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2018-06-01 Newsweek International

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American
e ca Bunga
u ga Bunga
u ga / 50 Books
oo s to Read
ead Thiss Su
Summer
e
01.06.2018
RUSSIA IS
CRACKING
DOWN ON
JEHOVAH’S
WITNESSES.
ARE
OTHER
GROUPS
NEXT?
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INTERNATIONAL EDITION
JUNE 01, 2018 _ VOL.170 _ NO.20
FEATURES
BERN NOTICE
In the two years since his insurgent campaign
for the White House succumbed to the Hillary
Clinton juggernaut, Bernie Sanders has gone
from cult hero to mainstream dynamo.
COVER CREDIT
Photograph by The Voorhes for Newsweek
18
28
Bern After
Reading
Bible
Thumpers
Is the Bernie Sanders revolution
torching the Democratic Party
or putting out the blaze?
The Kremlin is cracking down
on the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Are
other religious groups next?
BY ALEXANDER NAZARYAN
BY MARC BENNETTS
For more headlines, go to
NEWSWEEK.COM
Photog raph b y C H R I S T O P H E R L A N E
1
*/2%$/(',725,1&+,() _ Nancy Cooper
&5($7,9(',5(&725 _ Michael Goesele
ON
JUNE 0
1
0
1(:6',5(&725 _ Cristina Silva
'(387<(',7256 _ Mary Kaye Schilling,
R.M. Schneiderman
23,1,21 (',725
Laura Davis
EDITORIAL
P. 37
In Focus
Periscope
04 Volcano, Hawaii
08 SpyTalk
Fore!
06 Valencia, Venezuela
Balk the Vote
#METOO TIME
In the fourth season
of Unbreakable
Kimmy Schmidt,
the lead character,
l d by
b Ellie
Elli
played
Kemper, below, has
a #MeToo moment.
Hargeisa, Somalia
Red, White
and Green
Windsor, England
Pride and Prejudice
The CIA’s Curious
Outing of a Living Spy
12 World
Will Trump Go
Down Like
Berlusconi?
14 Americas
Vicente Fox Is a
Social Media Star
Horizons
34 Archaeology
Dig Developments
in East Africa
36 Fresh Evidence
The Value of
Shock Therapy
37 By the Numbers
Gut Health
Culture
38 Books
The Best Fiction
and Nonfiction to
Read This Summer
46 Streaming
Unbreakable
Kimmy Schmidt’s
#MeToo Moment.
48 Parting Shot
Mickey Hart
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NEWSWEEK.COM
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Jessica Lipsky %UHDNLQJ1HZV
Robert Valencia :RUOGKatie Zavadski 3ROLWLFV
Amanda Woytus %UHDNLQJ1HZV
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CREATIVE
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Production Manager _ Helen J. Russell
WRITERS
0HJKDQb%DUWHOV'DYLG%UHQQDQ1LQDb%XUOHLJK
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'DYLG6LP0DULH6ROLV-HIIb6WHLQ0DUF9DUJDV
-DQLFHb:LOOLDPV&KULVWLQD=KDR(*Contributing)
PUBLISHED BY
Newsweek Media Group Inc.
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&KLHI)LQDQFLDO2IɿFHU _ Amit Shah
&KLHI7HFKQRORJ\2IɿFHU _ Michael Lukac
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DEPARTME
ENTS
© 1986 Panda symbol WWF ® “WWF” is a WWF Registered Trademark
HELP
SAVE
THE
‘WOW’
These giants of the animal kingdom need help. Despite their strength and cunning they’re
no match for a poacher’s rifle. For 50 years WWF has been securing protected areas
worldwide, but these aren’t enough to stop the killing. To disrupt the sophisticated criminal
gangs supplying animal parts to lucrative illegal markets, we are working with governments
to toughen law enforcement. We’re also working with consumers to reduce the demand
for unlawful wildlife products. Help us look after the world where you live at panda.org/50
Silverback Western lowland gorilla.
© NaturePL.com / T.J. Rich / WWF
In Focus
4
NEWSWEEK.COM
THE NEWS IN PICTURES
JUNE
018
VOLCANO, HAWAII
Fore!
Golfers at the Volcano Golf
and Country Club continue to
play a round as a huge plume
of ash rises in the distance
from the Kilauea volcano
on May 15. Two days later,
Kilauea erupted again, blasting
ash some 5 miles high.
0 $ 5 , 2 7$ 0 $ ʔ* ( 7 7 <
Ơ M A R I O TA M A
In Focus
VALENCIA, VENEZUELA
HARGEISA, SOMALIA
WINDSOR, ENGLAND
Balk the Vote
Red,White and Green
Pride and Prejudice
Javier Bertucci, an opposition candidate
for president, waves during a campaign
rally on May 16, just days before the
presidential election. President Nicolás
Maduro won the contest, but critics
claimed it was rigged in his favor. Bertucci,
a wealthy evangelical minister, was one
of two main opposition candidates who
decided to participate in the race.
Men coated with the colors of the
6RPDOLʀDJFHOHEUDWHLQGHSHQGHQFH
day on May 15, a little bit early.
Following the festivities, many in
Somaliland—an autonomous region
that broke away from Somalia
in 1991 but isn’t internationally
recognized—began fasting for the
Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Meghan Markle, a biracial, feminist,
American actress, walks down the aisle
by herself before wedding Prince Harry in
St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle on
May 19. At a time when the world seems
increasingly divided, their union, as The
New York Times wrote, appeared to
usher the royals into “a new era,” one
that’s far more open and inclusive.
Ơ LUIS ROBAYO
6
NEWSWEEK.COM
ƠMUSTAFA SAEED
ƠDANNY LAWSON
J U N E 01, 2018
NEWSWEEK.COM
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SOURCES AND METHODS
When Kennedy was
assassinated, the CIA
asked Gibson, below, about
Oswald, middle. The writer
told them what little he
knew. At right, Helms.
8
NEWSWEEK.COM
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Periscope
NEWS, OPINION + ANALYSIS
J U N E 01, 2018
“Trump may want to study
Berlusconi’s demise.” » P.12
ESPIONAGE
Bookof Spies
For decades, writer Richard Gibson denied being a CIA agent.
Then the agency revealed the truth—even though Gibson is still alive
in the late 1940 s and early 1950 s, paris
to its publication. “I turn up as Bill Hart, the ‘superbeckoned African-American intellectuals
spy,’” Gibson said of the story.
hoping to escape the racism and conformity of
Wright’s book now seems prescient. In a strange
American life. Chief among them: Richard Wright,
twist, on April 26, when the National Archives
released thousands of documents pertaining to
the acclaimed author of Native Son and Black
Boy, who arrived in 1947. He was soon joined by
the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, they
Chester Himes, an ex-convict who mastered hardincluded three fat CIA files on Gibson. According
boiled detective fiction; James Baldwin, the precoto these documents, he had served U.S. intelligence
cious essayist; and Richard Gibson, an editor at the
from 1965 until at least 1977. This was well after
Agence France-Presse.
Wright wrote his book, and it’s not clear if Gibson
These men became friends, colleagues and, soon,
had engaged in espionage before that period. But
bitter rivals. Their relationship appeared to unravel
his files revealed his CIA code name, QRPHONE-1;
over France’s war to keep its colony in Algeria.
his salary (as much as $900 a month); and his varGibson pressured Wright to publicly criticize the
ious missions, as well as his attitude (“energetic”)
French government, angering the acclaimed author.
and performance (“a self-starter”).
The most curious part of the story: Gibson is still
Wright dramatized their falling-out in a roman à
clef he called Island of Hallucination, which was
alive. He’s 87 and living abroad. (Gibson “will not
never published, even after his death in 1960. In
be able to your questions,” said a family friend who
2005, Gibson published a memoir in
answered the phone at his residence.)
a scholarly journal recounting the
The CIA is usually vigilant about
political machinations his former
defending the confidentiality of its
BY
friend had dramatized, telling The
sources and methods. In announcing
Guardian he had obtained a copy of
the release of the JFK files last year,
JEFFERSON MORLEY
President Donald Trump declared
the manuscript and had no objections
@jeffersonmorley
Illustration by G L U E K I T
NEWSWEEK.COM
9
Periscope
the records would be opened in
their entirety, “except for the names
and addresses of living persons.” Save
for Gibson’s, apparently. (The CIA
declined to comment for this story.)
Born in 1931, Gibson grew up in
Philadelphia and attended Kenyon
College in Ohio. A stint in the Army
gave him a taste for European life,
and he moved to Rome and then to
Paris. He wrote a novel, a detective
story called A Mirror for Magistrates,
and fell in and out with Wright and
other expatriate intellectuals.
In 1957, Gibson left Paris and went
to work for CBS Radio News, according to his newspaper reports. With
a colleague, he covered the Cuban
revolution that brought Fidel Castro
to power. In 1960, Gibson, who then
sympathized with leftist movements,
co-founded the Fair Play for Cuba
ESPIONAGE
Committee (FPCC), which defended
Castro’s government from negative
coverage in the North American press.
When he left CBS, Gibson took
over running the FPCC, and it grew
rapidly on college campuses. He
resisted subpoenas from Senate
investigators seeking to discredit the
group and urged civil rights leaders
to support the Cuban cause.
Yet in July 1962, Gibson quit the
In his letters to the
CIA’s spy, Baraka
signed off with
the valediction
“In struggle.”
FPCC and wrote an anonymous letter on the group’s stationery to the
CIA. If the agency would arrange a
secure meeting spot, he wrote, he
could be of assistance.
The CIA figured out who wrote
the letter and made contact with the
young intellectual. He had moved
on to Switzerland to become the
English-language editor of a new magazine called La Révolution Africaine.
In a January 1963 memo, CIA Deputy
Director Richard Helms informed the
FBI that Gibson had told an agency
source about the ideological direction
of the magazine—further left—and
how it planned to relocate 15 staff
members from Paris to Algiers.
When Kennedy was assassinated
on November 22, 1963, the CIA
asked Gibson about accused assassin
Lee Harvey Oswald, who had corresponded with the FPCC. Gibson told
them what little he knew and indicated he wanted to “maintain contact”
with the U.S. government.
In the summer of 1964, Gibson
had another falling-out, this time
with the publisher of La Révolution
Africaine, who accused him of being
an agent of the FBI and CIA. Whenever the charge was repeated years
later, Gibson shrugged it off. “If I’m
CIA, where’s my pension?” he told
The Guardian in 2006.
By then, Gibson was no longer
working for the agency. But his file
shows that a Langley officer contacted him in January 1965 and
arranged for a debriefing and “test
assignment” that summer: “After
recruitment and agreement to...
[polygraph] examination, [s]ubject
was introduced to his…case officer.”
WAR FATIGUES Gibson’s relationship
with Wright appeared to unravel over
France’s war to keep its colony in Algeria.
At left, Algerian soldiers in Algiers in 1963.
10
NEWSWEEK.COM
J U N E 01, 2018
THE WRIGHT STUFF
)520/()7%(7 70$11$5&+,9(ʔ*(7 7<81,9(56$/+,6725<$5&+,9(ʔ8,*ʔ*(7 7 < & 2 5 % , 6 ʔ* ( 7 7 < * 5 $ 3 + , & + 2 86 ( ʔ* ( 7 7 <
In his unpublished
novel, Wright,
below, seemed to
allude to the fact
that Gibson was a
spy. Above, Oswald.
At left, Castro.
He soon began working for the intelligence service as a spy.
Four years later, according to his
file, the agency increased Gibson’s taxfree salary of $600 a month to $900 a
month (the equivalent of more than
$6,000 in 2018 dollars). His mission:
to report on “his extensive contacts
among leftist, radical, and communist movements in Europe and Africa.”
Gibson, his wife and their two kids
settled in Belgium, where he lived the
life of a cosmopolitan intellectual.
He traveled widely and wrote a book
about African liberation movements
fighting white-minority rule. He also
monitored the revolutionary poet
and playwright Amiri Baraka, who
trusted him as an ideological comrade. In his letters to the CIA’s spy,
Baraka signed off with the valediction “In struggle.” (Baraka’s son, Ras,
is the mayor of Newark, New Jersey.)
While the newly released CIA files
don’t include operational details,
Gibson seems to have been a prolific
spy. One CIA memo asserts that in
1977 his file contained more than
400 documents.
His quip to The Guardian notwithstanding, Gibson even had a CIA pension of sorts. In September 1969, his
case officer noted that “QRPHONE/1
has begun to invest a portion of his
monthly salary in a reputable mutual
fund of his choice. This modest
investment program will enhance
financial security in the event of termination and/or a rainy day.”
Gibson was still an “active agent”
in 1977 when Congress reopened the
JFK investigation and started asking
questions about the agency’s penetration of the FPCC in 1963. The
House Select Committee on Assassinations asked to see Gibson’s CIA
file. The agency showed investigators only a small portion of it, but
the entirety of the still-classified
material became part of the CIA’s
archive of JFK records.
That designation would eventually
change. In October 1992, Congress
passed a law mandating the release of
all JFK files within 25 years. Gibson’s
secret was safe for the time being. In
1985, he successfully sued a South
African author who asserted he was
a CIA agent. The book was withdrawn,
and the publisher issued a statement
declaring that “Mr. Gibson has never
worked for the United States Central
Intelligence Agency,” a claim that no
longer seems tenable.
