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“Looking for Peace in the Long History of War,” New York Times Book Review, Aug. 6, 2023
[review of Michael Mann’s On Wars]

Interview by Clemens Wegen,„Die einfachste Weise, wie das endet, ist, wenn jemand Putin umbringt“
(“The Easiest Way for This to End Is If Someone Kills Putin”), Die Welt (Berlin), April 16, 2023

Interview by Boris Pofalla, “Ich weiss, was auf dem Tisch liegt, falls Russland Atomwaffen einsetzt,”
[“I know what’s on the table if Russia uses nuclear weapons”], Die Welt (Berlin), February 20, 2023

“Putin’s Miscalculation,” New York Review of Books, (review of Mark Galeotti’s Putin’s Wars), Feb. 9, 2023

“The Illogic of Nuclear Escalation,” Asterisk, Nov. 2022

“Anderson Cooper Among the Freaks,” The New Yorker, Oct. 10, 2022

“A Bridge Too Far,” New York Review of Books, (review of M.E. Sarotte’s Not One Inch), April 7, 2022

“Why Did We Invade Iraq?” New York Review of Books, (review of Robert Draper’s To Start a War), July 22, 2021

“The Jazz Pianist Using a Computer Program to Play with Other Musicians in Quarantine,” The New Yorker, March 3, 2021

“Maria Schneider’s Concert in the Garden,” essay for the Library of Congress, National Registry of Recordings, July 2020

“Who Is Really Running the Government?” New York Times Book Review, (Review of David Rohde’s In Deep), May 3, 2020

“Interview: Trump’s nuclear insecurities and other secrets from the author of ‘The Bomb’,” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, February 4, 2020

“The Defeat of General Mattis,” New York Review of Books, Nov. 21, 2019

“Jason Moran’s New Standards,” Washington Post Magazine, Nov. 5, 2017

“How an Agency of Oddballs Transformed Modern War and Modern Life,” New York Times Book Review, July 2, 2017
(Review of Sharon Weinberger’s “The Imagineers of War”)

“Kind of New,” The New Yorker, May 22, 2017 (Profile of jazz singer Cecile McLorin Salvant)

“The Pentagon’s Innovation Experiment,” MIT Technology Review, Jan.-Feb. 2017

“After 30 Albums and 3 Recent Prizes, a Jazzman Flirts with the Mainstream,” New York Times (Arts), Aug. 29
(profile of Steve Coleman)

“Rethinking Nuclear Policy: Taking Stock of the Stockpile,” Foreign Affairs, Sept.-Oct. 2016

“Who Gets to Define the Terms of Hacking?” The Atlantic, April 6, 2016 (Excerpt from “Dark Territory”)

“Sony Hack: Computer Passwords Included ‘12345’ and ‘ABCDE,’” The Hollywood Reporter, March 3
(Excerpt from "Dark Territory")

“The Secret History of America’s Cyber War: The inside story of the five guys who set out to reform the NSA,” Time, Feb 25 (web edition), Mar 4 (print edition). (Excerpt from “Dark Territory”)

“Should Silicon Valley Go to War?” MIT Technology Review, March 2016.

“‘WarGames’ and Cybersecurity’s Debt to a Hollywood Hack,” New York Times (Arts & Leisure), February 21, 2016.
(Excerpt from “Dark Territory”)

“Obama’s Way: The President in Practice,” Foreign Affairs, Dec. 7, 2015 (print edition: Jan/Feb 2016).

“American Icon: Curve Ahead—The Twisted History of the Gateway Arch,” The Smithsonian, October 2015.

"Seeking Truth in a Blizzard of 'Snowflakes: 'The Unknown Known' Explores How Rumsfeld Sees Himself,'"
New York Sunday Times
(Arts & Leisure), March 30, 2014.

"The Realist," Politico, February 27, 2014. [Obama's foreign policy]

"The Spy Who Came into the Fold: John Rizzo's 'Company Man,'" New York Times Sunday Book Review, Jan. 5, 2014.

