care passionately about the power of ideas. Listed below are the generous individuals and institutions who have supported Boston Review over the last two years. Our work would not have been possible without them. BOSTON REVIEW SUPPORTERS, 2011-2012




ANGELS ($50,000+)

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation The Spencer Foundation MIT Political Science Department

$25,000+ The Carnegie Corporation of New York Stanford University Law School and the School of Humanities and Sciences Bowen H. McCoy Center for Ethics in Society, Stanford University

Derek Schrier and Cecily Cameron

GUARDIANS ($25,000+) Joshua Cohen Kim and Andy Scott

HEROES ($15,000+) Richard Locke Dorothy Stebbins Fund Elizabeth Smart Fund

SUSTAINERS ($10,000+)


Martha Nussbaum Robert Pollin Hiram Samel Jared Smith

National Endowment for the Arts


Melanie Doherty Archon Fung Christopher Jencks and Jane Mansbridge Adrienne Mayor and Josiah Ober Scott Nielsen Vernon Oi Marjorie Perloff Rob Reich Thomas and Lucy Scanlon Elaine Scarry Richard Tedlow Mark Tushnet Robert Zevin

BOOSTERS ($500+) Lilly Bechtel

Anonymous Rebecca and James J. Eisen Charles Ferguson Deborah Stone and James Morone

Charles Beitz Michael Dawson Bernard Harcourt Roby Harrington Pamela Karlan Kuang-Yu Liu Rajan Menon Jennifer Pitts Thomas Ross Edward Steinfeld Kentaro Toyama

SPONSORS ($2500+)

FRIENDS ($250+)

Deborah Chasman Junot DĂ­az Jeffrey Mayersohn Joel E. Rogers and Sarah E. Siskind

PATRONS ($1000+) Anonymous (1) Stephen Ansolabehere Kenneth Cohen Joris De Bres Barbara Fried and Joseph Bankman

Dorothy Alexander Mark Crimmins Anna and Arnulf Di Robilant Tom Eisen and Liz Jonas Owen and Irene Fiss Sally Haslanger Michael Hollander J. Raymond Kelley Joe Lau Margaret Levi and Robert Kaplan Tamara Lothian John McCormick

Maureen McLane J. Colin Peyas D.A. Powell Nicolas Rouleau Russell Shaw Seana Shiffrin Eric Glen Weyl

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Over the past decade, I have come to appreciate BR as a rare publication: a model of robust and intellectually honest debate. BR takes ideas seriously and treats its readers as partners in a discussion, not as purchasers of a product. As I’ve grown more impassioned about BR, I’ve come to understand the urgency of its mission—to model and to deliver the tools citizens need to be fully engaged with democratic life. I’ve also come to understand the wisdom of BR’s commitment to providing content for free. Democracy requires it. We all know that the market does not support great, independent journalism. The role of BR’s Board is to support and expand BR’s mission - to get its content in front of an ever-growing audience of engaged citizens. I hope you will join us as citizens, readers, subscribers, and supporters. — Derek Schrier Founder, Chief Investment Officer Indaba Capital Management, LLC



OUR ADVISORY BOARD ARCHON FUNG is Ford Foundation Professor of Democracy and Citizenship at Harvard’s Kennedy School. LEONARD JACOBS has been the COO and Director of Direct Marketing and Digital Initiatives at Shambhala Publications since 1998.

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RICHARD LOCKE is Professor of Political Science and the Howard R. Swearer Director of the Thomas J. Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University. TIMOTHY LYSTER, Marketing Manager for Compliance Week, was Publisher of Nonprofit Quarterly. JEFF MAYERSOHN, co-owner of Harvard Book Store, was an executive at Internet pioneer Bolt Beranek and Newman and at Sonus. SCOTT NIELSEN is founder and Principal of Alexander Nielsen Consulting. MARTHA NUSSBAUM is the Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago. ROBERT POLLIN is Professor of Economics and founding Co-Director of the Political Economy Institute at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. ROB REICH is Associate Professor of Political Science and Co-Director of the Center for Philanthropy and Civil Society at Stanford University. HIRAM SAMEL, Chairman of Merida Meridian, begins an appointment at the University of Oxford in Fall 2013. DEREK SCHRIER, Board Chair, is the founder and Chief Investment Officer of Indaba Capital Management, LLC. KIM SCOTT, an advisor at Dropbox and Twitter, was a member of the faculty at Apple University. Previously she ran AdSense, YouTube, and Doubleclick Online Sales and Operations at Google.