In 2013, Gibson sold his collected
papers to George Washington University in Washington, D.C. To celebrate the acquisition, the university
held a daylong symposium, “Richard
Gibson: Literary Contrarian & Cold
Warrior,” dedicated to “furthering
our understanding of the intellectual
and literary history of the Cold War.”
With the release of Gibson’s CIA
files, scholars can now discern the
hidden hand of the American clandestine service in writing that history. When it came to the character
who inspired Bill Hart, “the superspy,” Richard Wright’s fiction was
perhaps ahead of its time.
NEWSWEEK.COM
11
Periscope
OPINION
American
BungaBunga
Silvio Berlusconi abused, insulted and exploited
several women, who ultimately brought him down.
Could the same happen to Donald Trump?
an overly tanned rightwing populist with a fervent
base seemingly dodges scandal after
scandal, until several women he’s
abused, insulted or exploited finally
lead to his downfall. That scenario
may sound like Donald Trump’s presidency, albeit with a liberal fantasy
ending. But I’m actually talking about
Silvio Berlusconi, the flamboyant former Italian prime minister.
The two leaders have a lot in common. Both are wealthy demagogues
12
NEWSWEEK.COM
with long records of bankruptcy
and shady business dealings. Both
are celebrities—Berlusconi once
ran a TV empire, Trump had a hit
reality-TV franchise. Both entered
politics, claiming that only they
could fix a broken political system—
one from which they
handsomely benefited.
Both are savvy salesBY
men who appealed to
disgruntled voters by
RULA JEBREAL
projecting themselves—
@rulajebreal
paradoxically—as cartoonish authoritarians and victimized everymen.
Both became embroiled in sex scandals. Trump allegedly cheated on his
pregnant wife with porn star Stormy
Daniels (real name Stephanie Clifford), then tried to buy her silence
just before the 2016 election. Berlusconi was accused of having sex with
a young prostitute at a “bunga bunga”
party. Both men also saw those controversies spiral into probes about
cover-ups and the abuse of power.
Most Americans—like most Italians—don’t really care about their
leaders’ sex lives. But they do care
if their leaders are corrupt. They do
care if they bribe people, using fixers
who also sell their access to the head
of state. So Trump—and his critics—may want to study Berlusconi’s
demise—and how he sullied the
country’s democracy on his way down.
The fall of the Italian media mogul
began one night in October 2010
when Berlusconi—then in his 70s—
allegedly gave a 17-year-old belly
dancer named Karima El Mahroug
7,000 euros and some jewelry to have
sex with him. The encounter may have
remained secret, but months later, El
Mahroug, known as “Ruby the Heart
Stealer,” was arrested on charges of
stealing—not hearts but thousands
of euros from her roommate.
Her first call from jail was to Berlusconi. Soon, the Italian prime minister pressured the head of police in
Milan to release her, claiming that
the girl—a Moroccan citizen—was
the niece of Egypt’s President Hosni
Mubarak. Her arrest, he explained,
could spark a diplomatic crisis.
Law enforcement leaked the
story, and the ensuing media storm
included lurid tales of orgies at Berlusconi’s residence in Rome, where
prostitutes were hired to dress like
nuns and policewomen and role-play
J U N E 01, 2018
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with the prime minister. Ever the demagogue, Berlusconi responded to the
scandal by declaring, “It’s better to be
fond of beautiful girls than to be gay.”
What also came out in the scandal:
The libidinous leader used a proxy—
businessman Gianpaolo Tarantini—
to pay other women (prostitutes,
porn stars and showgirls) to sleep
with him and, later, to allegedly keep
quiet about their randy romps and
lie to the magistrates.
Ruby’s story ought to have come
as no surprise to the Italian public:
A year earlier, Berlusconi’s wife of 19
years, Veronica Lario, had filed for
divorce, publicly accusing her husband
of “consorting with minors.” She wrote
an open letter to Italy’s main newspaper, La Republica, calling the prime
minister “a sick man.” Members of
Berlusconi’s political party and his
media surrogates responded by leaking seductive photos of her and spreading rumors she was sleeping with her
bodyguards, among other things.
Then there was Angela Merkel.
Berlusconi never slept with her,
but she certainly helped lead to his
downfall. The German chancellor
couldn’t stand his naked corruption and misogyny. (It didn’t help
that he also referred to her as an
“unfuckable bitch.”) In normal times,
the Merkel-Berlusconi beef would
have been little more than a verbal
spat. But it occurred in 2011, when
Italy was in the throes of a financial
crisis. The country needed a European Union bailout. The result: She
demanded his ouster as part of the
price for Italy’s economic survival.
And Berlusconi was forced from
power and banned from public office
for more than half a decade.
RUBY DREAD Berlusconi, top, allegedly
gave El Mahroug, right, 7,000 euros
and some jewelry to have sex with him.
In 2013, he was sentenced to four
years in prison on charges of financial fraud and tax evasion, though he
ultimately had to do only community
service. (He remains under investigation for witness tampering related to
El Mahroug and others.)
Does Trump await a similar fate?
It’s unclear, but there are eerie parallels between his women troubles and
those of his Italian counterpart. Take
Stormy Daniels. Trump’s personal
lawyer, Michael Cohen, paid the
adult film star $130,000 through a
Most Americans—
like most Italians—
don’t really care
about their leaders’
sex lives. But they
do care if their
leaders are corrupt.
limited liability company just before
the 2016 election to keep quiet about
her alleged affair with the GOP candidate. He apparently considered it
necessary so the story wouldn’t leak
and affect the New York real estate
mogul’s chances of winning.
But as was the case with Berlusconi,
the scandal soon widened beyond just
sex. Daniels’s lawyer, Michael Avenatti,
eventually revealed, among other
things, how Cohen used his access
to the president to make millions
from corporations such as AT&T and
Novartis and investment company
Columbus Nova, which is tied to Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg—
whom the U.S. recently sanctioned.
It’s still unclear if the president
knew what his lawyer was doing, but
here again there is a Berlusconi parallel: As Tarantini helped find women
for the Italian prime minister, he was
allegedly courting wealthy businessmen, promising access in exchange
for considerable sums of money.
So far, Trump’s response to these
scandals has also mirrored Berlusconi’s. Both share a profound sense of
victimhood. And both have fervently
attacked the press and those who
could potentially bring them down
(in Trump’s case, law enforcement;
in Berlusconi’s, the Italian judiciary).
The outcome of this strategy, at least
for Berlusconi, was a partial victory. By
the time the Italian prime minister
was forced out, he had successfully discredited and delegitimized the courts,
calling them a “cancer of democracy.”
(Only 39 percent of Italians still believe
in an independent judiciary, according to Institute Eurispes, a European
think tank.) Today, his toxic legacy
lives on, and many among his base—
about 25 percent of the country—
still believe he is innocent. Which
is why, after years away from public
office, he may soon run again.
NEWSWEEK.COM
13
Periscope
AMERICAS
Off theWall
As the U.S. debates sealing off its
southern border, former Mexican President Vicente Fox
has become an outspoken critic of the plan—
and a star on social media
14
NEWSWEEK.COM
Pentagon and World Trade Center.
Bush became focused on destroying Al-Qaeda, and Fox opposed the
2003 American invasion of Iraq—a
move that created tension between
the two countries.
Today, however, he seems to be
enjoying his newfound fame in the
United States. In mid-May, Fox spoke
to Newsweek about trade, Mexico’s
presidential election in July and, of
course, “that fucken wall.”
Mexican pundits have called your
six-year term a “lost opportunity.”
Is that unfair?
It’s unfair because my term was a
minority-run administration. Our
proposals needed the approval of the
majority in Congress. Checks and
balances exist. I was not successful
in reaching consensus in Congress
because partisanship is deeply rooted.
You have been a staunch critic
of left-leaning presidential
candidate Andrés Manuel López
Obrador, who is leading in the
polls. Why?
He’s an ignorant man who can
destroy a nation. He thinks he
could rule Mexico by giving away
things to people, and
he’d oppress media
and people who don’t
BY
agree with him. Mexico should not take
ROBERT VALENCIA
that risk. Unfortunately,
@rvalentwit
democracy only works when a country has an educated middle class and
a fair level of income and education.
A country will only become successful
when it has an open market, a smart
economy and an education system
that generates human capital. These
tropical messiahs and false prophets
are just brainwashing voters.
So who do you think is the best
candidate to run Mexico?
José Antonio Meade from the PRI. He
knows what it takes to be a president.
J U N E 01, 2018
< 8 5 , & 2 57 ( =ʔ$ ) 3ʔ* ( 7 7 <
vicente fox “jumped the wall”
to come here, he joked to the
crowd. It was May 14, and the former
president of Mexico was onstage at
Cipriani, a restaurant and venue in
downtown New York, where he had
just received a Webby Award for best
internet personality in film and video.
These days, Fox is a celebrity, not
just in Mexico but increasingly in
America. And his Cipriani speech
captured why. Since early 2016, when
Donald Trump was still a Republican
hopeful, Fox has been one of his most
outspoken critics, lambasting the real
estate mogul for his desire to wall off
the southern U.S. border—and make
Mexico pay for it. “I am not paying
for that fucken wall,” Fox tweeted last
January. Trump’s critics have loved
his brash, comedic approach, and
his message has catapulted him to
social media stardom.
The folksy, mustachioed Fox has
always been charismatic. In late
2000, he became president of Mexico, upending 70 years of rule by the
country’s Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). In one of his first acts
as president, he visited his American
counterpart, George W. Bush. The
two leaders got along well—both
are fond of cowboy boots—and
pledged to improve trade between
the two nations and reform the U.S.
immigration system.
Those plans unraveled with the
September 11, 2001, attacks on the
BORDER BUDDIES As Mexico’s president,
Fox visited George W. Bush. The presidents
got along well—both are fond of cowboy
boots—but their plans to reform the U.S.
immigration system were halted by 9/11.
opportunities. He’s a populist leader
who says he’ll take away from the rich
and large corporations, but he’s doing
the complete opposite.
What about the wall?
The wall will...fail because Americans
are not stupid to earmark billions of
dollars for its construction, and he’d
be crazy to think that Mexico will
pay for it. I have nothing personal
against Trump, but he’s pursuing the
wrong policies. The U.S., Canada and
Mexico...we could, as a whole, be the
world’s most powerful and competitive economy. Therefore, we should
not be thinking about building walls.
The party you helped unseat...
Meade is burdened with the image
of the PRI. He placed his presidential
aspirations in it, instead of being a
maverick and fighting corruption.
:K\KDVLWEHHQGLIɿFXOWWRFKDQJH
the U.S. immigration system?
The president of the United States,
rather than being a statesman who
analyzes things from a long-term perspective, just focuses on re-election.
President Bush said he wanted to
back reform, but he never did. Barack
Obama never had the willingness to
address immigration. Trump is worse.
What makes him worse?
He’ll destroy the nation’s best
“These tropical
messiahs and false
prophets are just
brainwashing voters.”
If you were president of Mexico
today, would you be as outspoken
as you are on social media?
During my presidential campaign, I
referred to my adversaries as tepocatas [tadpoles], vipers and venomous
scorpions. I’m a rancher, and that’s
how I speak. If I had told Trump,
“You should not build the wall,” it
would not have resounded. But if I
say, “We won’t pay for that fucking
wall,” it becomes a strong message,
which is exactly the kind of language
Trump uses. He’s the last person to
demand respect, because he has been
extremely offensive to Mexico and
other politicians, but his message is
piercing. Therefore, we should not
judge how we use words; we should
always tell and disseminate the truth.
Is there anything else you want
to tell the president of the United
States of America?
Leave, buddy, leave!
NEWSWEEK.COM
15
FIGURE OF EIGHT
In its enlarged format the Shanghai Cooperation
Organization champions a new model of regional
cooperation
A
t the upcoming 18th Meeting of the
Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)
&RXQFLO RI +HDGV RI 6WDWH WKH ĶUVW VXPPLW
since the expansion of its membership, leaders
of the eight member states will map the future of
a larger organization. The meeting, to be held in
Qingdao, east China’s Shandong Province, in June,
will also see the release of milestone documents
that codify their consensus. All this will further enKDQFH WKH VROLGDULW\ DQG LQßXHQFH RI WKH 6&2
Evolution
The SCO came into being against a distinct international backdrop in the aftermath of the Cold War.
It was created as a new regional mechanism to
meet the needs of countries in the region to maintain stability and promote shared development.
Under the Shanghai Five grouping, predecessor
to the SCO, China, Russia and countries in Central
Asia not only defused risks stemming from longterm confrontation between China and the Soviet
Union but also succeeded in building mutual
FRQĶGHQFH PLOLWDULO\ DQG DFKLHYLQJ GLVDUPDPHQW
in border areas. In addition, they launched joint
law enforcement and border defense cooperation
programs in a bid to cope with non-traditional security threats, especially extremism, terrorism and
separatism as well as trans-border crimes such as
GUXJ WUDIĶFNLQJ
After the SCO was founded in 2001, collaboration in security expanded to cover a wider
range of issues with the signing of a series of legal instruments and the introduction of several
mechanisms for dialogue. The SCO Regional
Anti-Terrorist Structure was set up in Tashkent,
Uzbekistan, as a standing body through which
to conduct information sharing and joint antiterrorism exercises on an increasingly regular
basis. The SCO often takes a coordinated
stance on security hotspots, and has become a
pivotal force for regional stability.
