Contributing writer

Henry N. Brooks

Latest Content


What’s In a Story?

I worry that by foreclosing on conventional journalistic wisdom like interviewing all sides in a story, we expose ourselves to a far more pernicious danger than the chance of a one-time snitch or even the brief, suspicious gaze of the state.


The God of American Public Life is Dead

The God of today’s GOP is an impoverished divinity — little more than a signal of the right’s confirmation bias.


Give Left-Capitalism a Chance

Call it left-capitalism: an economic system that democratizes the benefits of the marketplace. That — more than socialism — is the new dominant philosophy of the Democratic Party.


How America’s Empire Got the Upper Hand

Rana’s reading of history is a powerful one for the present day, when politics forces us to choose, falsely, between two visions of America: one that ignores our national sins and another that cannot forgive them.

Border Wall

The Border Wall is Already Built

We live in a paradoxical time when the mythos of the “immigrant nation” seems ever more politically potent, even as we continue to surveil actual, present-day immigrants.

End of Writing

Writing is Becoming the Lost American Art Form

Whatever the causes, the cultural effects of our departure from writing are quickly becoming apparent.

Partisan Inconsistency

After a Hellish Month in Virginia, Democrats Have Some Explaining to Do

I never expected what I saw these past weeks. In many ways it reflects a deeper problem of partisanship in American life at the moment.


How Past Generations Thought Differently about the Economy

Are we missing something important about the quality and dignity of labor in the American economy, as so many Democrats — particularly from the party’s progressive wing — would have us believe?

Durbin and DACA

We Are Failing as a Moral Republic

We should again strive to be an exemplar country with a unique civic consensus neither racial nor religious, but human.

Charlie Baker Elected Massachusetts Governor

Hope after the Midterms

This cohort of blue-state Republicans signals a kind of possibility that I find encouraging. I call it the possibility of collective progress.


Borders Everywhere Are Becoming Real — and Deadly

If we can’t defuse the bomb of nationalism, the risks might be unprecedented.

Make America Great Again

Trump’s Monetary Policy is Economically and Ethically Confused

Trump's critique of the Federal Reserve's latest interest rate hike reveals a split democracy: One for the people; the other for the shareholders.


‘For a Socialist Future’ Posters Deserve Our Skepticism

I’m skeptical of the “socialist future” advertised around campus. I don’t imagine common-sense reform is their priority, nor am I convinced that justice requires class-based organizing.


With Amlo, Mexico is Getting a Lesson in Pragmatism

America’s Democrats should tune in.


Recovering American Exceptionalism

Especially in the Trump era, it seems well worth our time to reexamine the mythos of fireworks and declarations, if only to ensure our own good intentions.