Power Play

Power Play

Russia's actions in Ukraine show that for Vladimir Putin, the Cold War never ended. Now the US and its allies must prepare for another lengthy power struggle. But no international coalition can be effective while Russian energy reserves supply a quarter of Europe's natural gas. A long-term US energy strategy is the best way to counter Russian power.

The Gateway Author: A Conversation with Novelist Sherman Alexie

The Gateway Author: A Conversation with Novelist Sherman Alexie

A novelist, poet, and peerless observer of American Indian life, Sherman Alexie has produced an acclaimed body of work that deals with the estrangement, poverty, and tragedy of life on the reservation. Two decades into his career, what really makes him happy, he says, is the way that a new generation of kids are picking up his books for their first real taste of literature.

One Last Kiss for Sonya

One Last Kiss for Sonya

Obsessive-compulsive disorder dominated my life until the birth of my child pushed me to find sanity.

Nothing You See Is What It Seems: A Review of Amy Wilentz’s Farewell, Fred Voodoo

Nothing You See Is What It Seems: A Review of Amy Wilentz’s Farewell, Fred Voodoo

In her deeply personal account of life in post-earthquake Haiti, journalist Amy Wilentz looks at how outsiders' distorted views of the country have misrepresented its culture and history and encumbered its progress.

Stages Steeped in Blood: A Brief History of Violent Artistic Rivalry

Stages Steeped in Blood: A Brief History of Violent Artistic Rivalry

Three men carried out an acid attack on the Bolshoi Ballet's artistic director in January, police say, and one of the celebrated company's dancers has now confessed. But the Bolshoi is not unique in the intensity of its artistic jealousies. From Moscow to London to New York, all the world's a blood-drenched stage.

The Crossing

The Crossing

When I first read about Bab al-Mandeb — the “Gate of Tears,” where the Red Sea narrows and powerful ocean currents have sunk countless ships over the ages — I knew I wanted to go there. I wanted to be where it all began: where the human race left Africa, spreading out into the world until they filled every corner of it. [From Nowhere magazine]

Born Again: A Conversation with Writer Joy Castro

Born Again: A Conversation with Writer Joy Castro

Best of In The Fray 2013. At an early age, Joy Castro ran away from an abusive home and renounced her faith as a Jehovah’s Witness. What she found instead was a new set of beliefs and truths for herself.

Born This Way

Born This Way

In South Korea, where a Christian minority dominates the country’s culture and politics, fundamentalists are fighting a culture war against their list of abominations: homosexuality, evolution, even Lady Gaga. But one church in Seoul is fighting back, working from within the faith to make it more tolerant — one gay Christian at a time.

The Chicago Way

The Chicago Way

The “Blago” scandal may have set new lows for reality TV-abetted shamelessness, but the ex-Illinois governor was just one in a long, storied line of corrupt Chicago politicos. We run through the decades of graft and cronyism that have weighed down the City of the Big Shoulders.

The Grapes of Graft

The Grapes of Graft

He used to make counterfeit credit cards. Now Mansfield Frazier has embarked on an even more audacious project: launching a commercial vineyard in the middle of a poor, inner-city Cleveland neighborhood.

Guitar Hero

Guitar Hero

South Africans found the unlikeliest of musical heroes in their struggle against apartheid: a Detroit-born, Mexican American guitarist named Sixto Rodriguez. The documentary Searching for Sugar Man traces Rodriguez’s rapid ascent from obscurity in Motown to mythology in Cape Town — and the equally sudden oblivion that followed.

The Cajun Cellist

The Cajun Cellist

He has played the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall. He has performed abroad and earned international acclaim. But most days find Sean Grissom, the Cajun Cellist, playing his favorite venue — the streets and subways of New York City.

Dirty Planet: A Conversation with Journalist Andrew Blackwell

Dirty Planet: A Conversation with Journalist Andrew Blackwell

ITF speaks with Andrew Blackwell about his new book, Visit Sunny Chernobyl, a travel guide to the most polluted places on the planet. Even sites ravaged by radiation and industrial waste, he argues, can still be places of “nature, wildness, and beauty.”

Losing Zion

Losing Zion

Conservative inflexibility and liberal apathy have endangered the dream of a democratic, secure Jewish state, a prominent American Zionist argues in a new book. But for all his ideas to salvage the two-state solution, Peter Beinart seems really to be documenting its demise.

Saving Souls

Saving Souls

Home to one-third of the world's poor, India attracts hundreds of Christian humanitarian groups seeking to do God’s work in its slums and hinterlands. But while these groups make up in vital ways for the failings of government and markets, their work comes with a consequence: conversion.