Elisabeth Zerofsky

Elisabeth Zerofsky is a former Prospect editorial intern.

Recent Articles


TREND-SPOTTING, BRIT-STYLE. Never mind that The Economist ’s cover story this week was the lead story in TAP about two months ago. With a circulation that’s considerably, ahem, larger than ours, the British publication will score more global attention for its coverage of the U.S.'s “new” left-leaning trend, which seems to be all but widely accepted at this point, especially as a steep decline in popularity among young Americans translates to predictions of stormy weather for the GOP . The middle-right perspective of this development coming from across the Atlantic, however, seems, amazingly, to have its defenses set up in favor of President Bush . The article claims that “this President Bush is not a good scapegoat” in the popular abandonment of the Republican Party, as he hasn’t betrayed the right but “has given it virtually everything it craved, from humongous tax cuts to conservative judges." What's left out is how criminal incompetence in nation-building, falsified intelligence,...

Out of the Fringe and Into the Spotlight

Independent artists are using festivals like Capital Fringe to push political theater -- and their pet issues -- into the mainstream.

American political theater has met a slow demise since its glory days in the first half of the 20th century. People with an extra dollar to spend would rather be entertained, the mindless varieties of recreation being preferable to those that provoke thought or arouse discomfort. But efforts such as the Fringe Festival, a nation-wide trend that caught on in the 1980’s, have assisted in a substantial, though still somewhat marginal comeback. Now an international phenomenon, the festival started in Edinburgh in the 1940s, Theatrical troupes excluded from the celebrated Edinburgh International Theatre Festival set up shop in ad-hoc venues -- literally on the fringes of the festival. Over the years, the excluded troupes and their audience ultimately formed a separate affair, which spread across the Atlantic and throughout North America. Today, dozens of cities in the United States and Canada host similar events, in which hundreds of independent artists who otherwise want for time in the...


BUSH: LESS POPULAR THAN STALIN. Whenever I see approval ratings for President Bush , I always think of a Harper's Index stat printed in January of 2006 that compared Bush's popularity among Americans to Stalin 's popularity among Russians. Of course, that statistic was printed 18 months ago, when the two ratings were neck-in-neck at 37%. So a new poll from Strategic Vision (via the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel ) finding Bush's latest rating at a dismal 19% puts our president a far cry below the iconic leader of an oppressive communist regime who systematically murdered millions through forced famines, labor camps, and political purges. Enough said. --Elisabeth Zerofsky


HRC AND THE SINGLE GIRL. David Brooks ' latest sociological diagnosis ought probably to be laid to rest on the pages of this blog, but I couldn't resist pointing out the providential correlation between Brooks' new lone rangers and Hillary Clinton's staunchest demographic of supporters among the female electorate. As Judith Warner wrote last month in a hotly debated column in The New York Times , young women are Clinton's most loyal supporters -- not upper-middle-class, professional, middle-aged Caucasian women who more closely resemble Clinton. I have to admit to being initially put off by Warner's observation that it is the predominantly young and non-college-degree-holding women who back Clinton most fervently. As a 22-year-old on the brink of earning my bachelor's degree -- and a Hillary fan -- I resented having my political leanings belittled by Warner's elitist-ageist analysis. But if there's any truth to Brooks' theory -- and, like Ezra , I think there is -- then perhaps there'...


MEN AND WOMEN ARE EQUAL, WHEREAS THEY ARE NOT. The creative use of English grammar on the official Web site of Iran's supreme leader Sayyid Ali Khamenei makes navigating such side-bar categories as Suggestions and Viewpoints tricky. Then again, a taste for unintelligibility may be beneficial for the Ayatollah when it comes to discussing women's rights in Iran. An AP article yesterday lauded the Iranian leader for showing signs of "budging" on restrictions facing women in the Islamic republic of Iran, but the actual report reveals that the word "budging" would necessarily have to incorporate a substantial amount of ambiguity. "The responsibility of running the society and country falls on every individual men and women alike whereas the prime assignment of women at every social status lies in the foundation of family," Khamenei said. He simultaneously criticized western views, claiming that "the views in fact belittle women," calling "the Western manipulative treatment of women...