Saturday, September 24, 2005

Chris Caldwell on the German election

Christopher Caldwell, the Weekly Standard writer, Financial Times columnist, and NYT magazine contributing editor, has written the best analysis of the German election in English that I have read. From the Weekly Standard, October 3, 2005. Read it here.

Chris made a very smart career move as a journalist back in the 1990s, when he turned from US domestic issues to Western Europe. Not just the Style-section, soft-life-style-issues mode of reporting that so limits the NYT's coverage of Western Europe (in effect, you have little confidence that the NYT's correspondents in Western Europe could state the law of supply and demand, let alone intelligently discuss Western European welfare states except by parroting the handouts of the social democratic parties). Chris spent his time going to places like Germany - places considered utter bores because they were so dully industrial and mastering gritty but essential economic facts long before anyone else decided to pay attention. In effect, Christopher returned to the mode of serious, economics-and-politics-andculture oriented reporting that had characterized places like the NYT foreign bureaux in Western Europe a generation ago, before the budget cuts in foreign reporting.

Christopher Caldwell, in my view, does the finest reporting on Western Europe in US journalism today. I've posted some of his earlier reporting on Islam in Europe, and in France in particular.

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