As security cooperation yields results, the
SCO has begun attaching equal importance to
synchronizing strategies in the economic, cultural and political arenas. Economic ties, which
lay the material foundation for the SCO, are
essential to the organization’s growing dynamism and appeal. The Program of Multilateral
Trade and Economic Cooperation was signed
at a SCO prime ministers’ meeting in Beijing
in 2003. Later, members identified 11 priority
areas and 127 key projects, and established
seven working groups within the framework
of the economy and trade ministers’ meeting.
They have made trade and investment facilitation the goal for economic cooperation at the
current stage, while boosting joint action in
areas such as energy, transportation, finance,
customs, agriculture and industrial capacity.
By combining multilateral and bilateral initiatives, the SCO has contributed to its members’
pursuit of mutually beneficial outcomes and
common prosperity.
The organization has also inaugurated
meetings of senior officials in charge of sectors such as culture, education, science and
technology, health, environmental protection
and tourism. The SCO University has been
established involving dozens of educational
institutions in member states. Various cultural,
artistic, media and youth exchange programs
are being held to improve cross-cultural understanding and friendship among the people of
SCO nations.
Ethos
The SCO has adapted to profound changes in the
international landscape and spearheaded the rapid
development of multilateral cooperation with an
innovative approach. The Shanghai Spirit, a code of
conduct characterized by reciprocal trust, mutual
EHQHĶWHTXDOLW\FRQVXOWDWLRQUHVSHFWIRUFXOWXUDO
diversity and pursuit of common development, as
well as new concepts of security and cooperation
advocated by China have become the foundational principles of the organization. These ideas
are a drastic departure from Cold War thinking and
power politics as they call for establishing partnerships instead of military alliances while opposing
zero-sum geopolitical games. They have helped
safeguard the interests of emerging economies
and developing countries, representing a new direction for regional cooperation.
In the SCO, economic development varies greatly from member to member. Social
systems, cultural traditions, geographic environments and national defense capabilities are
also markedly different across national borders.
Regional cooperation requires acknowledgement of these disparities before members can
reach consensus, act accordingly to define
reasonable objectives and trajectories, and develop full potential for future cooperation.
Despite myriad challenges, the SCO continues to make great strides forward. This is
UHßHFWHGE\WKHIDFWWKDWDQLQFUHDVLQJQXPEHU
of countries and international organizations
have expressed their intention to work closely
with the organization. In 2004, Mongolia beFDPHWKHĶUVWREVHUYHUWRWKH6&2DQGLQWKH
following years six new observers and six dialogue partners were admitted, expanding the
institution’s geographic space for cooperation.
The SCO has also become an observer to the
UN General Assembly as its constructive voice
on international affairs is better heard.
The political will of SCO leaders is a primary
factor in the institution’s growth. Bilateral relations of a strategic nature, especially effective
Military bands from Shanghai Cooperation Organization member countries perform in Beijing on April 24
The author is executive director of the China Shanghai Cooperation
Organization Studies Center
Scan QR code to visit Beijing Review’s website
Comments to zanjifang@bjreview.com
X NHUA
By Sun Zhuangzhi
The maneuvering of some major powers
has fueled tension between nations as well as
generating instability within certain countries
themselves, exacerbating the complexity of
the region’s security landscape. Antiterrorism
efforts in Syria and Iraq are plagued with new
uncertainties. The SCO calls for respecting the
authority of the UN and norms of international
law, while standing against intervention into
the domestic affairs of countries in the region
by external actors.
Since its inception, the SCO has been
harried with questions as to its mission and
function. Critics have been vocal in their prejudices, primarily by way of cynical predictions
and pejorative rhetoric. Some Western scholars have gone so far as to claim that the SCO
intends to become an “Eastern NATO” ready
to confront the West, while some analysts
speculate that competition between China and
Russia in Central Asia will undermine the organization’s internal unity. Since the accession
of India and Pakistan last year, the number of
doubters has increased. They argue that conßLFWVEHWZHHQ,QGLDDQG3DNLVWDQDQGEHWZHHQ
&KLQDDQG,QGLDZLOOPDNHLWGLIĶFXOWIRUWKH6&2
to operate, and that the organization may even
face the risk of collapse.
These arguments are not grounded in
IDFWV&RRSHUDWLRQKDVDOZD\VEHHQWKHGHĶQLQJ
feature of relations between China and Russia
as well as between China and India, which is in
the interest of all three countries.
The SCO will not become a military or political alliance, nor a bloc that is antagonistic to
the West and competes with it for spheres of
influence. The Qingdao summit will illustrate
the commitment of SCO members and observers to building a community in which countries
across the region share the same future,
with interests intertwined based on extensive
consultation, joint contribution and shared
EHQHĶWV7KHLUFRRSHUDWLRQZLOOQRWRQO\FKDQJH
the outlook of Eurasia, but is also indicative
of how global governance
can be improved, and how
China’s vision for a community with a shared future for
mankind can be turned into
reality. Q
communication between heads of state, are
conducive to executive decision making in
favor of multilateral cooperation. A solid legal
foundation has also played its part. The SCO
has signed a number of important agreements
including the SCO Charter, the Treaty on LongTerm Good Neighborliness, Friendliness and
Cooperation, and the Shanghai Convention
on Combating Terrorism, Extremism and
Separatism, establishing the basic principles for
cooperation.
Last but not least, the leading role of major countries is aptly recognized. Indeed, the
extension of the China-Russia comprehensive
strategic partnership of coordination on a regional dimension makes it possible for the SCO
to engage in extensive multilateral collaboration. China’s contributions are considerable,
including the provision of more than $22 billion
concessionary loans to other member states
as well as the funding of training sessions and
exchange programs.
Inclusiveness
The SCO upholds principles of openness and
transparency while emphasizing the importance
of not inciting rivalries with other organizations
and states. Having entered into partnerships with
many international organizations, the SCO is not
exclusive of other multilateral mechanisms that
H[HUWLQßXHQFHLQWKHUHJLRQ,WVXSSRUWVWKHLPSOH
mentation of various transnational initiatives with
the belief that regional issues should be resolved
politically through collaboration.
A symbol of this vision came as the
SCO held an international conference on
Afghanistan in 2009, to which delegates from
many countries and international organizations including the United States and European
countries were invited. After China proposed
the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st-Century
Maritime Silk Road Initiative in 2013, which
aims to enhance connectivity along and beyond the routes of the ancient Silk Road, the
SCO provided a platform for countries in the
region to align their development strategies. It
has offered assistance to several transnational
projects and multilateral initiatives in Central
Asia, such as the EU-led construction of highways and the nuclear-free zone initiative put
forward by Central Asian states.
ƹ
Is Bernie Sanders rebuilding the Democratic Party? Or is he setting it on fire?
ƹ
ƹ
18
NEWSWEEK.COM
J U N E 01, 2018
ƹ
by
alexander nazaryan
Portraits by
christopher lane
NEWSWEEK.COM
ƹ
19
lease do not think these are somehow
radical, or unpopular, or extreme or fringe
ideas,” Bernie Sanders tells me.
It’s early May, and the once-and-perhaps-future
presidential contender is ticking off progressive
policy proposals—his policy proposals—that, in
the two years since his loss to Hillary Clinton in the
2016 primary, have rapidly remade the Democratic
Party: universal health care, tuition-free public college, a $15-an-hour minimum wage. When he’s told
that some believe his ideas may be better suited to
Finland than Nebraska, Sanders bristles. “Look at
the polling,” he snaps in his thick Brooklyn accent,
which decades in Vermont have not diminished.
“You don’t have to believe what I tell you.”
By many measures, he’s right. In the two years
since his insurgent campaign for the White House
succumbed to the Clinton juggernaut, Sanders has
gone from cult hero to mainstream dynamo. Larry
David can mock him on Saturday Night Live as a
20
NEWSWEEK.COM
cranky, quixotic septuagenarian, but when Sanders
endorses an idea, many of his peers in the Senate
listen without laughing. The American public has
become increasingly receptive to his brand of democratic socialism; once-skeptical centrists have seen
the polls and have followed accordingly.
This has resulted in a high-stakes ideological war
to out-Bernie Bernie. In March, for example, Senator
Kirsten Gillibrand of New York endorsed a proposal
that would ensure the government guarantees a job
to every American. Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey followed with modest legislation, before Sanders bested both lawmakers with a national plan (pay
rate: $15 an hour, of course).
This is all new for Gillibrand and Booker, Northeasterners closely affiliated with the centrist donor
class that funds the Democratic establishment. For
the Sandernistas, however, the focus hasn’t changed
since Bernie announced his candidacy for president
in 2015. Their liberalism is not transactional, pegged
NEW WAVE
Two years after his failed
presidential campaign,
Sanders’s progressive
agenda has rapidly
remade the Democratic
Party. Above, Bernie on
the 2016 campaign trail;
opposite left, Larry David
with Sanders on Saturday
Night Live; opposite
right, Senator Kirsten
Gillibrand of New York.
J U N E 01, 2018
) 5 2 0 / ( ) 7 6 & 27 7 2 / 6 2 1 ʔ* ( 7 7 < '$ 1 $ ( ' ( / 6 2 1 ʔ 1 % & ʔ* ( 7 7 < 0 $ 1 ' ( / 1 *$ 1 ʔ$ ) 3ʔ* ( 7 7 <
“
POLITICS
to the latest focus-group findings. It is ferocious and
uncompromising: Scandinavian to supporters, Soviet to detractors. Sanders and his backers believe
the old divides between Republicans and Democrats
are being replaced by the far more real rift between
those who can’t comprehend how anyone could live
on as little as $15 an hour and those who spend their
working lives making half that much.
Outside Washington, however, this vision is getting a mixed reception. On May 8, in a series of Democratic primaries, establishment figures romped to
victory over liberal insurgents. In Indiana, a health
care executive who had donated to Republicans won
the Democratic nomination for a House seat, besting challengers who backed universal health care.
And in Ohio’s race for governor, Richard Cordray,
the staid former head of the Consumer Financial
Protection Bureau, defeated former Representative
Dennis Kucinich, the liberal firebrand endorsed by
the Sanders-aligned Our Revolution, the political
group started by his campaign’s alumni.
Within a week, the Berniecrats had rebounded.
On May 15, the more liberal candidates beat mainstream hopefuls in Pennsylvania, Nebraska and Idaho. Most striking was the victory of Kara Eastman,
a progressive community organizer from Omaha
who campaigned for a House seat on a platform of
single-payer health care, gun control and marijuana
decriminalization. The national Democratic apparatus made no secret of its preference for former Representative Brad Ashford, a centrist who promised
compromise. Republicans cheered the result, convinced that Eastman will be the weaker opponent
in the conservative-leaning district.
This electoral whiplash has some party leaders
afraid the midterms will be more of a referendum
ƹ
ƹ
NEWSWEEK.COM
21
POL I T I C S
on Bernie Sanders than Donald Trump, sapping
party resources and potentially costing Democrats
their best chance to retake the House in years.
Sanders, however, sees a necessary reckoning. On
the day that we spoke, he was headed to Pennsylvania, where he would campaign for John Fetterman,
the hulking, tattooed Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor who would go on to oust incumbent Mike Stack. “My role,” Sanders says, “is to do
everything I can to support progressive candidates.”
According to The Washington Post’s calculations,
Sanders is batting just below .500 in his endorsements, with 10 of the 21 candidates he has supported
having emerged victorious. This is a better record
than Our Revolution’s: Only one-third of its 134 candidates, 46 in all, have won. But losing doesn’t bother
Sanders as much as it does the ordinary politician.
He wants to win, no doubt, but the victories he is
looking for are victories of permanence, the kind
that are enshrined in history books, not tweets. In
fact, Sanders would likely find this entire discussion
frivolous. He wants economic justice, and you want
to show him some trifling poll?
Winning by losing is a time-honored political
strategy—but it does involve a lot of losing. Sanders, the principled warrior tilting at windmills, can
make his point by never winning. In fact, losing only
bolsters his assertion that politics is a puppet theater,
and he is a man who has cut all his strings. And, yes,
it is easy to exaggerate the meaning of endorsements
for the one making them (Barack Obama endorsed
Hillary Clinton, after all, and campaigned for her,
but her loss didn’t tarnish his reputation). But if
Bernie wants to play kingmaker—to have the legacy
of Bill Clinton, not George McGovern—shouldn’t
he be minting a few more regents? And if his ideas
represent the future of the Democratic Party, as his
supporters claim they do, why have so many candidates espousing those ideas failed to win?
Cracking the Clinton Machine
jeff weaver has the near-certain distinction
of being the only person in American history to
have run both a presidential campaign and a comic
book store. The shop is called Victory Comics, and
Weaver has been its owner and operator since 2009,
when he left Capitol Hill, where he’d been Sanders’s chief of staff, to spend his days with Wonder
Woman and Spider-Man instead of Nancy Pelosi
22
NEWSWEEK.COM
and Chuck Schumer.
