With only two weeks before the United States chooses a new president, PAW offers some last-minute thoughts on the political process.
On page 27, computer science professor Andrew Appel ’81 speaks about failings in the way we cast our votes — from technical problems with voting machines to out-and-out cheating. Our cover story, meanwhile, looks at history professor Sean Wilentz and the unlikely subject of his current course and new book: Ronald Reagan. The left-leaning Wilentz still disagrees with Reagan’s policies, but he gives the former president credit for his pragmatism and for accomplishing what he set out to do.
Wilentz believes that the Age of Reagan extended years beyond Reagan’s presidency, but that this fall’s financial crisis — showing the “cumulative cost of casino-style capitalism and recklessness” and the willingness of congressional representatives to put politics and ideology first — adds to the evidence that it’s ending. He wrote in an e-mail: “I wish I had more confidence that the coming period — whether it be a time of transition like 1964 to 1974 or a wholly new era — will produce sound leaders who are up to the challenge.”
If you have been to PAW’s new Web site this fall, you may have noticed the “Tiger of the Week” feature on The Weekly Blog, posted every Wednesday at paw.princeton.edu by associate editor Brett Tomlinson. Here’s your chance to nominate other alumni — or even yourself — for seven days of fame. Early honorees included the famous (Charles Gibson ’65, who got the first network interview with GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin) and the not-so-famous (comedy writers Jay Katsir ’04 and Rob Kutner ’94, whose work helped earn Emmy Awards for their shows).
All alumni qualify. Send your nominations each week to Tomlinson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marilyn H. Marks *86