"Darcy James Argue and His Steampunk Big Band," Stereophile, October 2013.

"Let's Put on a Show...Someday: Wallace Shawn and Andre Gregory on their long collaboration,"
New York Times (Arts & Leisure), July 7, 2013

"NSA's Surveillance Programme: The Tools Are in Place Now," Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
(English edition), June 18, 2013.

"The World as Free-Fire Zone: How drones made it easy for Americans to kill a particular person anywhere on the planet," MIT Technology Review, July-August, 2013.

"The Woman Who Saw Banality in Evil," New York Times (Arts & Leisure), May 24, 2013.
[article about the film Hannah Arendt]

"Killing Machine," New York Times Book Review, May 12, 2013.
[review of The Way of the Knife by Mark Mazzetti]

"Crossing Dangerous Borders: Mira Nair on 'The Reluctant Fundamentalist,'"
New York Times
(Arts & Leisure), Apr. 21, 2013.

"The American Way of War after COIN's Waterloo: An Interview with Fred Kaplan" (by Octavian Manea), Small Wars Journal, March 5, 2013.

"Questions for Hagel's Confirmation Hearing," New York Times (online "Room for Debate" feature), Jan. 29, 2013.

"The End of the Age of Petraeus: The Rise and Fall of Counterinsurgency," Foreign Affairs, Jan.-Feb. 2013. (adaptation of The Insurgents)

"The Pied Piper of the Insurgency," Time (Battleland blog), Jan. 2, 2013.
[Mark Thompson interviews me about The Insurgents]

"New Book: The Petraeus Revolution," ("Bullish on Books" blog), Jan. 2, 2013.
[brief essay on Petraeus' management style]

"Foreign Policy Threeway: Kaplan, Ackerman, and Bowden on the Final Presidential Debate,", Oct 23, 2012.
[Online chat on the Obama-Romney foreign-policy debate, with me, Spencer Ackerman and Mark Bowden]

"What Sands of Time Did Not Erase: 'Lawrence of Arabia,' Mended, Returns to Screen and Blu-ray,"
New York Sunday Times
(Arts & Leisure), Sept. 30, 2012.

"America's Cold War Sage and His Discontents," New York Times, Nov. 23, 2011.
[Book review of John Lewis Gaddis' George F. Kennan: An American Life]

"Preemption: An idea whose time was made," New York Magazine, Sept. 5, 2011.
[An entry in the issue's "Encyclopedia of 9/11"]

"No More Nukes?" Time, September 27, 2010.
[New START Treaty and the nuclear arms race]

"The Abstract Expressionist," New York Magazine, Sept. 13, 2010.
[Sonny Rollins at 80]

"The Transformer," Foreign Policy, Sept-Oct, 2010.
[Profile of Robert Gates] (Plus: Excerpts from my interview with Gates, Foreign Policy (on-line edition), Aug. 16, 2010)

"Back in the Groove: Jazz Reissues on Vinyl," New York Sunday Times (Arts & Leisure), Aug. 8, 2010.

"Showing a Couple's Eye for Art (and Money)," New York Times (Arts), April 10, 2010.
[article about Acquavella Galleries' "Robert & Ethel Scull: Portrait of a Collection"]

"He's Had Work: Preserving the Face of a Revolution," New York Sunday Times (Arts & Leisure), Feb. 28, 2010.
[Vern Thiessen's play, Lenin's Embalmers]

"Authentically Weird: Nellie McKay on channeling Doris Day's sunshine," New York Magazine, February 22, 2010.