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decentralization tempers government orthodoxy. This idea is not novel. It can been seen, for example, in an opinion of Justice Lewis Powell’s in a 1983 case involving whether Bob Jones University, a religious and nonprofit university that had banned interracial dating, should be permitted to keep its tax exempt status if it chose to reject a compelling government interest such as ending racial discrimination. Powell joined the majority in conditioning taxexempt status on nondiscriminatory racial codes, but rejected the idea that the primary function of a tax-exempt organization is to enact only government-approved policies. For Powell, the provision of tax subsidies for nonprofits, including presumably foundations, “is one indispensable means of limiting the influence of government orthodoxy on important areas of community life.” The argument from pluralism turns foundations’ lack of marketplace and electoral accountability from a defect into an important virtue. Foundations are free, unlike commercial entities, to fund public goods because they need not compete with other firms or exclude people from consuming the goods they fund. And they are free, unlike politicians who face future elections, to fund minority, experimental, or controversial public goods that are not favored by majorities or at levels above the median voter. Do we need the specific institutional form of the foundation in order to decentralize production of public goods and curtail government orthodoxy? Perhaps not. Perhaps individual donations to favored nonprofit organizations would supply a good portion of the desirable decentralization and pluralism. Maybe foundations—especially ones that can exist in perpetuity—are not needed for pluralism of public goods. I wonder, for example, about the boom in small foundations. The number of foundations with less than $1 million in assets nearly doubled from 1993 to 2010, and these foundations rarely have a paid staff, almost never give away more than $50,000 in a year, and function more or less as the charitable checkbook of wealthy families. These families could accomplish the same outcome, the same public benefit, by simply writing a check or using a donor-advised fund rather than setting up a foundation as the vehicle for their philanthropy. This approach would avoid the overhead expenses that foundations require and that cannot be counted as public benefits. Perhaps there should be an asset threshold, say $10 million or $50 million, for foundations. Moreover, even if foundations do help to decentralize the provision of public goods, won’t the resulting pluralism have a plutocratic, not fully democratic, cast? The minority-supported, experimental, or controversial public goods funded by foundations will represent the diverse preferences of the wealthy, not of the wider citizenry. I see no way to avoid this conclusion. While wealthy and poor people tend to give the same percentage of their incomes to charity, in absolute terms, the wealthy have much more to give. Does this mean that we should eliminate foundations? I do not think so. Perhaps we should change tax laws to reduce the tax-subsidized aspect of foundation activity. But a plutocratic tempering of government orthodoxy may be better than no tempering at all. The pluralism argument provides a plausible, if not definitive, case for foundations as democracy-supporting institutions. But foundations supply more than diversity. They also fuel innovation. Let’s say a democracy wishes to advance the general welfare or pursue the aims of justice, but democratic representatives do not know the best means for achieving such aims. For instance, what kinds of policies will best promote educational opportunity and achievement? Some believe universal pre-school is the answer, others a better school finance system, others better and more pervasive educational television, and still others online learning. Or consider environmental policy: What kinds of changes will reduce carbon emissions with the lowest cost to economic growth? To answer these questions, a democratic society—recognizing that its leaders are not all-knowing, that reasonable disagreement on the best means to pursue just ends is likely, and that social conditions are always evolving—might wish to stimulate experimentation in social policy so that better and more effective policies at realizing democratically agreed upon aims can be identified and adopted. Moreover, this need for experimentation is never ending. In light of constant change in economic, cultural, technological, and generation conditions, the discovery process is, in ideal circumstances, cumulative, in contributing to society a storehouse of best, or simply very effective, practices for different contexts and shifting priorities. Foundations can be one device—federalism may be another—for this important work of discovery and experimentation. And when it comes to the ongoing work of experimentation, foundations have a structural advantage over market and state institutions: a longer time horizon. Once more, the lack of accountability may be a surprising advantage. Commercial entities in the marketplace do not have an incentive structure that systematically rewards high-risk, long time horizon experimentation; they need to show quarterly results. Similarly, public officials in a democracy do not have an incentive structure that rewards high-risk, long time horizon experimentation; they need to show results quickly from the expenditure of public dollars in order to get re-elected. In contrast, foundations are not subject to earnings reports, impatient investors or stockholders, or short-term election cycles. Foundations, answerable only to the diverse preferences and ideas of their donors, with a protected endowment permitted to exist in perpetuity, may be uniquely situated to engage in the sort of high-risk, long-run policy innovation and experimentation that is healthy in a democratic society. Some foundations experiment in just this mode: seeking, as the Gates Foundation does, the development of medicines for poor people; seeking, as the Hewlett Foundation does, innovations to address climate change. And what comes of a foundation-funded innovation after it has been evaluated? Failed innovations and experiments die, though society has presumably learned something from the failure. Others may take up and modify the failed experiments and generate positive results. From the perspective of a foundation, successful philanthropic giving consists not in funding social innovations and then sustaining the most successful of them forever. Because the assets of even the largest foundations are dwarfed by the assets of the marketplace and of rich states, success consists in seeing proven policy innovations “scaled up” by private firms or by the state.

