Communism

Two pairs of earrings, four bracelets, and a mixtape inspired me to write to this book. I was in the Stadtmuseum in the German city of Jena, peering into the various display cases of an exhibit called Freundschaft! Mythos und Realität im...

The Institute for Advanced Study came into being at the most inauspicious of times. Founded in the early years of the Great Depression, it took shape during the buildup to the Second World War and under the growing shadow of authoritarian regimes. Its first Director Abraham Flexner published his manifesto on the “The Usefulness of Useless Knowledge” in October 1939, barely a month after the outbreak of hostilities in Europe. Surely this was a daunting moment to defend “the fearless and irresponsible thinker” and advocate for the free expression of knowledge and curiosity. 

In November 1954, Albert Einstein wrote a letter to a magazine in which he declared that, were he a young man again, he would not try to become a scientist: “I would rather choose to be a plumber or a peddler in...

Kristen Ghodsee, Member (2006–07) in the School of Social Science and President of the Association of Members of the Institute for Advanced Study, investigates the contemporary European memory projects about World War II and the Cold War. Since...

Russian spies held a morbid fascination in the minds of Americans dating back to the Red Scare in 1919, following the Bolshevik Revolution and the creation of the Communist International, of which the Communist Party of the USA became a...

“Freedom is the ultimate virtue of mankind”; “Democracy is the only political system of modern man and modern society”; “Therefore, Egypt must be committed to freedom and democracy.” These are the words of ‘Abbas Mahmud al-‘Aqqad in his book ...