"The View From His Window: Photographer W. Eugene Smith's Infatuated Vision," New York Magazine, January 4, 2010.
[feature about Sam Stephenson's The Jazz Loft Project]

"Elevating the Ordinary to Art," Washington Post Book World, Dec 6, 2009
[review of Arthur Danto, Andy Warhol, and Tony Scherman & David Dalton, Pop: The Genius of Andy Warhol]

"Intimate Ella Fitzgerald, Rediscovered," New York Sunday Times (Arts & Leisure), Nov. 27, 2009.
[article about Ella Fitzgerald, Twelve Nights in Hollywood]

"Miles of Miles," New York Magazine, Nov. 23, 2009.
[review of Miles Davis' 70-CD boxed set, The Complete Columbia Album Collection]

"The C-Mon Q&A: Fred Kaplan, Author of '1959',", Oct. 20, 2009.

"Attack of the Drones," Newsweek, Sept. 28, 2009
[The death of the F-22 and the start of revolution in the Air Force]

"The Last Cold Warriors," Newsweek, Sept. 28, 2009.
[Review of Nicholas Thompson's The Hawk & the Dove: Paul Nitze, George Kennan, and the History of the Cold War]

"Alien Concepts," Nature, Sept. 17, 2009.
[50th anniversary of SETI]

"A Match That Burned the Germans," New York Sunday Times (Arts & Leisure), Aug. 15, 2009.
[The Baader-Meinhof Complex]

"Drama Confronts a Dramatic Decade," New York Sunday Times (Arts & Leisure), Aug. 9, 2009.
[Mad Men Season 3]

"The Day Obscenity Became Art," New York Times (op-ed), July 21, 2009.
[50th anniversary of the Lady Chatterley verdict]

"Donald Ducks the Truth," Newsweek, June 29, 2009.
[book review of Bradley Graham's By His Own Rules: The Ambitions, Successes and Ultimate Failures of Donald Rumsfeld]

"1959: Sex, Jazz, and Datsuns: A year that left its mark--many marks--on the city and the world," New York, June 8, 2009 [Adaptation of my book, 1959: The Year Everything Changed]

"The Pop of Warhol (Rock and Jazz, Too)," N.Y. Sunday Times (Arts & Leisure), Apr. 26, 2009.
[Andy Warhol album covers]

"In Memoriam: William W. Kaufmann," PS: Political Science & Politics, Apr. 2009.

“When the Kennedys Took on Wallace Over Integration,” N.Y. Sunday Times (Arts & Leisure), Jan. 18, 2009. [Robert. Drew’s Crisis: Behind a Presidential Commitment, the DVD Obama should watch]

“When Ambassadors Had Rhythm,” N.Y. Sunday Times (Arts & Leisure), June 29, 2008. [“Jazz Ambassadors” photo exhibit]

“Changing World, Unchanging Worldview,” Washington Post Book World, Apr 27, 2008. [review of J. Peter Scoblic’s U.S. Vs. Them]

“The Professional,” N.Y. Sunday Times Magazine, Feb 10, 2008. [Robert Gates profile]

“Downsizing Our Dominance,” Los Angeles Sunday Times (Current), Feb 3, 2008.

“Why Her Dreams Crashed: Rice’s worldview flipped, and her policies flopped,” Washington Post (Sunday Outlook), Nov 4, 2007. [Condi Rice’s tenure as Secretary of State]

“A Cult Classic, Restored Again,” N.Y. Sunday Times (Arts & Leisure), Sept 30, 2007. [Blade Runner: The Final Cut]

“A Reunion of Giants, 50 Years On,” N.Y. Times, Sept 20, 2007. [review of Sonny Rollins-Roy Haynes concert at Carnegie Hall]

“Challenging the Generals,” N.Y. Sunday Times Magazine, Aug 26, 2007.

“Still Married to the Music,” N.Y. Sunday Times (Arts & Leisure), July 29, 2007. [Sue Mingus & Laurie Pepper]

“Which Speakers Are Right for You?” Domino, Nov, 2006.

