Dana Goldstein

Dana Goldstein, a former associate editor and writer at the Prospect and The Daily Beast, is a Spencer Fellow in education reporting at Columbia University. Her work on politics, women’s issues, and education has appeared in BusinessWeek, Slate, The New Republic, and The Nation.

Recent Articles

The Wrong Side of the Mommy Track

The Good Wife? More like The Get Back to Work Wife. CBS' new drama is less about political marriage and more about a generation of opt-out women who are headed back to work.

Julianna Margulies, left, stars in the upcoming CBS political drama, 'The Good Wife.'(CBS)
The Good Wife , a new drama on CBS, plays a neat trick: It convinces viewers that it is a show about a political wife in the aftermath of a sex scandal. And in a surface sort of way, it is: In the delicious first sequence, in which the embattled state's attorney announces his resignation after being videotaped in bed with hookers, we're treated to Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies), the "good wife" in question, slapping her husband across the face, just beyond the sight of the probing cameras. What woman wouldn't have loved to see Silda smack Eliot, or Elizabeth pummel John? But The Good Wife is actually about a far more pedestrian topic: the middle-aged woman on the verge of a breakdown -- and a comeback. With a no-good husband suddenly out of a job and two teenagers at home, Florrick dusts off her juris doctor and heads back to work, where she triumphs over skepticism and reconsiders all those years on the mommy track. Florrick is not alone: With the recession pushing more...

Taylor Branch on the Clintons.

Taylor Branch , the Pulitzer Prize-winning civil rights historian, is releasing a new book this month called The Clinton Tapes: Wrestling History with the President . A friend of Bill and Hillary Clinton dating back to their days on the McGovern campaign in Texas, Branch and President Clinton recorded hundreds of hours of interviews together over the 8-year course of the Clinton presidency, often in the middle of the night. GQ has a fascinating interview with Branch about the book, in which he discusses why, as a liberal, he finds Bill Clinton more inspiring than either JFK or Lyndon Johnson , how Clinton's infidelities compare to Martin Luther King 's, and what the Clintons were like as a couple early in their marriage. A fun excerpt: GQ : Was he a Lothario in 1972? No, and I was sharing an apartment with he and Hillary. I had just separated from my wife, had virtually no social life, and they were all over each other. The only story was that we were having a hard time getting this...

Obama, David Paterson, and Democratic Party-Building.

Although Barack Obama is the president of the United States, it's often easy to forget he is also the national leader of the Democratic Party, with his stubbornly bipartisan strategy on almost every policy issue. Not so yesterday. I was in New York, and the front pages of the Times , Daily News , and New York Post all screamed the news that Obama has sent word asking flailing Gov. David Paterson not to run for re-election. This should be a no-brainer; the unelected Paterson's approval ratings are as low as George W. Bush 's, while his Democratic rival Andrew Cuomo has rebounded from some youthful political indiscretions to become a popular, crusading attorney general, in the mold of a pre-scandal Spitzer . Paterson's refusal to cede the office, though, allows for the re-emergence on the national scene of Rudy Giuliani , who remains popular among upstate conservatives and suburban moderates. Giuliani has shown a real facility for exploiting conservative populist moments like the one we...

Integrate Expectations

The Obama administration is pressuring suburbs to end segregated housing but ignoring their history of segregated schools.

Dwayne Collins, president of the local NAACP on Friday, Sept. 10, 1999, following federal judge's decision reversing a 30-year-old order requiring busing to achieve racial balance in the school system. (AP Photo/The Charlotte Observer, Francisco Kjolseth)
In the popular imagination, Westchester County, just north of New York City, is a land of endless picket fences and backyard swimming pools. My hometown of Ossining, New York, is where John Cheever, chronicler of white suburban malaise, lived and set some of his stories. On cable TV's Mad Men , Ossining is depicted as a bedroom community where wives ride horses, husbands drown their sexual frustrations in after-work cocktails, and children attend lily-white schools. Westchester is a real place, though, and like most American places, its demographics have become far more complex over the last half-century. In search of the American dream of safe streets and decent schools, increasing numbers of African American families have migrated from inner-city New York to Westchester. In the 1980s and 1990s, Hispanic immigrants joined them, and some towns became magnets for day laborers. Through all these changes, Westchester has retained its picket fences and country clubs -- it's just become...

The Baucus Plan Punishes Single People -- Especially Single Moms.

I want to say a little more about the "free rider" provision in the Baucus health plan, which Tim highlighted this morning. The HELP Committee and House bills require most employers to provide health insurance for their workers. But the Baucus plan does not include such an employer mandate. Instead, it requires companies to partially reimburse the government for the insurance affordability credits of uninsured workers and their dependents. This creates some very perverse incentives. It discourages companies from hiring single people, who don't have a spouse whose employer-provided insurance will cover them, thus offering the employer an "out" on the subsidy payback. It encourages employers to pressure married, uninsured workers to go into their spouse's health plans, even if the worker feels they'd get better coverage for a lower cost on the exchange. And worst of all, it particularly discourages firms from hiring single people with children, because they'd have to pay for the...

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