Photo: Wikimedia Commons
When not in class or editing pieces, our spectacularly busy Envoy team reads a lot. Here are some of our favourite articles from last month.
"Rants about Obama's foreign policy have started to bore me. They’re often completely detached from history, from American self-interest, and from the big-picture of international relations. This article by Gideon Rose takes a different tact. It evaluates the president’s successes and failures, not on their own, but in relation to the Bush-sized mess he was elected to clean—a mess made smaller now by the unblinking rationality of Obama’s presidency."
"Ta-Nehisi Coates is “our [James] Baldwin". Writing on the effects of long-standing policies of mass incarceration and the Black family, he unsurprisingly doesn’t always receive a kind reception from the conservatives at The National Review. His depth and skill is particularly evident in this evisceration of Kay Hymowitz specifically, and the National Review generally. I haven’t seen a hit this clean in a while.”
"As we enter the final weeks of the longest Canadian election campaign in history, the notion of another election happening less than a year from now is seemingly absurd— but may actually be less far-fetched than you think. This article outlines the shrewd, practically Machiavellian form of political maneuvering that could keep the Conservatives in power and potentially trigger another election in 2016. While we have to wait for the election results to see how this all plays out, Canadian politics might just get even weirder."
"The Economist, in all of its centrist glory, takes a much needed shot at Jeremy Corbyn and Labour’s hypermoralizing hoi polloi. Corbyn’s speech in Brighton illustrates what he really is: an internal protest against the “sensibles" within his own party, rather than a viable alternative to a certain zoophiliac’s death grip on British politics. Faced with the spectre of electoral irrelevance, the party’s mainstream cadre may hasten Corbyn’s ousting and initiate yet another damaging bout of infighting. Bagehot’s notebook takes no prisoners in its dissection of the dangers that face Britain without an effective opposition party.”
"Reactions to the current refugee crisis have only highlighted the potential problems the global community will face once rising waters start to displace entire communities. Beginning with a brief examination of Hitler’s rise to power under the more current lens of climate change, Snyder cautions us not to take a position of ethical superiority when contemplating a possible resurgence of "Hitler’s World". While a focus on the quest for Lebensraum as motivated by food scarcity is not necessarily a new take, this certainly serves as a timely reminder of the extremist positions that can result in the face of perceived desperation."
"This one’s for all of you WWII history buffs. Though not the most political piece I’ve read this month, George Dvorsky’s piece on the Battle of Britain is some of the best history I’ve read lately, and is a great example of long-form essay writing in a blog format."
"Cooper and Schmitt epitomize the beauty of geopolitics in this succinct little piece. It has all the makings of a great melodrama: Syria, Iran, Russia, anonymous US officials, unidentified flying objects and multitudinous denial. You know it’s good when it makes Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei laugh and call it “complete nonsense.'”