“Getting the DVD Transfer Right the Second Time Around,” N.Y. Sunday Times (Arts & Leisure), July 16, 2006. [Fox Lorber and Criterion Collection’s DVDs of Yi Yi]

“Four Responses to ‘What to Do in Iraq’: A two-part web exclusive,” Foreign Affairs (Web only), July 12, 17, 2006. [Hitchens, Kaplan, Kevin Drum, Marc Lynch comment on the commentary on Steven Biddle’s article]

“Fighting Insurgents, By the Book,” Washington Post (Sunday Outlook), July 9, 2006. [Army’s new counterinsurgency field manual; also in Slate, July 8]

“Cold Comfort,” Washington Monthly, July/August, 2006. [review of Peter Beinart’s The Good Fight]

“Serendipitous Convergence Hooks Up Sax and Splatter,” New York Observer, June 14, 2006. [Ornette Coleman at the Guggenheim’s Jackson Pollock show]

“Hunkering Down: A guide to the U.S. military’s future in Iraq,” The Atlantic Monthly, June, 2006.

“What Rhymes with Orange Alert?” N.Y. Sunday Times (Arts & Leisure), Feb. 26, 2006. [Donald Fagen profile, Morph the Cat CD]

“Powell is America’s Nowhere Man,” Los Angeles Sunday Times (Current), Jan. 29, 2006 [the tragedy of Colin Powell]

“Beyond the N.S.A. Scoop: A tale of intelligence fiascos,” New York Observer, Jan. 18, 2006. [review of James Risen’s State of War: The secret history of the CIA and the Bush administration].

“The Army, Faced with Its Limits,” N.Y. Sunday Times (Week in Review), Jan. 1, 2006.

“Pivotal Sonny Rollins Moment: Bridge to a satisfying tension,” New York Observer,   Dec 5, 2005 . [The Essential Sonny Rollins: The RCA Years]

“A Sideman Takes Charge and Sways in Perfect Sync,” New York Observer, Oct. 10,  2005.  [Marty Ehrlich’s News on the Rail]

“Democrats for Bloomberg?” The American Prospect Online, Sept. 26, 2005 . [rebuttal of Greg Sargent’s piece that urged Dems not to reelect Bloomberg]

“All It Touched Off Was a Debate,” N.Y. Sunday Times (Week in Review), Sept. 18, 2005. [de-activation of the last MX missile]

“Masada’s Jazz Legacy Endures,” The Forward, Aug. 5, 2005 .

“Jazzy SummerStage Evening: A Pair of Virtuoso Pianists,” New York Observer, Aug. 4, 2005.  [Jason Moran, Brad Mehldau]

“Bird Lives! The Birth of Bebop, Captured on Disc,” N.Y. Sunday Times (Arts & Leisure), July 31, 2005 . [CD of Gillespie-Parker at Town Hall, 6/22/45 ]

“On Fringes of JVC Festival, Blasts of Vibrant Eclecticism,” New York Observer, June 15, 2005. [David Murray, Don Byron]

“Before Fusion: A CD plumbs Statman’s archives,” The Forward, May 27, 2005 . [Andy Statman on Tzadik]

“Which TV Is Right for Me,” Domino, Spring-Summer 2005 (premiere issue).

“China Expands, Europe Rises, and the United States…,” N.Y. Sunday Times (Week in Review), Dec. 26, 2004 .

WiredTools. 2004: Audio” (co-authored), Wired, Dec 2004.

“Another Threatening Storm?” Washington Post Book World, Nov. 28, 2004 . [review of Kenneth Pollack’s The Persian Puzzle: The Conflict between Iran and America ]

“Seriously Hi-Tech,” New York Magazine, Oct. 25, 2004 [review of  Sony Qualia store].

“Truth Stranger Than ‘Strangelove,’” N.Y. Sunday Times (Arts & Leisure), Oct. 10, 2004 . [historical basis of Dr. Strangelove]

“Getting Set for HDTV,” Digital World, October, 2004.