In 2015, Sanders asked Weaver to run his presidential campaign. Months later, the Green Mountain
State socialist was offering an unexpectedly credible
challenge to the relentless Clinton machine and all
its supposed affiliates: the coastal donors, the permanent political class, the Beltway pundits. Sanders
didn’t come all that close, with Clinton earning 3.7
million more votes (as her surrogates will eagerly
remind you). Still, there were the adoring crowds,
drawn to revolutionary calls to undo inequality
everywhere, from pocketbooks to prisons. After
Trump’s election, “Bernie would have won” became a
wistful meme, a sign of things that should have been.
You can’t blame Weaver for thinking Sanders was
victorious—or for believing that Sanders will win
in the 2018 midterms and perhaps in 2020, when
he is expected to run for president again. Weaver
is not shy on this point. The title of his new book is
How Bernie Won. Its last sentence: “Run, Bernie, run.”
Weaver’s central argument is that Sanders was the
first candidate to clearly and honestly describe the
destructive economics that have been at work for at
least the last half-century, and which have steadily
widened the income gap between rich and poor. He
I’M WITH HIM
Seeking to steer
Democrats further left,
Sanders has endorsed 21
candidates, sometimes
to challenge incumbents.
Clockwise from above:
Representative Dan
Lipinski of Illinois,
Democratic challenger
Marie Newman, and
Obama campaigning
with Clinton in 2016.
ƹ
)520723720:,//,$06ʔ&452//&$//ʔ*(77<-26+8$/277ʔ5(87(5663(1&(53/$77ʔ*(77<
ƹ
was also the first to offer solutions, primarily by returning the federal government to the kind of role
it played during the height of the New Deal—that
is, more regulation of corporations but also more
support for the indigent. Nearly four decades after
Ronald Reagan declared that “government is the
problem,” government would become the solution.
Sanders’s disciplined insistence on these points
has made people who normally do not care about
politics fervent supporters of the 76-year-old Vermonter. They feel he speaks their truths instead of resorting to tested platitudes. Donald Trump’s supporters feel much the same way about their guy. (And
there is some degree of crossover appeal; one study
found that more than one in 10 Sanders voters in
2016 ultimately cast ballots for Trump in the general
election.) “That is how we’re going to win in the long
term,” Weaver says of the approach to disenchanted
voters. He argues that most independents are not
centrists unsure of the choice between Republicans
and Democrats but are more broadly dismayed by
both parties’ inability to offer solutions to real-life
problems. “The American people, writ large, want
to embrace a progressive economic agenda,” Weaver
says. That agenda has expanded, most recently, to
guarantee a job to every single American, along with
health care coverage and a college education.
Progressive can be a dirty word in many parts
of the country, nearly as bad as liberal. But when I
asked Representative Cheri Bustos, an Illinois Democrat whose district Trump narrowly carried in 2016,
whether Sanders’s message flops in blue-collar Midwestern territory like her own, she scoffed at the suggestion. “Nobody’s sitting around their kitchen table
with their teenagers saying, ‘Well, these are socialist
issues,’” Bustos tells me, citing college affordability
and the cost of health care.
There is some truth to that: Recent polling finds
that 51 percent of Americans support a single-payer
system, while 63 percent support making state college tuition-free. As for Sanders, he has not receded
into senatorial senescence since returning to Washington. More than two years since his defeat in the
Democratic primary, he’s one of the most popular
politicians in America; one poll placed his approval
rating at 57 percent, 17 points higher than Trump’s.
But that approval has not always translated into
political currency. Last year, Sanders endorsed
House candidates in Montana and Kansas. These
were difficult races; both men lost. Later, in a Virginia gubernatorial primary that was seen as a
major test of Democratic prospects in the age of
Trump, he endorsed liberal Tom Perriello, who lost
to centrist Ralph Northam. So did all three Sandersendorsed candidates for the New Jersey Legislature.
In both Missouri and Pennsylvania, he tried to
NEWSWEEK.COM
23
POL I T I C S
boost state-level legislators. There, too, he failed to
make the difference. Wins in some May primaries
are encouraging for the Sandernistas, but just as
the Democrats need a wave to gain control of the
House, liberals need a wave of their own to assert
dominance over a party that remains skeptical about
their staying power.
So why haven’t more Sanders-endorsed candidates won? People in Bernie’s camp think the question is fundamentally unfair, evincing the same
establishment skepticism that didn’t give him a
chance in 2015. But they are clearly prepared for the
question. When I asked a senior Sanders aide about
the senator’s mixed record, he promptly produced
two spreadsheets. One chronicled the 43 state visits
Sanders has taken in 2017 and 2018. The other listed
the candidates Sanders has endorsed in 2018. Many
of them, like Emily Sirota, running for the Colorado
Legislature from the Denver suburbs, are likely to
benefit from the attention. The point the Sanders
aide sought to make was clear: Bernie is hustling and
taking chances to build the progressive ranks, even
if some of his picks are long shots.
As for Our Revolution, it has “a pretty damn good
win record,” says Jane Kleeb, a Nebraskan who sits
on the organization’s board and is unfazed by the 66
percent of candidates who have lost. “Our country
is moving in a more progressive direction,” she says.
Not everyone agrees. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has proved a frustratingly
pesky frenemy. In the Houston suburbs, for example,
Our Revolution supported Laura Moser, a political
newcomer who ran a progressive campaign in the
crowded Democratic primary. Fearing she could
never win a Texas general election with her unapologetically leftist views, the committee launched an
attack that branded Moser a “Washington insider”
who had only “begrudgingly” left the nation’s capital
for Texas. It was the kind of internecine fight everyone has dreaded since the Sanders-Clinton contest.
Despite the establishment attacks, Moser finished
second out of seven in the primary. (The runoff was
set for May 22, before this article’s publication.)
For Sanders, candidates like Moser are far more
relevant to the Democratic Party’s prospects than
donors from Southampton and Beverly Hills. “The
business model of the Democratic Party,” he tells me,
“has clearly failed” in its neglect of the so-called flyover
country that Trump won. The Democrats, he believes,
24
NEWSWEEK.COM
cannot be “the party of the East Coast and the West
Coast”—even though the biggest reserves of blue districts remain there. They must field progressive candidates in between. The Democratic National Committee (DNC) “is moving in that direction,” he says.
The party’s leftward shift makes Weaver think
that Sanders has not lost. Despite Clinton’s victory,
Weaver argues the Sanders campaign was proof that
centrism was dead, liberalism was alive and the revolution was going to wash over the heartland.
The Tea Party of the Left?
“jesus.” that was the single word a top democratic operative sent me when I texted her the section of Weaver’s book in which he urges Sanders to
run for president again.
“You can’t say your ideology wins if you lose,” notes
the Democratic operative, who spoke only on condition of anonymity, for fear that “Bernie Bros”—
earnest young men who have taken somewhat too
enthusiastically to the prospects of a Sanders revolution—would subject her to a public execution, 280
characters of Twitter buckshot at a time. She argues
that Sanders has had little influence on the direction
of the Democratic Party: His voice is loud, but in her
estimation, many have tuned it out. “They don’t win
primaries,” she says of candidates Bernie supports
(we spoke before the May results, in which two Sanders-endorsed hopefuls won in Pennsylvania).
Of course, no politician has a perfect record.
ƹ
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J U N E 01, 2018
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What’s more intriguing is the manner in which
some Sanders-endorsed candidates lose. Take, for
example, the Democratic primary for the 3rd Congressional District of Illinois, in the Chicago suburbs. There, Sanders endorsed Marie Newman, the
founder of an anti-bullying not-for-profit organization who had never run for elected office before.
Newman was challenging incumbent Dan Lipinski,
who’d held the seat since 2005. Before that, it belonged to his father. Though a Democrat, Lipinski
was a strong opponent of abortion who declined to
endorse Obama in 2012.
Despite those renegade tendencies, in 2018 he
earned the backing of Pelosi, the former house
speaker and the closest thing the Democratic Party
has to a kingmaker. Sanders’s endorsement of
Newman came a week after that, a defiant jab at the
Democratic establishment. Lipinski was ready for
the assault. Aware of Newman’s growing popularity, he cast her as a puppet of the “Tea Party of the
left,” referencing the potent but disorganized rightwing movement that presaged Trump. The warning
worked, and Lipinski won.
The GOP has taken notice and has clearly decided
that Sanders is as potent a specter for the right as
Trump is for the left. In late April, the Republican
National Committee published a blog post simply
titled “#Bernified.” The premise: Sanders was turning the Democratic Party into the kind of political
organ that would have done well in Moscow circa
1936. “By the time we get to 2020, will there be any
Bernie policy that the rest of the field hasn’t adopted?” the post wondered. “Or will the debate stage be
filled with self-avowed socialists?”
THE BIG SICK
The open secret of
Democratic politics is
that many share a fear
that Sanders’s proposals
are too liberal, even as
some gain popularity.
Above: Sanders speaks
about his “Medicarefor-all” plan at a health
care rally in California.
NEWSWEEK.COM
25
The open secret of Democratic politics is that
many share this fear, even if they describe themselves as liberals. This is true not only of Bernie’s
candidates but also of Bernie’s ideas. After he introduced his “Medicare-for-all” plan last year, the liberal
blogger Ezra Klein wrote that, for all its popularity,
the Sanders plan “solves precisely none of the problems that have foiled every other single-payer plan
in American history.” Numbers aside, the politics
of selling Congress on such a plan are inconceivable. Even California—the wealthiest and most
liberal state in the nation—couldn’t be persuaded
to implement universal health coverage, despite a
push by the state’s powerful nurses union, a group
closely aligned with Sanders. Sacramento, where
the Democrats have a supermajority, killed the bill
because nobody knew where the funding was going
to come from. “This was essentially a $400 billion
proposal without a funding source. That’s absolutely
unprecedented,” Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon
told the Los Angeles Times. “This was not a bill; this
was a statement of principles.”
Other signature ideas face similar problems. Free
college would cost some $75 billion a year, which
Sanders proposes to cover with a Wall Street tax. It
is difficult to imagine Republicans, or even centrist
Democrats, endorsing such a plan. Universal basic
income, which Sanders also supports, would cost
$900 billion, more than what is allotted annually
to the Pentagon. Meanwhile, the Trump administration has mused about cutting Meals-on-Wheels
($517 million from Washington). Sanders is not a
details guy, however. He’s winning the ideas war,
which is the one he thinks he needs to win. “Virtually all of the ideas I have been fighting for now have
significant support among the American people,” he
says. Presumably, he’ll crunch the numbers later.
Either way, there is some support for this vision
among high-ranking leaders. “The electorate is
more progressive than the people who represent
them,” says Representative Keith Ellison, Democrat
of Minnesota and deputy chair of the DNC. A close
ally of Sanders, Ellison believes that Washington’s
political class does not understand the plight of
the common man, which is why Sanders’s ideas
sound more outlandish inside the Beltway than
ƹ
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26
NEWSWEEK.COM
J U N E 01, 2018
POLITICS
UNFORGETTABLE FIRE
Sanders is acting like
a future White House
contender. From top
to bottom, House
Minority Leader Nancy
Pelosi, Bernie greets
students during a
rally, and a Sanders
supporter holds a sign.
outside it. “The average person in the Congress is a
millionaire,” Ellison correctly asserts. “If we fundraise at the country club, if you’re munching on
hors d’oeuvres, the conversation is not going to
revolve around layoffs at the local Toys R Us.”
But if Sanders has an ability to inspire, he also
has the ability to exasperate, in particular when it
comes to Democratic insiders who don’t think he
understands how politics works. “If hubris and the
successful pursuit of headlines were genuine indicators of political aptitude, perhaps Sen. Bernie
Sanders (I-Vt.) would actually be the Svengali he’s
presently being sold as,” opened a withering 2017
column by Michael Arceneaux on The Root. Its title:
“Shut Up, Bernie Sanders.”
Philippe Reines, a former top Hillary Clinton
aide, believes that Sanders suffers from “ideological
naïveté,” as he put it in a recent conversation. Bernie,
he argues, misread the electorate. Whereas Sanders
saw the support he enjoyed during the Democratic
primary as an upswell of liberal sentiment, Reines
saw something much less transformative: hunger
for something, anything not named Clinton. Ever
since, Reines says, Bernie has been overestimating
the support for his policies. That would help explain
why the candidates he backs haven’t been winning
in big numbers in ’17 and ’18. Reines doesn’t think
’20 will be any different, should it come to that. “The
Bernie that we saw in 2015,” he says, “I don’t think
that’s gonna translate to 2020 in some magical way.”
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Run, Bernie, Run
in mid-april, the new hampshire democratic
Party held its annual McIntyre-Shaheen 100 Club
Dinner in Nashua, a town near the border with
Massachusetts. On the 31st page of the program,
there was an ad that caught attendees’ attention,
solely because of who’d purchased it: “Friends of
Bernie Sanders.” The ad vowed to work with the
state’s Democratic Party “in 2018 and beyond!”
Beyond the midterm elections lies the presidential campaign, in which many expect Sanders to
challenge Trump—as well as perhaps a dozen candidates from his own party. When I asked him about it,
Sanders dismissed the question, the way every eventual candidate does. Of course he isn’t running. The
only people who declare this early are kooks.
