When historians begin to sift the record of Ronald Reagan’s remarkable debut in Washington, they will confront a stark dilemma. In his first 12 months in office, the American president did virtually everything he set out to do—and much of what he promised to do—and accomplished almost nothing. His successes were both enormous and exiguous, his failures at once trivial and awesome.By Michael Posner12 min
One day in 1948 while articling in an Edmonton law office, Joe Shoctor was gazing fondly from a second-storey window at the gold De Soto convertible he had just acquired with money earned on the side as a theatre agent. Standing beside the carstruck youth, Joe’s boss sadly shook his head, saying, “You’ll never make a lawyer, Shoctor.”By Mark Czarnecki11 min
When the trial snapped shut and the man who had committed the most excruciating mass murders in Canadian history stood sentenced to life imprisonment, there was little of the expected catharsis that a guilty plea is supposed to bring. Instead, the evil that Clifford Robert Olson had committed when he killed 11 young people in nine months continued to affect their families and to divide the B.C. community.By Malcolm Gray10 min
In the week before Christmas a poll conducted by the Associated Press and NBC News showed that of those Americans asked, at least three in every four expected the United States to be at war within the next few years. Almost 60 per cent of the respondents to the same poll also said that if war were declared it certainly wouldn’t be the fault of President Reagan.By Lewis Lapham8 min
I was disturbed to find in The Expanding Universe (Cover, Jan. 11) the introduction of language that seems to me appropriate only to religion. For example, the writer speaks of “the revelation that the world is round” when it is quite evident that this is a matter not of revelation but of scientific discovery.
Throughout the U.S. presidential campaign, Nancy Reagan chose her husband’s neckties, cancelled whistle stops that might tire out her “Ronnie” and always, always, sat perfectly poised. Her glassy eyes were firmly fixed on the firmament of Ronald Reagan.By Jane O’Hara7 min
Once raised in a roomful of lawyers, the idea is guaranteed to unleash tempers and split ranks. Indeed, the very mention of “public defenders” has been known to cause criminal lawyers to threaten boycotts and civil libertarians to protest police state manoeuvres.By Boyd Neil5 min
The unilateral imposition of sanctions against Poland and the Soviet Union by the Reagan administration in my view raises issues of policy for NATO far more serious in the long run than the dispute over the response to martial law in Poland.By George Ignatieff5 min
Those of us who make a living traipsing through the cornices, crevasses and flying buttresses of Pierre Trudeau’s cranium—somewhat like Dr. Livingstone in the jungle of the mind—have noticed a peculiar bump. It is the bump of illogic. The prime minister is noted for the concrete nature of his inner logic and rigidly disciplined I mind, but in the external field he allows himself to be steered in the strangest of directions.By Allan Fotheringham4 min
Just a 15-minute drive from Capitol Hill, amid the wealth and narrow streets of exclusive Georgetown, the aristocratic Pamela Harriman is plotting a comeback for the Democratic party. From the library of her million-dollar home, Mrs. Harriman—daughter of an English lord, former wife of Winston Churchill’s dissipated son, Randolph—is running Democrats for the ’80s.By William Lowther4 min
The West is Reagan country. It is the 70-year-old president’s political backyard and his home. It is also the fief of his wealthy “kitchen cabinet” pals who helped him into office and the ultimate source of his grassroots strength. But as the population centre of the United States slipped quietly across the Mississippi last year for the first time in history—creating a majority of voters in the West— the natives grew restless in Ronald Reagan’s western empire.By William Scobie4 min
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