Harold Pollack

Harold Pollack is Helen Ross Professor of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago.

Recent Articles

“MORE BASS.” JERRY WEXLER, RIP.

by Harold Pollack

Great producer and impresario Jerry Wexler passed away today. Along with Ahmet Ertegun, Tom Dowd, and others, Wexler was a great behind-the-scenes forces in rhythm and blues—a term he himself coined, along with the delightful follow-on “immaculate funk.” The Times has a terrific obituary today.

As recounted there, the filmmaker Tom Thurman asked Wexler, “ ‘What do you want written on your tombstone, Jerry?’ He said, ‘Two words: More bass.’ ”

DOES ANYONE CARE HOW WE ACTUALLY RUN THE GOVERNMENT? SOME QUESTIONS FOR THE NEXT DEBATE.

by Harold Pollack

This month's Atlantic has a great James Fallows analysis of campaign debates. Buried deep is a compilation prepared by Sidney Blumenthal and Daniel Freifeld for the Clinton campaign, in which they examined reporters’ questions in 15 debates. As they summarize it:

352 QUESTIONS
29 GOTCHA QUESTIONS
33 PUFF QUESTIONS
7 GOVERNANCE QUESTIONS
NOT A SINGLE QUESTION ABOUT A FEDERAL DEPARTMENT OR AGENCY AND ITS CONDITION UNDER BUSH

That list is a stunning indictment of Brian Williams, Charles Gibson, the late Tim Russert, and others. It’s also old news to anyone who follows American politics or American government....

OUR DEBT TO DESPERATE STRANGERS.

by Harold Pollack

Journalists and professors share one great perk: the opportunity to travel. Not too long ago, I found myself in Paris, strolling the most beautiful city in the world. I’m still awed by the usual tourist things. I gawked at a 7-foot North African traffic policeman in white gloves and full decorative dress. I smiled at the stylish Parisians and American college kids deep in café conversation around the Louvre.

WILL VLADIMIR PUTIN KILL HEALTH REFORM?

By Harold Pollack

This morning’s New York Times includes a great column by Paul Krugman, noting that our age of globalization may perish as the first did: through destructive nationalism, violence, and war. I find Krugman's analysis frightening and compelling. If history is any guide, these developments also threaten the prospects for progressive legislation here at home....

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