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From the archives

Pax Atlantica

NATO’s long-lasting relevance

A Larger Role for Unions

Organized labour may be shrinking but the rhetoric is still upbeat

This United League

Will not die, will not perish

Mark Fried

Mark Fried is a literary translator in Ottawa.

Articles by
Mark Fried

Books and Belonging

M. G. Vassanji and Gary Barwin reflect July | August 2024
The prizewinning author M. G. Vassanji has written a lively, perceptive, and angry book that in many ways is a throwback to the screeds of yesteryear. His target: the stuffy attitudes that deny new Canadians a place in Canadian culture. Given the tribalism so prevalent today, one can only welcome his cogent argument for a common citizenship that encompasses all our separate identities: a “more sophisticated essence of Canada,” he calls…

David Adams Richards: An iconoclast protests

A grand parable of modern scapegoating June 2018
David Adams Richards has long been a wizard at conjuring tragic scenarios that address topical social problems in all their gory complexity. He is unafraid of challenging the reader’s prejudices or slicing through any delusions we might have about what makes us tick. In Principles to Live By (2016), for example, he pairs the brutal vicissitudes of a foster care system run by self-righteous and self-interested bureaucrats with the immense tragedy of genocide in…

Building the Dream

Why lasting success eluded an experiment in “scientific” foreign aid December 2013
Western efforts to reduce poverty overseas have long been plagued by two very human tendencies: we yearn for simple solutions and we crave quick results. Celebrated economist Jeffrey Sachs played to these tendencies when he announced in 2005 he would end extreme poverty in isolated and desperately poor African communities within five years. Most development professionals shook their heads in…

Politics as Spectacle

Can Brangelina and Bono really change the public sphere, or just make it glitzier? June 2008
In the spring of 2004, I had the chance a million 30-somethings would give their iPods for: I shook hands with Bono. For Oxfam, I had helped set up his trip to Ottawa to lobby Paul Martin. When he gripped my hand and the cameras clicked and whirred, the Irish singer wore the nervous grimace and wary body language one might expect in any…