“What They Would Do,” New York Sunday Times (Week in Review), Aug. 8, 2004 . [on the legacy of Nixon & Kissinger’s foreign policy]

“Wartime Lies?” New York Times Book Review, July 25, 2004 . [review of James Bamford’s A Pretext for War]

“D.I.Y. Meets N.R.L. (No Record Label),” New York Sunday Times (Arts & Leisure), July 4, 2004 . [about jazz composer Maria Schneider]

“Rolling Blunder: How the Bush Administration Let North Korea Get Nukes,”   Washington Monthly, May 2004.

“Fidelity Meets Lifestyle: A New Generation of Loudspeakers Goes Way Beyond the Box,” Architectural Digest, May 2004.

“600 Macs, 4000 Lines, One Giant Leap for DVD,” New York Sunday Times (Arts & Leisure), April 18, 2004 .

“Hunting The Rules of the Game,” New York Sunday Times (Arts & Leisure), Jan. 18, 2004. [the new Criterion Collection DVD)

“Greatest DVDs Never Made,” New York Sunday Times (Arts & Leisure), Dec. 14, 2003 .

“This ‘Lost’ Album Was Worth Finding,” New York Sunday Times (Arts & Leisure), Dec. 7, 2003 . [on jazz composer Andrew Hill’s Passing Ships]

“When Bad DVDs Happen to Great Films,” New York Sunday Times (Arts & Leisure), Nov. 9, 2003 .

“Making Acoustic Magic: Keith Yates and the Art and Science of Home Entertainment,” Architectural Digest, Nov. 2003.

“The War Over Our Head,” Seattle Weekly, May 7-13, 2003 . [Bush’s missile-defense policy]

“Dave Douglas Rolls Out His 10-Band Plan,” New York Sunday Times (Arts & Leisure), Mar, 23, 2003 .

“A Little of This, a Little of That,” New York Sunday Times (Arts & Leisure), Feb. 9, 2003. [The Bad Plus jazz band]

JFK’s First-Strike Plan,” The Atlantic , October 2001. [new look at 1961 Berlin Crisis]

“Horn of Plenty,” The New Yorker, June 14, 1999 . [profile of John Zorn]

“The Master Maker,” Time Digital, Nov. 2, 1998 . [profile of recording engineer Eddie Kramer]

“Meet the Geek,” Time Digital, Nov. 1997. [profile of winner of best car-stereo contest]

“Meet the Geek,” Time Digital, Mar. 10, 1997 . [profile of loudspeaker designer]

“Talk of the Town,” The New Yorker, Aug. 14, 1989 . [unsigned piece about the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s new military net-assessment]

“The Caged Bird Sings,” GQ, Dec. 1988. [first article about the discovery of Dean Benedetti’s lost, legendary tapes of Charlie Parker]

“Dizzy Gillespie Won’t Call It a Night,” GQ, Oct. 1987.

“Sonic Boom: The joy of selling a $60,000 stereo system,” Regardie’s, June 1987.

“Death Trap,” Regardie’s, Sept. 1986.

“Reconsidering Rostropovich,” The Washingtonian, Jan. 1986.

“For This We Need Kissinger? He did bomb over the hostages, but not in the way he intended,” Washington Post (Sunday Outlook), July 14, 1985 .

“Living in a MIRV’ed World: Some Second Thoughts About a First Strike,” Environment, Apr. 1984.

“Two Names, Half a Dozen Careers, Books, Movies—Phew!” Washington Post (Sunday Outlook), Oct. 30, 1983 . [interview with Leo Rosten]

“We’re About to Launch a Costly and Crazy Arms Race in Space,” Washington Post (Sunday Outlook), Oct. 16, 1983 .

“Plane Dealing,” Pacific Northwest , June 1983 [Boeing’s fight for a military contract]

“Scientists at War: The birth of the RAND Corporation,” American Heritage, June/July 1983.

“Why We Decided Not to Nuke the Soviets,” Washington Post (Sunday Outlook), May 29, 1983. [1961 Berlin Crisis]

“Pentagon Superweapon: The Hair-Raising Briefer,” Washington Post (Sunday Outlook), Mar. 20, 1983 .

