Paul Starr

Paul Starr is co-editor of the The American Prospect. His most recent book is Remedy and Reaction: The Peculiar American Struggle over Health Care ReformClick here to read more about Starr.

Recent Articles

Freedom's Future Online

In his new book, Jonathan Zittrain argues the very qualities that make the personal computer and the Internet so valuable are the source of their vulnerability and possible undoing.

The Future of the Internet and How to Stop It by Jonathan Zittrain, Yale University Press, 352 pages, $30.00

The delirium and delusions that surrounded computing and the Internet in the 1990s have given way to a sentiment just as dangerous--complacency. It's not just that yesterday's wonders have so quickly become routine; most of us also take for granted the basic workings of the digital environment, including the freedom for experimentation that it affords. Countries like China may control the Internet, but in our society don't the free market and the open, untamed wilds of cyberspace make it nearly impossible to clamp down on innovation?


James Carville says Obama should pick Al Gore for vice president. Here are some reasons Democrats are likely to take this option seriously, unless Gore himself rules it out.

  • Gore answers the need for "experience," but unlike Nunn and various others who've been mentioned, he doesn't contradict the message of change or raise any tensions or conflicts with Obama's views.
  • Gore could help Obama govern, and he would be fully competent--and perceived as fully competent--to become president should something happen to Obama.

Lullaby of Baghdad

Are we winning the Iraq war, or is what little progress we have achieved actually an illusion?

Is reduced violence in Iraq -- reduced, that is, from its peak in 2006--a sign that the United States is finally on the road to victory? Or is U.S. strategy in the war, as Steven Simon argues in the May/June issue of Foreign Affairs, "stoking the three forces that have traditionally threatened the stability of Middle Eastern states: tribalism, warlordism, and sectarianism" and consequently making Iraq ungovernable? In other words, is the Bush administration purchasing short-term stability in Iraq -- and a lulled electorate at home -- at the cost of a deepened and prolonged conflict?


The March issue of The American Prospect carries a special report, "Mobilizing Millennials: Will Their Economic Raw Deal Fuel the Next New Deal?" in which I have an article, "A New Deal of Their Own." Here I pursue a theme that I have raised in Freedom's Power and in a series of articles (see an earlier post on my website on "The Idea of a Young America Program").


The Democratic Party continues hurtling toward disaster, as now Michigan as well as Florida Democrats have proved unable to agree on plans for a new primary. While Senator Hillary Clinton has supported the proposed do-overs, Senator Barack Obama’s campaign has opposed them--leaving the party with no apparent option for representing either state at the national convention in August.