just fought one of the bloodiest wars in history for the sake of the individual, millions were rushing into the kind of lockstep existence that by definition meant a forfeiture of inner life. Books written by sociologists, novelists, and psychologists describing this cultural turn of events were suddenly thick on the ground: David Riesman’s The Lonely Crowd (1950), Harry Stack Sullivan’s Interpersonal Theory of Psychiatry (1953), Sloan Wilson’s The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit (1953), and in some ways the most penetrating of all, Richard Yates’s Revolutionary Road, a novel published in 1961 but set in 1955. It was a time, Yates claimed, that embodied “a kind of blind, desperate clinging to safety and security at any price.” The book, however, that accounted most fully for the ’50s’ near-morbid desire for security at any price, had been written a decade earlier by the émigré psychoanalyst Erich Fromm. Escape from Freedom (1941), rooted in a European intellectual thought that had been heavily influenced by the work of both Karl Marx and Sigmund Freud, brought social psychology to the United States where, in the years ahead, it flourished wildly. The book launched its author on one of the most celebrated careers that any public intellectual, anywhere, has ever achieved. Erich Fromm was born in 1900 in Frankfurt, Germany, into a lower-middle-class Jewish family that was nominally Orthodox. While Fromm never became religious, very early he fell in love with Judaism’s great book of wisdom, and for years wished only to become a student of the Talmud. At the same time, on the verge of teenaged life, he came under the influence of an employee of his father, who introduced him to the work of Karl Marx. Then came the First World War, which, in later years, Fromm labeled “the most crucial experience of my life.” His newest biographer, historian Lawrence J. Friedman, tells us in The Lives of Erich Fromm: Love’s Prophet that when the war was over the eighteen-year-old Fromm remained “obsessed by . . . the wish to understand the irrationality of human mass behavior.” By Fromm’s own accounting, these three strands of influence—Talmudic ethics, Marxist socialism, and the psychological power of unreason—shaped his intellectual life. In 1919 he entered the University of Heidelberg where he studied under Max Weber’s brother, Alfred, also a sociologist. Alfred Weber was convinced that while Freud’s discovery of the strength of instinct drives rooted in sexuality was undeniMota studied the map as the viceroy’s plump, pink finger traced the line of peaks into the far reaches of the northwestern frontier. “Here,” the viceroy said, stopping his finger in a wide stretch of empty parchment. “This is where he says it is.” The viceroy was sitting in his sedan chair, held above the greenest lawn in all of New Spain by a pair of smoothskinned Guinea bucks. Women in meringue-pale dresses strolled past, followed by dandies with needle-thin swords at their waists. Parrots and quetzals squawked in brass cages hung among the trees, stretched their feathers against the wire bars. “And you believe him, Excellency?” Mota asked. “He gave me proof,” the viceroy said. “Listen. Ninety pesos to the quintal, sixty thousand marks of silver a year. The mine is too rich to ignore.” He leaned farther out, causing the front bearer’s knees to buckle, and tapped Mota on the chest. “I want you to claim it.” Mota had been an inspector of mines for the Royal Audiencia for ten years. It was not the career he had intended for himself. At Salamanca his sole friend, the third son of the Duke of Córdoba, had fed him stories of the New World: ribbons of ore, impatient Creole virgins, the moon hanging low above a hacienda. So he had come, securing a minor post copying letters in the Audiencia and envisioning a future that already seemed set. He would become rich without thinking and live out his days growing fat in a Creole palace, tickling his mistress each night while his wife whelped a child a year. Debarking at Vera Cruz, he had bribed the customs men and the men from the Holy Office—whose long, spidery fingers handled every passenger’s books—so that he might hurry toward this new life in the city of Mexico. He’d started off well. Within six months he’d made a good match, the seventeen-year-old daughter of a wine merchant, Maria Isabel. He’d seen her at a ball, standing behind a knot of protective old women, and her dark eyes, her willowy figure, her quiet manner had seemed to hold the secret to his happiness. He wrote letters and had them spirited to her room, spent nights hunched beneath her window. One evening a servant bumped into him in the street and pressed a handkerchief in his