“Cruise Missiles: Wonder Weapon or Dud?” High Technology, Feb. 1983.

“Strategic Thinkers,” The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Dec. 1982.

“Defense Nuts and Bolts,” New York Times (Op-Ed page), Nov. 17, 1982 .

“Missile Envy,” The New Republic, Oct. 11, 1982 . [the Euro-missile debate]

“The Nuclear Debate: Russian and American Intentions,” The Atlantic , July 1982.

“Lost Cruises,” Inquiry, Mar. 15, 1982 . [Euro-missiles]

“Inside the Soviet Threat,” Inquiry, Nov. 23, 1981 .

“Dubious Defense,” Inquiry, Nov. 2, 1981 . [review of Herbert Scoville’s MX: Prescription for Disaster]

“The Neutron Bomb: What It Is, the Way It Works,” The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Oct. 1981.

“Bombs Awry,” Inquiry, Oct. 5, 1981 .

“Take the MX—Please,” The New Republic, Sept. 30, 1981 .

“Nuclear Showdown in Europe ,” Inquiry, May 25, 1981 .

“Rick Burt Steps Down,” The New Republic, Jan. 24, 1981 .

“Dancing in the Dark: The Press Embraces Limited Nuclear War,” Columbia Journalism Review, Jan/Feb., 1981.

“Apocalypse Soon,” Inquiry, Nov. 24, 1980 . [review of Nigel Calder’s Nuclear Nightmares]

“’New Look’ from the Pentagon,” Inquiry, Sept. 22, 1980 .

“Missile Games,” The New Republic, Aug. 23, 1980 .

“The Military Is Not a Steel Plant: A response to Leonard Sullivan,” Taxing & Spending, Summer 1980.

“Our Cold War Policy, Circa ’50,” New York Times Sunday Magazine, May 18, 1980 .

“The B-1’s Back,” The Nation, Dec. 22, 1979 .

“Warring Over New Missiles for NATO,” New York Times Sunday Magazine, Dec. 9, 1979.

“The Arms of Armageddon,” Washington Post Sunday Magazine, July 15, 1979 .

“NATO and the Soviet Scare,” Inquiry, June 12, 1978 .

“Enhanced-Radiation Weapons,” Scientific American, May 1978.

“Soviet Civil Defence: Some Myths in the Western Debate,” Survival, May/June 1978.

“The Soviet Civil Defense Myth, Pts. 1 & 2,” The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Mar. & Apr. 1978.

“SALT: The End of Arms Control,” The Progressive, Jan. 1978.

“Keeping the World Safe from…?” Washington Post Book Review, Sept. 4, 1977 [review of Michael Sherry’s Preparing for the Next War: American Plans for Postwar Defense, 1941-45]

“Arms Hucksters,” The Progressive, Sept. 1977. [review of Anthony Sampson’s The Arms Bazaar]

“Little Men and the Big Bomb,” Washington Post Book Review, July 24, 1977 . [review of Gordon Thomas’ Enola Gay]

“A Strategy for Disarmament,” Working Papers for a New Society, Spring 1977.

“Arms Sales and the Economy,” The Progressive, Nov. 1976.

“Condor: The Missile Nobody Wants,” The Nation, July 17-24, 1976 .

“Still the Merchants of Death,” The Progressive, Mar. 1976.


This list does not include:

  • Columns for Slate since 2002, mainly on national-security issues, but also on books and music  (Click on the “Slate Columns” tab for these.)
  • Over 2,000 articles—news reports, analyses, profiles, and features, from Washington, Moscow, and New York—in the Boston Globe from 1982-2002.
  • Over 100 jazz reviews in the Washington City Paper from 1987-91.
  • Jazz, film, and equipment reviews in Stereophile, Home Theater, The Absolute Sound, The Perfect Vision.