At the same time, Bernie is acting like a candidate.
He will publish his own book, Where We Go From
Here, around the time of the fall midterms, when
attention turns to the presidential primaries. He has
been to Iowa at least twice. And though he stayed
away from Alabama during last year’s high-profile
Senate campaign, he recently ventured South in an
effort to appeal to black voters.
“The one thing that Sanders has is that people like
him personally,” says Mark Penn, a veteran pollster
who used to work for Bill Clinton, praising Sanders for his “spunk.” He compares Sanders to Obama,
because, he says, both men were liked better than
the policies they proposed. And he contrasts Sanders
with Trump, who is loathed by many, even as some
of his policies enjoy support.
Penn’s polling has arrived at a conclusion that
would surprise no one who has ever shopped at a
Walmart or Target: The electorate remains “quite
strongly capitalist in nature,” while rejecting socialism as a “threat.” The one policy proposal of
Sanders that people have warmed to, Penn finds,
is universal health care coverage.
Like most everyone else I spoke to, he thinks that
Sanders will run in 2020. Not everyone thinks this
is a good idea. Former Vice President Joe Biden also
knows how to appeal to the working class, but unlike
Sanders, “he’s more attuned to the winning Democratic message” of liberal gradualism, as Penn puts
it, less likely to go rogue. Elizabeth Warren is just
as progressive but less anathema to the Democratic
establishment. “He’s going to do what he’s going to
do,” says Reines, the former Clinton aide, with something rather like resignation. “It’s not necessarily
what’s best for the Democratic Party.” Sanders would
disagree with that assertion. If he didn’t think he
knew best, he would have gone quiet long ago. And
his case for a shake-up is compelling.
During the eight years of the Obama presidency,
the party lost hundreds of legislative seats around
the nation. It lost both chambers of Congress. Then
it lost the presidency. For Sanders, these were signs
of a profound disease within the Democratic establishment, one that’s grown fat on donor dollars
and voter data, but also increasingly divorced from
ordinary people. Though he may bristle at the notion, what he is prescribing will amount, for most
Americans, to an experimental treatment. The question is how many of them actually want it.
Additional reporting by Marie Solis.
NEWSWEEK.COM
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28
NEWSWEEK.COM
J U N E 01, 2018
N
E
C
was just after sunrise on april 10 when the doorbell
rang at Anatoly and Alyona Vilitkevich’s apartment in Ufa, an industrial city in central Russia. Their early morning visitors: masked
police officers armed with automatic weapons. “Open up!” the officers shouted. Inside, the married couple hurried to get dressed and
call their lawyer. “There were 10 of them, including plainclothes
investigators,” Alyona, 35, tells Newsweek. “One of them was filming
everything. They said I wasn’t allowed to use the telephone.”
After searching the apartment, the officers told Anatoly, a
31-year-old handyman, to pack some warm clothes. “They said he
wouldn’t be coming home again,” Alyona says. Since the raid, he
has been in police custody, and investigators have not permitted
his wife to speak to him, she says.
The police’s tactics that morning were the type often used to
detain dangerous criminals. But Anatoly isn’t a suspected terrorist, murderer or drug trafficker. Police arrested him because he
and Alyona are members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, a Christian
evangelical movement known for its members’ door-to-door
proselytizing. Jehovah’s Witnesses are also committed pacifists
who historically have been persecuted by governments all over
the world for their refusal to perform military service or salute
the flag. Some of the most brutal repression took place in Fidel
Castro’s Cuba, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.
And now it’s the Kremlin—with the blessing of the Russian
Orthodox Church—that’s ramping up the pressure. The state’s
crackdown comes as part of a government-backed drive against
minority “foreign” religions. The campaign began in July 2016,
when President Vladimir Putin approved legislation outlawing
missionary work, stipulating that people share their religious beliefs only at state-registered places of worship. The law was introduced at a time when Moscow was pushing a major anti-Western
propaganda effort—from accusing the U.S. and U.K. of plotting to
overthrow Putin to boasting about Russia’s ability to reduce the
U.S. to “radioactive ash.” So far, it’s only the followers of “imported”
religions, such as Mormons and Baptists, who have suffered under
the controversial law. That’s because they have frequent problems
gaining state permission for churches. They often have little choice
but to gather informally at the homes of their congregants.
But it’s the Jehovah Witnesses—whose world headquarters are in
New York—who are taking most of the heat. In April 2017, Russia’s
Supreme Court ruled to classify them as an “extremist organization,”
putting the Christian denomination on par with the Islamic State
militant group (ISIS) and neo-Nazi movements. Attorneys for the
Justice Ministry claimed the Jehovah’s Witnesses posed a threat
to “public order and public security,” and Russian officials accused
them of preaching the “exclusivity and supremacy” of their beliefs.
Russia also closed the group’s prayer halls and banned its translation of the Bible (the main difference between it and other Christian
versions: the word Jehovah in place of God or Lord). The ban came
30
NEWSWEEK.COM
LIVING ON A PRAYER
In Russia, the Jehovah’s
Witnesses are facing
a Kremlin crackdown,
which has the blessing
of the Russian Orthodox
Church. From top:
Jehovah’s Witnesses
pray before a dinner in
St. Petersburg; Anatoly
and Alyona Vilitkevich;
the group’s world
headquarters in New York;
and a copy of its Bible.
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RUSSIA
operation by Russia’s security services against the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Since February, police have carried out raids in eight different cities, with the pace of the operation accelerating after
Putin was re-elected for a fourth presidential term in March. On
April 18, armed officers detained Roman Markin, a 44-year-old
Jehovah’s Witness, after breaking down the door to his apartment
in Murmansk, a city in the Arctic Circle. “They forced him and
his 16-year-old daughter to the floor at gunpoint,” says Yaroslav
Sivulskiy, a spokesman for the European Association of Jehovah’s
Witnesses. Two other people were also arrested during the raids.
They could each now face up to 10 years in prison on charges of
“organizing the activity of an extremist organization.”
Police didn’t just make arrests during the nationwide operation; they also reportedly questioned dozens of people, including children and the elderly. According to Sivulskiy, officers then
pressured some people to renounce their faith, claiming that they
“WHAT IS HAPPENING NOW IS SIMPLY A CONTINUATION OF THE SOVIET
ARE BEING USED.”
PERIOD. THE SAME METHODS OF
repression
despite a provision in Russia law that forbids courts from classifying
even extracts from the holy books of the country’s four major religions—Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Buddhism—as extremist.
Critics accuse the authorities of exploiting anti-terrorism laws
to pressure the group. “There were no grounds at all to bar the
Jehovah’s Witnesses,” says Alexander Verkhovsky, an expert on antiextremist legislation at the Moscow-based Sova human rights
center. “Yes, they insist that their religion is the only right one.
But so do most other religions. No one has even accused them of
any specific extremist actions.” (Russia’s Justice Ministry did not
respond to a request for comment.)
Analysts at the United Nations say the suppression of the Christian movement signals a “dark future” for religious freedom in
Russia. Kremlin officials insist, however, that the Supreme Court
ruling merely blacklists the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization, and
does not infringe upon individuals’ rights to practice their religion
of choice, as guaranteed by the country’s post-Soviet constitution.
Many observers disagree. “The escalating crackdown on the Jehovah’s Witnesses without doubt represents Russia’s worst backsliding
on religious freedom since the Soviet era,” says Geraldine Fagan, editor of East-West Church and Ministry Report, an online publication
that monitors Christianity-related issues in former Soviet countries.
And there is little sign that the campaign will end. Anatoly
Vilitkevich’s early morning arrest came as part of a nationwide
would be released if they did so. Jehovah’s Witnesses have also reported arson attacks on their properties, and threats by officials
to remove their children and place them in the care of the state.
Under Russian law, minors can be taken away from their parents if they are involved in “extremist” activities. (Russia’s Interior
Ministry did not respond to a request for comment.)
This April also saw the start of the trial of Dennis Christensen,
a 46-year-old Danish citizen. He was arrested in May 2017 by
armed police wearing balaclavas and bulletproof vests after they
stormed a Jehovah’s Witnesses prayer hall in Oryol, a small city
225 miles south of Moscow. The officers were accompanied by
plainclothes investigators from the FSB security service, according to video footage of the raid, as they stood guard over some
three dozen attendees, including children.
The authorities have held Christensen in a police detention
facility since his arrest. Conditions in the jail are grim, he told
reporters recently. He has been forced to wash himself with water from plastic bottles and survive on groats and other barely
edible food. His health has deteriorated behind bars: His wife,
Irina, says he has suffered from back pain, digestive issues and
ear infections. Christensen, who has lived in Russia since 2000,
faces up to 10 years in prison if found guilty of organizing prayer
meetings. Danish Embassy officials have attended court hearings
but have so far made no public statements about the trial.
NEWSWEEK.COM
31
32
NEWSWEEK.COM
NOT SO LIGHT TOUCH
church and state, critics say the KremThe
state’s crackdown
lin and church have grown uncomcomes as part of a
fortably close during Putin’s almost
government-backed drive
against minority “foreign”
two-decade rule. In recent years, Pareligions. From top: Putin
triarch Kirill, the church’s leader, has
and Patriarch Kirill of
made public statements on a range
Moscow; a Jehovah’s
Witnesses building in the
of issues, from Russia’s “holy war” in
town of Solnechnoye;
Syria to the “abomination” of gay marKormukhin, the Orthodox
riage. The patriarch has also described
Church activist; and
Christensen, the Dane
Putin’s rule as a “miracle of God.”
detained
in Russia.
Kirill hasn’t spoken publicly about
the state’s campaign against the Jehovah’s Witnesses, but church spokespeople have been fervent in their support of it. “[The Jehovah’s
Witnesses] manipulate people’s senses and destroy minds and
families,” says Metropolitan Hilarion, an aide to the patriarch.
Ultra-conservative Orthodox Christian activists close to Kirill
have also welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision to prohibit the group. “The Jehovah’s Witnesses are trying to force a foreign religion on Russians. But no one wants to see them here,
and they should go back to where they came from,” says Andrey
Kormukhin, the founder of Sorok Sorokov, an activist group
described by its critics as the Russian Orthodox Church’s “combat
unit.” According to an opinion poll taken last year, 80 percent of
J U N E 01, 2018
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As the clampdown continues, human rights groups are speaking
out. “Dropping the case against Christensen would be a good first
step toward ending the raids and other criminal cases against people who are merely practicing their faith,” says Rachel Denber, deputy director for Europe and Central Asia at Human Rights Watch.
Memorial, Russia’s oldest human right organization, describes
Christensen as “the first person in the history of modern Russia
to be deprived of his freedom because of his religious affiliation.”
The Christensen trial may be the first of its kind in recent
decades, but Russia has a long, dark history of religious persecution. Authorities in the Soviet Union executed at least 200,000
members of the Russian Orthodox clergy, according to Kremlin
records, while millions of other Christians faced imprisonment
or discrimination at the hands of the officially atheist state.
For Russia’s Jehovah’s Witnesses, the arrests and raids are a
throwback to those years of terror. “Older believers tell us what is
happening now is simply a continuation of the Soviet period. The
same methods of repression are being used,” says Sergei, a Moscowbased Jehovah’s Witness. (Like many other movement members, he
asked Newsweek not to reveal his surname over security concerns.)
The difference is that Soviet authorities targeted followers of all
religions without exception; this time, the Kremlin is acting with
the approval and support of its powerful ally, the Russian Orthodox
Church. Although Russia’s constitution stipulates a divide between
RUSSIA
THE SUPPRESSION OF
THE CHRISTIAN
MOVEMENT SIGNALS A
“dark future”
FOR RELIGIOUS
FREEDOM IN RUSSIA.
Russians supported the ban on the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ activities.
That’s approximately the same percentage of the population who
identify as Russian Orthodox Christians.
Like many other religious groups, including the Russian
Orthodox Church, the Jehovah’s Witnesses have been rocked in
recent years by child abuse scandals. In Britain, dozens of current
and former members alleged in March that they had been sexually assaulted. They also accused senior members of covering up
the abuse. “Elders treat victims of child abuse with compassion,
understanding, and kindness,” the Jehovah’s Witnesses responded
in a statement. However, there have been no allegations of child
abuse against the religious group in Russia, and attorneys for
the Justice Ministry did not cite the issue ahead of the Supreme
Court’s decision to classify them as extremists.
Despite the Russian Orthodox Church’s enthusiasm for the
state’s bid to suppress the Jehovah’s Witnesses, some analysts say
the decision to approve a nationwide ban was likely driven by
political and security concerns. “The Jehovah’s Witnesses were
targeted because they do not support the wave of patriotism
sweeping the country during the confrontation with the West,”
says Roman Lunkin, a religion analyst at the Russian Academy of
Sciences in Moscow. “There is a real fear of religion and religious
activity among the authorities and the security services.”
These anxieties, Lunkin adds, extend even to civil activism
by Russian Orthodox Christians. “Putin might be an Orthodox
Christian, but if you stand on the streets of Moscow with a sign
saying ‘Let’s build a Christian community in Russia,’ then, under
our laws, you can be locked up,” he says.