so precocious a student that by 1923 he was a practicing psychoanalyst in Berlin. In 1929 he became a lecturer and founding member at the Institute for Psychoanalysis at the University of Frankfurt. In Frankfurt, he quickly discovered that it was only Freud threaded through Marx that ignited his intellectual imagination, and he soon deserted one Frankfurt institute for another: the Institute for Social Research, which eventually gained international fame as the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory. The Frankfurt School had been founded in 1922 by a wealthy Marxist who wished to see a body of research concentrated on the organized working class. By the end of the decade, however, a neo-Marxist development within the intellectual left was guiding the work of the Institute toward an exploration of the cultural rather than economic consequences of capitalism. It was this movement—led by scholars and critics such as Max Horkheimer, Theodor Adorno, Walter Benjamin, Herbert Marcuse, and Leo Löwenthal—that established the Institute’s originality. When, around 1929, a group of psychoanalysts that included Fromm and Wilhelm Reich was recruited (mainly by Horkheimer), the Institute was given the grounding in neo-Freudian thought that—together with cultural Marxism—became its signature trait. During those early years at the Frankfurt School, Fromm wrote a multitude of essays that joined the basic principles of psychoanalysis to those of historical materialism, analyzing instinctual drives and needs in relation to the overriding sense of alienation brought on by modern capitalism. These essays were the genesis of Escape from Freedom, the work that identified the existential drama of the human condition: the will at one and the same time to break loose from the constraints of social authority and to submit to them. It was the rise of Nazism—the incredible ease with which Hitler made his way to power first in Germany and then in Austria— that amazed Fromm and made clear to him that humanity at large was almost always drawn to the infantile comfort of having an external authority make all the decisions. Overnight, it seemed, millions of people, indifferent to the loss of democracy, were happy to capitulate to the rule of the strongman, relieved to feel order restored when they were being told what they could and could not do, no matter the human cost. This was a crisis that, in Fromm’s view, threatened “the greatest achievement of modern culture— individuality and uniqueness of personality.”

month of pressing his case secured the man’s approval. Then, a week before they were to marry, Mota bribed the cook to sicken Maria Isabel’s duenna, so that he might climb through his waiting love’s window and claim her virginity. He and Maria Isabel lay together in her great bed with its silk-trimmed sheets until the hour before dawn, giggling as they listened to old Rosita curse and retch. A day later, though, Maria Isabel broke into sweats, and by the morning set for their wedding she was wrapped in lace and laid in her grave. The surgeon said the disease had risen from the lake in a fume, but Mota blamed himself. He was 22. Locked in his tiny, rented room for five days, he wept until he felt his heart turn brittle. Then he went to the president of the Audiencia and begged for a job that would send him from the city, and the president gave him a mine to audit at Cuencamé. The viceroy had told Mota he would find his guide waiting at the pulqueria Hijas de Hernandez, and it was there Mota went after he left the Alameda. The pulqueria stood alongside a canal in the southeastern quarter of the city, behind the Convent of La Merced. Indian bargemen and idle Creoles sat in its court, shaded by lemon trees as they watched leaves float toward the weir. Their watching was intense, punctuated by shouts—wagers had been placed on each leaf’s progress. Inside the pulqueria most of the tables were empty, and those that weren’t were occupied by slouched loners or whisperers craned over their drinks. One of Hernandez’s gawky daughters leaned against the bar, her face lit by a feeble shaft of sun. Alongside the far wall sat a man with the distinct look of a freshly bathed vagrant, his clothes new, his hair washed and combed, yet a nimbus of filth staining his person. His hand rested on a half-empty carafe. Mota crossed the room toward him. “You are Father Pascual?” he asked. The previous morning, so Mota had learned, a man in tattered black robes calling himself by this name had taken the viceroy’s arm as he was leaving the cathedral. He had claimed to be a fugitive from Tayopa, said he had lived in hiding for two years, and offered, for a sizable sum, to guide a party back through the wilderness. “I am,” the vagrant said, and gestured to the table’s empty chair. The

