John Powers

John Powers, the author of Sore Winners (And the Rest of Us) in George Bush's America (Doubleday), writes about culture and politics for Vogue and is critic-at-large for NPR's Fresh Air.

Recent Articles

Manning Up

Rick Perry, the man George W. Bush pretended to be, personifies the allure of Texastosterone.

John Cuneo

IIn Master of the Senate, the third volume of his massive, still-unfinished biography of Lyndon Johnson, Robert Caro devotes a memorable paragraph to the great man’s fondness for exhibiting his sexual equipment, which, with characteristic humility, he called “Jumbo.”

The Dirty Work

In their new movies, George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh capture the conflicting strains of Obama culture.

Joe Ciardiello

Back in the Clinton years, a friend moved to D.C. to become a Washington correspondent. Shortly after he arrived, the job fell through. When I called to ask how he was doing, he told me he was actually kind of relieved: "I realized that I love politics," he said, "but that I don't give a damn about government. It bores me stiff."

Same As It Ever Was

American culture has not changed radically in the years since the attacks—certainly not as much as many predicted—and that may speak well of us.

Even by the standards of a country notorious for losing its innocence every decade or so—surely our national anthem should be "Like a Virgin"—September 11, 2001, would appear to deserve its oft-given moniker, The Day Everything Changed. The spectacle of those jets bringing down the World Trade Center wasn't merely unforgettable: It was revelatory. Theodor Adorno once wrote that a splinter in the eye is the best magnifying glass, and on that infamous morning, what came into sharp view was our vulnerability. We weren't accustomed to seeing our citizens slaughtered on American soil, at least not by people who weren't born here.