Unsurprisingly, some Jehovah’s Witnesses want to get out of
Russia. Spokespeople estimate that hundreds have fled the country in recent months. Yet tens of thousands are determined to stay,
and they see the Kremlin’s repression as a test of their convictions.
“My years of serving Jehovah God under a ban taught me that this
makes a believer even stronger,” says Pavel Sivulskiy, 86, who says
he spent seven years in a Soviet gulag for his beliefs. “We pray
more often and more ardently, and are together more frequently.”
With their prayer halls shuttered, Russia’s Jehovah’s Witnesses
have resorted to the Soviet-era practice of gathering in secret in
each other’s homes. At a recent meeting in a one-bedroom apartment in northern Moscow, some two dozen men and women discussed Scripture, prayed and listened to lectures on the virtues
of forgiveness. People spilled out of the tiny living room into the
kitchen, softly singing hymns so as not to alert the neighbors. Many
of those present said they had discovered the religion in the 1990s,
following the collapse of the Soviet Union, when millions of Russians explored once-taboo ideas.
“We are hurt and insulted by the prohibition of our religious
beliefs,” says Yelena, an elderly woman who owns the apartment.
“But we’re not afraid. How can we be afraid when we have faith?”
NEWSWEEK.COM
33
Horizons
SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY + HEALTH
A R C H AEOLOGY
Tools
Rush In
An excavation in East Africa radically
changes what we know about the
origins of technological progress
34
NEWSWEEK.COM
in the story of human evolution, east africa
has received short shrift. Archaeologists have
long thought men and women marched toward technological progress in the continent’s northern and
southern regions before migrating across the globe.
But an enormous cave in Kenya is not just adding to
the story; it’s rewriting it.
Ten years ago, Nicole Boivin, director of Germany’s
Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History,
traveled to Panga ya Saidi, a network of caves in the Rift
Valley, less than 10 miles from the shores of the Indian
Ocean. Boivin was hoping to better understand the trade
routes established by East Africans 2,000 years ago. “As
soon as we got to the site, we could see it was special,”
Boivin says. Most of the cave roofs had collapsed, and
the interior, open to the sky, thrived with flora and fauna.
Making her way from one cave to the next, Boivin found
enormous and well-preserved pieces of pottery from the
Iron Age, which extended from about A.D. 200 to 1000.
But things got a lot more interesting in subsequent
years, when the team reached a layer containing tools
and beads made from shells (one bead was the oldest
ever found in Kenya), along with a piece of charcoal from
20,000 to 30,000 years ago. Eventually, they found stone
tools dating back 78,000 years. At layers dating to 67,000
years ago, the tools are smaller, reflecting a change in
technology that marks the start of the Later Stone Age.
The picture of East Africa in the Middle Stone Age
had previously been sparse, in part because archaeologists had falsely assumed that ancient humans lived on
savannahs rather than in tropical forests, like those at
Panga ya Saidi. “Sometimes ideas form in archaeology
that are hard to shake,” Boivin says.
The caves do more than prove that humans evolved
in a range of habitats; they upend our conception of
how that evolution happened. Artifacts at Panga ya
Saidi from after 67,000 years ago show a mix of technologies—large and small tools overlapping in the cave
record. That contradicts the once-common view that a
sudden and unexpected cognitive leap led to the technological revolution of the Later
Stone Age, and it solidifies the
BY
newer idea that change ebbed
and flowed over the course of
JESSICA WAPNER
@jessicawapner
tens of thousands of years.
J U N E 1, 2018
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An enormous cave
in Kenya is not just
adding to the story of
how humans evolved,
it’s rewriting it.
DIG THIS
The Rift Valley, home
to the Panga ya
Saidi archaeological
site. Opposite:
Beads made of red
ocher, seashells and
ostrich eggs; tools
made of bone.
NEWSWEEK.COM
35
FRESH EVIDENCE
Electric Avenue
A NEW STUDY ILLUMINATES THE VALUE OF SHOCK
THERAPY FOR THE SEVERELY DEPRESSED
Psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral
therapy and dozens of pharmaceuticals
are the most common treatments for
severe depression. One of the most
powerful, however, is shock therapy.
In studies, electroconvulsive therapy
(ECT), also known as shock therapy,
has rapidly restored to health up to
60 percent of patients with the
disorder—far more effectively than
other treatments.
“ECT is the best treatment to get
people with severe depression into
remission,” says psychiatrist Daniel
Maixner. And yet just 2 percent of patients opt for shock therapy. One reason
is the stigma attached. Another: It’s
expensive—between $300 and $1,000
per treatment, and patients typically
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by 20 more for maintenance over the
course of a year.
Researchers at the University of
Michigan wanted to know whether ECT’s
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comparison to medication and talk therapy. Their study’s enlightening results were
published May 9 in JAMA Psychiatry.
How the study worked: Researchers
tested seven different strategies for
treating depression, including ECT, over
four years, comparing the number of
years each treatment was effective. They
tallied the amount of money patients
spent on a treatment per year, along with
36
NEWSWEEK.COM
how often and how soon they went into
remission and later relapsed.
Whattheyfound: ECT becomes costeffective once two other medications
have proved unsuccessful for eight weeks
HDFK 7KH DSSURDFK FRVWV DERXW per year. That expense falls within the
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Caveats: “We aren’t trying to dictate
when providers should offer ECT,”
says lead author Dr. Eric Ross, who
emphasizes that cost
st is just one of many
factors to consider, including severity of
the illness and convvenience.
Challenges: ECT te
ends to carry a stigma
based on the era wh
hen ECT was, as
Ross puts it, “uglier.” Anesthesia didn’t
accompany the trea
atment in the 1960s
and 1970s, and boo
oks and movies like
One Flew Over the C
Cuckoo’s Nest didn’t
help. Limited access to the treatment,
due to the low numb
ber of practitioners,
is also an issue.
Bottom line: ţ3HRS
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10 medications, experiencing months
or years of uncontro
olled depression,
before someone offfers ECT,” Ross says.
The results from thiis study suggest
shock therapy shou
uld be considered
much sooner. —JW
“People use ‘panic attack’
very casually out here in
Los Angeles, but I don’t
think most of them really
know what it is. Every
breath is labored. You are
dying. You are going to
die. It’s terrifying. And
then, when the attack is
over, the depression is
still there.... I still have
downward spirals, days
when I have to drag
myself onstage to do
stand-up, or I’m just
tweeting Morrissey lyrics
from my bed. But there’s
one thing I know that
I used to not know:
It will pass. And it does.”
—SARAH SILVERMAN
(Glamour, October 2015)
)520 /()7 7$1* <$8 +2 21* ʔ* ( 7 7 < & + 5 , 672 3 + ( 5 3 2 / . ʔ 1 % & ʔ 1 % & ʔ* ( 7 7 <
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Number of probiotic products analyzed in a 2016 University of
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listed on the label. The finding highlights the lax regulation.
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of studies showing that
daily probiotics have any benefits in
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21
Percentage by
which probiotics
reduced IBD
symptoms among
those diagnosed.
2.5 years old
Age that gut microbiome is fully formed
in humans. This is why antibiotics,
which kill both good and bad bacteria,
at a young age can affect adult health.
NEWSWEEK.COM
37
Culture
HIGH, LOW + EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN
BOOKS
0 b s bo kss f
8 so r). T at s
y
err we
e k o
r Day—
s u n’’t ve
e mm r p n
38
NEWSWEEK.COM
J U N E 01, 2018
NOTHING SACRED
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
has its #MeToo moment » P. 46
it’s june, almost halfway through
the year, and what have you read—
other than several thousand tweets? If
you’re like most people, not much, what
with work, child care, mindless TV bingeing, plunging down Instagram rabbit holes,
stressing about current events and stressing
about stressing. But that’s what summer’s
for, right? Catching up? We’ve organized
this year’s notable releases (with some 2017
spillover) according to genre. Note: Given
our times, we’ve provided a bigger-thanusual collection of thrillers and crime novels,
because nothing distracts from an annus
horribilis like bloodbaths and skulduggery.
Reality Bites
0(02,56
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*5$3
23,1,21 +,6725<ʡ
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NGER THAN FICTION
AND TRUTHS ST
TRAN
Educated: A Memoirr
By Tara Westover
RAND OM HOUSE
If you’ve ever questioned
ioned
why people stay in cults
or abusive families, this
coming-of-age mem
moir by
the daughter of Mormon
n
fundamentalists pro
ovide
es
moving answers. W
Westovver,
who educated her w
way
out of a very bad sittuatio
on,
shows how blood ties ca
an
bind beyond rationality,
and how where you
me
m
e
u com
from (in this case, Id
daho))
iis rooted
t d in
i your soul.
of her life investigating
the case (she died
in 2016, without
identifying the alleged
killer, James DeAngelo),
vividly recounts the
crimes and their
impact on the killer’s
victims and families.
But she’s also telling
the bigger story of
obsession—in this case,
her own unshakable
and debilitating
GHVLUH WR ɿQG DQ
explan
lanati
ation for evil.
Inseparable: The
Original Siamese
Twins and Their
Rendezvous with
American History
By Yunte Huang
/ ( ) 7 + ( 1 5 , . 6 2 5 ( 1 6 ( 1 ʔ* ( 7 7 < 72 3 5 , * + 7 & 2 8 57 ( 6< 2 ) 1 ( 7 ) / , ;
LIVERIGHT
The Beekeeper:
Rescuing the Stolen
Women
off Iraq
W
I
By Dunya Mikhail
NEW DIRECTIONS
PUBLISHING
In 2014, the Islamic State
group (ISIS) invaded
northern Iraq, killing men
and enslaving women. A
local beekeeper smuggled
some of the women back
to their homes. Mikhail, a
journalist and poet, spoke
to survivors, bearing
witness to their wrenching
VWRULHV RI KRUULɿF DEXVH
City of Devils
By Paul French
PICAD OR
Historical true crime
that transports you
back to the decadence
and deranged beauty of
1930s Shanghai—
a place that rivaled
Prohibition Chicago
for colorful miscreants
and bruisers, including
an ex-Navy boxer who
became the Slot King of
Shanghai. (Out in July.)
I’ll Be Gone in the
Dark: One Woman’ss
Ob
i S
h
Obsessive
Search
for the Golden
State Killer
By Michelle McNamara
HARPERCOLLINS
PUBLISHERS
7KH SUROLɿF UDSLVW DQG
murderer known as
the Golden State Killer
seems to have been
caught, which makes
no difference to this
page-ripper. Patton
Oswalt’s late wife, who
spent the last decade
Dehumanized and
displayed as freaks
in Andrew Jackson’s
America, Chang and
Eng Bunker, the original
“Siamese Twins” (born in
Siam and conjoined at
the sternum) ended up
oppressors themselves.
After retiring in a
small North Carolina
town, they owned as
many as 32 slaves and,
between them, fathered
at least 21 children. If
that doesn’t intrigue
you—wait, how can
that not intrigue you?
NEWSWEEK.COM
39
Culture
BOOKS
Just the Funny Partss
See What Can
Be Done: Essayss,
Criticism, and
Criticism
Commentary
By Nell Scovell
HARPERCOLLINS
PUBLISHERS
Hilarious and depressing
accounts from a top
comedy writer. Scovell,
who collaborated on
Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean
In and wrote for David
Letterman and countless
sitcoms, endured
decades of what she
calls “stereotype
threats.” To wit: After
being ignored once
more in a writers’ room
full of men, she says
to a female co-worker:
ţ$P , FRUSRUHDO" <
<RX
can see and hear me,
ULJKW"
L KW"Ť <RX
< G
GRQŠWW KDYH
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to be a comedy wrriter tto
o
get th
that,
at ju
just
st a wo
woman.
My Dead Parents
By Anya Yurchyshyn, PENGUIN RAND OM HOUSE
A memoir about knowing your parents only
after they die. Yurchyshyn reconstructs the
young, enviously promising lives of her mother
and father—entirely alien to the two people
she grew up with in her unhappy Boston home.
Some mysteries are solved; others neverr can
be, like the eternal question of why those who
h ld love
l
b stt sometimes
ti
h
should
uss bes
hurtt us most
m t.
Twilight of the Gods:
A Journey to the End
d
of Classic Rock
By John Banville
ve
The Race to Sav
the Romanovs: The
T
Truth Behind the
Secret Plans to
Rescue the Russian
Imperial Family
ALFRED A . KNOPF
By Helen Rappaport
PUBLISHERS
“I recall so many trivial
things,” Banville writes,
“and forget so many
very momentous ones.”
But there is poetry and
astonishment contained
in the memories of
this splendid writer,
no matter how
inconsequential.
ST. MARTIN’S PRESS
“The old myth about the
white-male superman
who pursues truth via
decadence and virtuosic
displays of musicianship
has run its course,”
writes Hyden in his
engaging (even loving)
GHʀDWLRQ RI ERRPHU URFN
heroes and traditions.
Time Pieces: A
Dublin Memoir
40
Reader, they all died. But
Rappaport, a historian,
turns the question of why
European relatives and
Allied governments failed
to save Czar Nicholas and
family into a thriller, full of
juicy tidbits for Romanov
completists. (Out in June.)