“Do you have a map?” “Here,” Father Pascual said as he tapped the left side of his forehead. “Tell me, then, are the stories true? You Jesuits, your Yaqui slaves, bells struck in silver and gold?” “Much of it is true,” Father Pascual said. Mota took the carafe of pulque, tipped some into one of the spare glasses sitting on the table, and sipped. His throat burned. “Why did you leave?” “I had my reasons.” “All right, so tell me how.” “By night, by accident, and by terror.” Worry swelled like a cloud beneath Mota’s stomach. The man shifted, turned, refused him even the slightest hint of solid truth. “You must give me a reason to trust you,” Mota said. Father Pascual looked at him for a moment, then took a silk bundle from his pocket, laid it on the table, and unwrapped a dull, dung-colored rock streaked with the purest vein of silver Mota had ever seen. “You could have gotten that from anywhere,” Mota said. “Please. You know there’s no silver like this left in the New World. Except, of course, where I took it from.” Mota felt his mouth turn dry. “Dawn,” he said as Father Pascual put away the rock. “The western causeway. I’ll have a mule ready for you.” Mota had arrived at Cuencamé just four weeks after Maria Isabel’s death, steeped still in his sorrow, the memories of Maria Isabel continuing each day to leach into his blood. A branch of the mine had collapsed, and the low, steady toll of the church’s bell summoned coffin sellers to the mine’s iron gate, where already a horde of desperate men clamored for the dead men’s places. They shoved against widows, and two of the strivers toppled an unclaimed corpse. Mota watched with a mixture of fascination and disgust. Here beat the true pulse of the New World. Here its promises of happiness were given the lie, here the earth opened, loosing the upper chambers of Hell, and stripped men of all falsity. When, a month later, Mota returned from Cuencamé with his audits, he asked the president of the Audiencia for another mine. After his meeting with Father Pascual, Mota spent the evening rousing

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ber 14, state police Park, across from th cupy Denver protest cleared Occupy Atla Diego was removed tober 29 police shut from Zuccotti Park police and bulldozers Throughout Europ angry demonstration capitals laying siege down roads and rail, estimates that a mi known as Los Indigna Americans have protests have been protest that began onstrations through may have helped to and its consequenc politics has become decades of increasin about the boundarie the United States to also tamer than at a In New York, Bost are playing a delicat want to expand their of the tiny plots on wh are looking for any re camps clean, mainta Samuel Johnson “When a man knows in a fortnight, it con wonderfully.” But it so concentrates capital punishment criminal justice sys 40 years, while the been “tinker[ing] w of death,” in Justic haunting phrase, ot the system have bro In 1972, by a vo preme Court struck capital punishment s States. While three pared to hold the de stitutional under all others focused on th ing statutes led to arb followed no legal st Potter Stewart put it violated the cruel a ment clause of the because being sente like “being struck by l Many states res new capital punishm purported to forma ing. In 1976 the Sup several of these effo procedural safegua creation of a sepa to determine whet deserves to die. In defense counsel ca range of mitigating diminish the defend incline the judge or j But too often the that reassured the illusory in practice. trained, or outright i often fail to provide minimally adequate 1990 study by the N found that a quarter on Kentucky’s death resented at their tr were later disbarre practice, or convicted defendant in Georgia yer who knew the na criminal law opinion d And however unw Court has been to defendants receive t resentation—its int Sixth Amendment’s tive assistance of cou low that courts have in cases where the asleep during part of has been even less w temic unfairness in the most awesome Clesky v. Kemp (1987 powerful statistical that the death pen infected by racial d fendants convicted o were far more likely death than any other Powell’s opinion was

BR Annual Report 2013  

Boston Review's Annual Report for 2013

BR Annual Report 2013  

Boston Review's Annual Report for 2013