Jim Newell

  • Cash and Carry

    How do we define the corruption that money brings to our politics? It’s easy to be vaguely concerned about “money in politics” in the dollar-saturated public sphere that’s risen up following 2010’s Citizens United and subsequent federal-court decisions. Many people are. But the “corruption” that’s taking place now isn’t as simple as some would make it seem, and its complexity contributes directly to its power and endurance.

    Indeed, if a presidential candidate were caught on film accepting from a railroad tycoon a silver briefcase overstuffed with greenbacks, that could supply enough impetus

  • Tripping Points

    IF YOU’RE READING Bookforum, it’s most likely because you want to learn the keys to success. How do I make the big bucks, the winning connections? Where do I find that inner animal that will spur me on to fast cars, loose women, and eventually spoiled-rotten children and existential misery? It’s harder than ever these days to get ahead. But some do. Who are they?

    To Malcolm Gladwell, best-selling author of what he terms “intellectual adventure stories,” it’s easy enough: You just have to nearly get bombed, lose a parent as a child, have dyslexia, be less talented (but secretly more talented!

  • City on the Make

    As I sit down to write, it’s roughly day 3 of the Washington political class’s overheated response to the release of Mark Leibovich’s This Town, and day 800 or so of what that class regards as the real story: the chatterbox narrative surrounding Mark Leibovich’s This Town. Politico has come forward with its latest report on the surveillance data it’s been collecting on all things “Leibo,” as the rag calls him. Glancing over the dispatch, it’s clear that the crucial question on Washington’s mind is this: Will this saboteur—who has courted no end of damning disclosures from his sources via his