NEWSWEEK.COM
By Steven Hyden
'(< 675((7
HARPERCOLLINS
By Lorrie Moore
Sp
pace Odyssey:
Sttanley Kubrick,
Arthur
Ar
rthur C.
C Clarke,
Clarke
and the Making of
a Masterpiece
ALFRED A . KNOPF
By Michael Benson
The singular short
story writer was a
regular contributor of
QRQɿFWLRQ WR The New
York Review of Books,
and this collection of
wide-ranging, lively
and incisive takes on
politics, literature and
pop culture proves she’s
she s
a singularly astute (and
compas
com
passio
sionat
nate)
e) critic to
oo.
SIMON & SCHUSTER
Benson’s in-depth look
DW RQH RI ɿOPŠV PRVW
intense collaborations
is a treasure chest
IRU .XEULFN DQG VFLɿ
ɿOP QHUGV 7KHUHŠV
gold in the details,
like a heartbreaking
anecdote about
Kubrick’s
Kubrick s funeral from
special effects pioneer
Dou
Dougla
glass Trum
Trumbul
bull.
l
Sharp: The Wom
men
Who Made an Art of
Having an Opinion
What Would the
Great Economists D
Do
By Michelle Dean
By Linda Yueh
GROVE PRESS
PICAD OR
Dean’s series of
biographical portraits—
of Mary McCarthy,
Susan Sontag and
Dorothy Parker, among
others—tracks the
trials and successes, as
well as the sometimes
barbed wit and rivalries,
of these enormously
gifted writers, all of
whom confounded
gender norms to
become the smartest
people at any table.
A highly accessible
and lively evaluation
RI WKH JOREDO ɿQDQFLDO
crisis through the work
of 12 top economists,
from Adam Smith to
John Maynard Keynes.
<XHK DQ HFRQRPLVW
and popular British
columnist and TV
personality, has a way of
simplifying the arcane
and ferreting out good
news—of which we need
a lot. (Out in June.)
J U N E 01, 2018
VIKING PRESS
Political Animals
$*(ʡ)25 32:(5
7+( :25/'Š6 $ 67$
E
CORRUPTION AND A LITTLE BIT OF HOPE
A Higher Loyalty
y:
Truth, Lies, and
Leadership
UHIXVHGWRFRQɿUP
Merrick Garland to the
Supreme Court. But
while they see nothing
good in the spread of
authoritarianism, they
also offer historical
examples
l off people
l
who have fought
agains
aga
instt it
it and
and won
won.
In the Shadow
of Statues: A
White Southerner
Confronts History
By Mitch Landrieu
Written in response
to the controversy
surrounding New
Orleans’s removal
of monuments from
the Confederacy, the
city’s mayor offers a
powerful manifesto
devoted to the cause
RIɿJKWLQJţWKHKR
hum racism that eats
through our country
every day.”
By Yascha Mounk
+$59$5' 81,9(56, 7 <
PRESS
Mounk, a political
scientist, is preoccupied
with two problems: the
rise of populism (what he
calls “democracy without
rights”) and rights
without democracy. A
certain U.S. president
makes an appearance,
but
b t this
thi clear
l
and
d
pragmatic guide is abou
ut
ag
glob
lobal
al pro
proble
blem.
m
By James Comey
FLATIRON BO OKS
Attend cocktail partiess
without reading th
his
book at your peril..
The controversial
former director of
WKH )%, ɿUHG D \HD
DU
ago by President
Donald Trump
Trump, has
written summer’s
politi
cal mu
must
st-rea
read.
d
political
The People vs.
Democracy: Why Our
Freedom Is in Danger
Dange
& How to Save It
Journey Into Europe:
Islam, Immigration,
and Identity
By Akbar Ahmed
BRO OKINGS
INSTITUTION PRESS
How Democracies
Die
By Steven Levitsky
and Daniel Ziblatt
CROWN PUBLISHING
GROUP
The two Harvard
political scientists—as
disgusted by Donald
Trump as anyone—
believe the current
erosion of norms
actually began during
the last year of the
Obama presidency,
when Republicans
Ahmed’s study of
European reactions to
Islamic immigrants is
more anthropological
than political, but
it offers fascinating
insights into how
white Europeans
struggle to reconcile
outsiders, and how
Muslim communities
end up reinforcing
negative stereotypes.
The bigger takeaway
takeaway,
though, is evidence of
harmonious relations
between Islamic and
European civilizations
throughout the past—a
potent argument against
rising nationalism
and tribalism.
Russsian Roulette: Th
he
n’s
In
nside Story of Putin
War
W
ar on America
and the Election
of Donald Trump
No Turning
g Back: Life,
Loss and Hope in Syria
By Rania Abouzeid, W.W. NORTON & CO.
<RX ZLOO QRW ɿQG DQ HQG WR WKH VHYHQ
year Syrian civil war in this book. But you
ZLOO ɿQG H[WUDRUGLQDU\ UHSRUWLQJ IURP
a courageous journalist who has been
covering the tragedy since it began, as well
as unforgettable stories from survivors,
relayed in her jarringly beautiful prose.
By Michael Isikoff
and David Corn
TWELVE
Th veterans
The
t
off
Washington political
journalism don’t deliver
on their promise of
irrefutable evidence
of Vladimir Putin’s
involvement in the 2016
U.S. election. But that
doesn’t make this ticktock of Russian meddling
any less riveting.
NEWSWEEK.COM
41
Culture
BOO K S
Novel Approaches
pp
INTERNATIONAL IMAGINATIONS RUN WILD
The Overstory
By Richard Powers
W.W. NORTON & CO.
Powers is the least
Black No More
known of America
a’s
greatest novelists,
perhaps because he
frequently weaves
science into his art. If
you haven’t read his
h
previous 11 book
ks,
start here, with th
his
astonishing and
ingenious tale of n
nature’s
salvation—and ou
ur
urgent need to save it.
<RX ZLOO QHYHU ORRN DW D
tree the same way again.
By George S
S. Schuyler
uyler
The House of
Broken Angels
PENGUIN CLASSICS
By Luis Alberto Urrea
Reissued in 2018, this
1931 novel is a scathing
satire of the hypocrisy of
freedom. Its plot: A doctor
invents a procedure that
permanently transforms
black people into whites—
denying the South
lynching opportunities,
among other things. The
combative Schuyle
er was
a black conservativve
contrarian—he dislliked
Martin Luther King
J b t this
Jr.—but
thi is
i as brillian
illi nt
a takedown of racissm
DV H[L
H[LVWV
VWV LQ ɿFWL
FWLRQ
RQ
LIT TLE, BROWN AND CO.
By Rachel Kushner, SCRIBNER
The Mexican-American
de la Cruz clan is messy,
in the best way, and
so is this book, with
Urrea’s vivid, visceral
prose propelling a
noisy celebration
of promiscuity and
sorrow,
sorrow joy and hate
hate,
birth
bi th and
d death.
d th A
VSUDZOLQJ OLIHDIɿUPLQJ
multig
multigene
enerat
ration
ional
al epic.
Critics were bonkers for Kushner’s The
Flamethrowers (2014), and this third
novel—about a stripper serving consecutive
sentences for killing her stalker—has been
FDOOHG ʀDZOHVV ,WŠV WKH EOHDNHVW RI FRPHGLHV
skewering racism and classism but with
h an
intimacy that is deeply moving if (approprriately
for a prison novel) claustrophobic.
The Mars Room
The Ruined House
By Ruby Namdar
HARPERCOLLINS
PUBLISHERS
A wildly original n
novel
about the mental,,
physical and spiriitual
undoing of an arrogant
college professor—a
secular Jew living
g in
HOLWLVW 1HZ <RUN RQ WKH
eve of 9/11. Unse
ettling
and beautifully written,
Namdar captures the
seduction of an ancient
ncien
religion as the wo
orld
begins
begins to cr
crack
ack.
Sea of Strangerrs
By Lang Leav
ANDREWS MCMEE
EL
PUBLISHING
The Immortalists
By Chloe Benjamin
PENGUIN RAND OM
HOUSE
Dinner at the Centerr
of the Earth
By Nathan Englander
ALFRED A . KNOPF
The second novel from
the Pulitzer Prize–
winning author turns
the unending Israel and
3DOHVWLQLDQ FRQʀLFW LQWR
a tragicomic fable, full of
wisdom and humanity.
42
Could you change your
destiny if you were told
the day you will die?
Four siblings spend 50
years grappling with
that knowledge—a
cunning premise for
a bittersweet novel
that became an
instant best-seller.
NEWSWEEK.COM
Credit the serene Leav
with popularizing poetry,
which she seamlessly
l
mixes with prose
in her empowering
international bestsellers. This one, about
love and loss and selfdiscovery, might be best
left for the privacy of
your room, unless you
d n’t mind shedding a
don
few
w tears at the beach.
J U N E 01, 2018
Passing
By Nella Larsen, PENGUIN CLASSICS
The passing is racial in this reissue of
he
Larsen’s 1929 novel, one of only two th
author wrote before sinking into obscurity.
7KH VWRU\ RI OLJKWVNLQQHG IULHQGVŜRQHH
of whom chooses to pass, marrying a
ng
bigoted white man—is elegiac, horrifyin
d shockingly
h ki l ahead
h d off it
ti
and
its time.
The Tea Master
and the Detective
Ali tt d B d d
SUBTERRANEAN
Bodard, a FrenchVietnamese speculative
ɿFWLRQ ZULWHU KDV
FUHDWHG WKH ;X\D
universe, which
imagines Asian cultures
dominating space in
the far future. The
VFLɿ PXUGHU P\VWHU\
is also a clever retelling
of Sherlock Holmes,
only this arrogant
detective is partnered
with a sentient
spaceship called the
Shadow’s Child.
The Power
VIKING PRESS
By Naomi
B
N
i Alderman,
Ald
T
Teenage girls everywhere suddenly discover
that their bodies can produce a deadly
electrical charge. That’s the deceptively
simple premise of this British author’s
SUL]HZLQQLQJQRYHOŜDZLWW\DQGHQGOHVVO\
surprising dystopian manifesto. No wonder
it’s being called our era’s Handmaid’s Tale.
White Houses
By Amy Bloom
PENGUIN RAND OM
M
Song of a
Captive Bird
Byy Jasmin Darznik
BALLANTINE BO OKS
A debut novel based
on the life of Iran’s
celebrated and
controversial female
SRHWDQGɿOPPDNHU
Forugh Farrokhzad.
Both loved and hated,
she came to represent
Iran’s “New Woman”
in the ’60s. Darznik
sumptuously captures
DɿHUFHDQGWXUEXOHQW
life, as well as a
vanished country swept
away by revolution.
HOUSE
Imagine the relatio
onship
p
of Eleanor Roosevelt
and her real-life lo
over,
the pioneering journalist
Lorena Hickok, wh
hose
affair was arguably
sanctioned by FDR
R.
Bloom does just th
hat,
with tenderness and
great humor, rescuing
one woman from
obscurity, the other
from sanctimony.
You Th
Think It, I’ll Say It
I
By Curtis Sittenfeld
RAND OM HOUSE
Sittenfeld is able to
make complex, overeducated women
accessible because they
DUHJHQHUDOO\DVʀDZHG
as they are devastatingly
funny and clever (see
Prep, American Wife).
Sometimes lost in that
congeniality is the dazzle
of her writing. That’s
not the case with this
debut story collection,
which is so delicious
Reese Witherspoon’s
Hello Sunshine snapped
up the rights before
publication, to be
adapted for a series
starring Kristen Wiig.
NEWSWEEK.COM
43
Culture
BOO K S
Who
o Done
o e It?
t?
THRILLERS, MYSTER
RIES
S, VILLAINS AND SPIES
My Name Is
Nathan Lucius
Byy Mark Winkler
SOHO PRESS
Lucius works as an ad
salesman for a South
African newspaper—
he’s an odd guy but
harmless. Or maybe
seriously damaged. Or
perhaps a serial killer?
Noir at its darkest,
cunnin
cun
ningly
gly ex
execu
ecuted
te .
Macbeth
Ta
angerine
By Jo Nesbø
Byy Christine Mangan
HO GARTH
EC
CCO PRESS
The latest from
Scandinavia’s king
of crime features a
paramilitary SWAT unit
led by a dagger-loving
guy named Macbeth
(girlfriend: Lady).
Murders, paranoia,
drug kings, biker gangs,
FRUUXSW SROLFH RIɿFHUV
hallucinations and foggy
ggy
moral choices add
up
p to a Shakespear
p re
mage that is grip
ppingly
of the moment.
Right on trend, this
literate beach read
ha
as not one but two
un
nreliable narrators:
female college friends
wh
ho commit an
XQ
QVSHFLɿHG WUDJHG\
in the 1950s, then
meet up many years
latter in Tangiers for
so
ome Paul Bowles–
styyle disorientattion
an
nd atmosphe
p rics.
Grist Mill Road
B
By Ch
Christopher
i t h JJ. Y
Yates,
t
P
PICAD
C D OR
Adolescent boy secretly watches as his
friend tortures a girl, shooting out her eye.
e
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boy marries girl, who survived. And the
DVVDLODQW" +HŠV EDFN 8QH[SHFWHG WZLVWV DQG
shifting sympathies keep tension at a boil.
High White Sun
By J. Todd Scott
G.P. PUTNAM’S SONS
Small-town cops,
the FBI and the
Drug Enforcementt
Administration battle
white supremacistts on
the Texas borderla
and’ss.
Scott’s grim, violent
sort-of sequel to h
his
2016 debut, The F
Far
Empty, is as addictive
as the best crime show
w.
By Anthony Horrowitz
The Perfect Nanny
nny
HARPERCOLLINS
S
By Leila Slimani
PUBLISHERS
PENGUIN RAND OM
An erudite meta-mystery
from the creator of
the British TV series
Foyle’s War, as well as
the best-selling Magpie
Murders. When a real
detective asks the
writer to document his
progress on a curious
case (a woman is
murdered the evening
after she plans her own
funeral), Horowitz’s
terrible instincts add
comedy to an elaborate
puzzle box of a crime.
(Out on June 5.)
HOUSE
London
d Rules
By Mick Herron
SOHO CRIME
44
The Word Is Murder
NEWSWEEK.COM
If spies had an island
RI PLVɿW WR\V WKH
scathingly funny MI5
rejects of Slough
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in a series, from the
writer the BBC called
the “Le Carré of the
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armed men massacring
dozens in a Derbyshire
town. (Out June 5.)
With chilling precision,
Slimani lays out every
mother’s worst nightmare:
the nanny who snaps
and massacres her kids.
The French-Moroccan
author’s inspiration was
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trial, but this prizewinning international
best-seller has less to
do with murder and
more to do with the
horrors of loneliness
and motherhood.
J U N E 01, 2018
The Woman in
the Window
By A.J. Finn
HARPERCOLLINS
PUBLISHERS
Finn’s inhalable mystery,
an instant best-seller, is
highly enjoyable, if not
revolutionary. A woman
trapped in her house, for
reasons unclear, believes
she sees the murder
er of
a woman in a building
across the street. Th
he
Rear Window set-up
p
isn’t the only Hitchccock
reference in this tip-ofthe-hat to Hollywoo
od no
oir,,
which the brilliant T
Tracy
Letts (August: Osag
ge
County) is reportedly
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Natural
Highs
SCIENCE, SPACE,
HEALTH AND
NATURE
Natural Causes
Chasing New Horizons:
p First
Inside the Epic
Mission to Pluto
By Alan Stern and
David Grinspoon
PICAD OR
Popular science at its
very best, from Stern,
the leader of the NASA
ASA
PLVVLRQ WR VHQG WKH ɿUVW
probe to Pluto (whicch
succeeded in 2015)), and
astrobiologist Grinsp
poon.
poon
As riveting as a thriller, an
nd
not ju
just
st for sp
space
ace bu
uffs.
Six Four
B
By Hid
Hideo Yokoyama,
Y k
)$55$5 675$86 $1' *,528;
Th massive hit in Japan was released in the U.S.
to critical acclaim last year and is now out in
paperback. Beware: This is not your typical crime
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Henry James than P.D. James. A fastidious and
clever police procedural that rewards patience.
By Barbara Ehrenreich, TWELVE
Don’t
Don t read this if yo
you plan to live forever
forever: O
Ourr
P
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7K
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of the wellness industry, New Age banalities
an
nd the epidemic of overdiagnosis will have you
reconsidering how you live and die, and possibly
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at Large
L e:
A Naturalist
N
he Best Essays of
Th
d Heinrich
H i i h
Be
B
ernd
Who We Are and
How We Got Here
By Bernd Heinrich
PANTHEON
Darwin Comes
to Town
HO UGHTON MIFFLIN
By M
B
Menno S
Schilthuizen
hilth i
Am
mong the many things
you
u will learn from reading
th
these essays, from 1974
to 2014, is how beetles
cooperate to bury a
mouse and where trees
get their shapes. The
prize-winning Heinrich’s
sense of wonder is
a continuing gift to
armchair naturalists.
The Harvard geneticist
uses advances in DNA
sequencing—now
the best source of
knowledge on prehistoric
human populations—to
show how migration
powered mankind,
from the Bronze Age to
the world as we know
it. Get over it, neoNazis: Essentially, we
are all mongrels.
PICAD OR
Th D
The
Dutch
t h urban
b
biologist makes an
entertaining case for
the highly unique and
accelerated evolutionary
environment of cities.
<HV WKRVH UDWV DQG
cockroaches are adapting
before your eyes.
HA RCOURT
By David Reich
NEWSWEEK.COM
45
Culture
STREAMING
Offend
the first episode of the
fourth season of Unbreakable
Kimmy Schmidt finds our Kimmy—a
wide-eyed, confoundingly optimistic
former kidnap victim played by Ellie
Kemper—at her new job, as HR direca door that locked on its own,” says
tor at the startup company Giztoob.
Carlock, referencing former Today
show host Matt Lauer’s now-infaPer usual, she’s determined to make
mous office button. “We couldn’t
every part of it fun, even when firing
an employee named Kabir. After callquite make it work.”
ing him into her office, Kimmy inapCarlock and Fey, who occasionpropriately hugs, compliments, and
ally guest-stars, were just beginning
massages him. Sensing he might be
work on Season 4 of their Netflix
feeling ashamed, she assures him that
comedy when the Harvey Weinstein
embarrassing stuff can
allegations surfaced
last October. “ We’re
happen to anyone. To
always
lo oking for
prove it, Kimmy drops
BY
things
that
Kimmy
her pants: “Uh-oh!” she
might
still
not
know
exclaims. Then, reachANNA MENTA
@annalovestweets
about,” Carlock says
ing for the smoothie
of the show’s fish-outshe had bought him
of-water scenario; their guileless
as a gift, she adds, “This thing’s not
going to suck itself!”
creation spent 15 years living in the
Kabir has already fled the room.
underground bunker of an inane
“OK, then,” Kimmy cheerfully calls
cult leader (played by Jon Hamm).
after him. “You’re fired!”
“The world she knew before that was
If you were expecting political
very forgiving to sexual harassment.”
correctness from show creators Tina
Kimmy as a clueless harassment
victim was one idea, but, says CarFey and Robert Carlock, you haven’t
lock, making “an aggressive male
been paying attention. The two, who
predator” funny proved too chalcollaborated on the first sitcom Fey
created, NBC’s 30 Rock, are speciallenging. So the 11 staff writers brainists in irreverent, rapid-fire comedy
stormed creepy moves for Kimmy
instead, leaning on the real-life
that skewers sanctimony. “At one
stories of the six women on their
point, we tried to justify her having
46
NEWSWEEK.COM
)520/()79,5*,1,$6+(5:2 2'ʔ81,9(56$/7(/(9,6,21ʔ1(7)/,;ʔ1%&83 + 272 % $ 1 . ʔ* ( 7 7 < 0 $ 5 , 2 1 & 8 57 , 6 ʔ 1 ( 7 ) / , ;
Tina Fey and Robert Carlock take on #
#MeToo in Season 4 of
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Natturally, it’s awkward
team. “If I were on my own, I don’t
think I w
would dare to touch such a
hot-butto
on issue,” says Carlock. “And
[the storyy] was something Tina very
much waanted to do.” Fey, he adds,
was the one who insisted Kemper drop her pants. As writers, he
adds, theey want to avoid advocacy,
but “comedy should talk about this
cultural m
moment.” And yes, he concedes, “we have a point of view: People should not sexually harass other
people at work. Hopefully, that’s not
too contrroversial.”
The creeators had already tackled
the topicc last year on NBC’s Great
workplace sitcom they execNews, a w
utive-produce. (There’s also that 30
Rock gag
g from 2012 about Jenna
turning down
d
Weinstein for sex, but
Carlock has
h said it wasn’t inspired by
specific kn
nowledge.) Fey co-wrote the
News epissode and guest-starred as a
powerful network boss who forces
male employees to eat bananas slowly
and play rraunchy games of Go Fish. It
was a resp
ponse to alleged sexual abusers like Roger Ailes: Fey’s exhausted
characterr is hoping to resign with a
huge payo
out.
But for the Kimmy episode (“Kimmy
Is...Little G
Girl, Big City!”), the MeToo
and Tim esUp movements had to
be taken into account. The message
here is that, yes, Kimmy truly meant
no harm, but that doesn’t mean she
was right. After Kabir files an official
complaintt, other Giztoob employees—
anti-sociaal geeks who don’t like to be
touched—
—say Kimmy’s perpetual
hugs and high fives make them feel
ortable. As her roommate,
uncomfo
Titus (Titu
uss Burgess), eventually tells
SHE’S ALI VE, DAMN IT!
Left: Kemp
per as Kimmy. Right: Carlock,
Fey, Burgesss and Kemper. Fey’s husband,
Jeff Richmo
ond, wrote the show’s theme
song; their
th i Broadway show, Mean Girls,
is nominate
ed for multiple Tony Awards.
her, “This is not about you, girl. This
is about your co-workers and how
they feel. Every time you walked into
that office, you made those nerds feel
scared and powerless.”
Kimmy vows to never have fun
at work again. It’s a nod to another
common post-MeToo response: men
who say they are now afraid to say
even “good morning” to female colleagues. Titus tells Kimmy that, actually, there are ways to make work fun
while still respecting boundaries.
According to Carlock, the episode
at first included a more nuanced
examination of MeToo backlash,
including a joke about Matt
Damon—Twitter-bashed in December for criticizing MeToo’s failure to
consider “the spectrum” of sexual
misconduct. (He later apologized.)
Carlock feels Damon’s point was
Online critics“have
the freedom to write
what they want.
We also have the
freedom to not care.”
“quite rational,” but the joke was cut.
Was there nervousness about
presenting a sympathetic portrayal
of an offender? “I can’t speak for
anybody, but I don’t think so,” Carlock says. “We have a staff that values
talking about these issues—and this
is probably the least controversial
thing we’ve done yet.”
True enough. In Season 1, Kimmy’s former boss, Jacqueline (Jane
Krakowski), reveals that she’s an
indigenous member of the Lakota
tribe passing for white—a plotline dubbed “ultimately offensive”
by Vulture writer Libby Hill, and
many on Twitter agreed. Instead of
backing off, Carlock and Fey doubled down in a Season 2 episode
featuring Asian-American activists
boycotting a play in which Titus,
a black man, plays a geisha. In the
end, the activists realize that, rather
than offensive, the play is just bad.
When some online critics took the
episode as a flippant rejoinder to
their complaints, Fey responded
with “People have the freedom to
write what they want. We also have
the freedom to not care.”
That take-it-or-leave-it attitude
is what many Kimmy fans will miss
once the show is gone. This season,
split in two (the second half streams
in early 2019), is the last. Though
Netflix recently axed several original
scripted comedies (including Everything Sucks!, Disjointed and Lady
Dynamite), Carlock maintains he
and Fey had intended to wrap things
up this season. It won’t be the end
of Kimmy, though. A feature film is
in development for Netflix, and Carlock is pushing for a major role for
the overly ambitious robot that has
become the show’s longest-running
gag. “I’m advocating for the Yuko
revolt,” he says. “A full sci-fi film
where Kimmy fights Yuko!”
NEWSWEEK.COM
47
Culture
Illustration by B R I T T S P E N C E R
P A R TING SHOT
Mickey Hart
“i have a rhythm-centric view of everything,” says mickey hart, the
Grateful Dead’s former drummer. For years, the percussionist and musicologist has been promoting the healing powers of music. In 1991, the U.S. Senate
Special Committee on Aging invited Hart and the late neurologist Oliver Sacks
to testify about the positive impact rhythm can have on Alzheimer’s disease and
other forms of dementia. And this spring, at the American Museum of Natural
History’s Hayden Planetarium in New York, Hart performed “Musica Universalis:
The Greatest Story Ever Told,” a sonic and visual voyage spanning 13.8 billion years
in 30 minutes, from the Big Bang onward. As he played an electric, 8-foot aluminum instrument modeled after Pythagoras’ monochord, a giant MRI revealed the
effects of all that sonic stimuli on his brain. “The whole universe operates with
rhythm, and we are all rhythmic animals in it,” adds Hart, who spoke to Newsweek
just prior to his band, Dead & Company, going on tour.
“Look at the
Dalai Lama—
talk about a
rhythm master!
I would hope
our president
would learn a
bit from him.”
Now that Oliver Sacks is gone, who
is your go-to neuroscience guy?
Adam Gazzaley, at the University of
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parts of the brain. What does a
healthy cell look like sonically? What
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Deadhead, by the way.
Didn’t Sacks have a Grateful
Dead moment?
The movie The Music Never Stopped
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to a Dead concert. All of a sudden, the
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Who has good rhythm?
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rhythm would be peace. Look at the
Dalai Lama—talk about a rhythm
master! The Chinese destroyed his
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I would hope our president would
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Any advice for young drummers?
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complain when I practiced Gene
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stand at the door with a broom:
ţ2YHUP\GHDGERG\Ť—Jeff Perlah
J U N E 1, 2018
Tinalbarka wants to be a lawyer.
She and her family fled violence in Mali.
PHOTO: © UNHCR / A. DRAGAJ
We stand together
#WithRefugees
www.refugeeday.org
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