Leah Platt

Leah Platt is a writing fellow at The American Prospect.

Recent Articles

Predatory Pricing:

The biggest anti-trust suit since the Microsoft case is set to open in a federal court next month. The particular complaint is against American Airlines. Three of its smaller competitors -- Vanguard, Sun Jet and Western Pacific -- are accusing the huge airline of conducting a ruthless campaign to oust them from the Dallas-Fort Worth airport. But the entire airline industry might as well be on trial.


Prompted by a plunge in the Consumer Confidence Index, which hit a near-five-year low in February, The New York Times dubbed confidence the "X factor that can save the day or push the economy over the brink into recession." Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan warned Congress that "changes in consumer confidence will require close scrutiny in the period ahead."

But in the age of the 24-hour news cycle, measures of confidence bring up a chicken-or-egg problem. Are consumers responding to their own lived experiences--say, a neighbor who lost a job, or a factory in town that shut down--or to the constant stream of hyped-up financial news on cable and the Internet?

Dangerous Security:

This week, a bus attack in the heart of Israel -- a Palestinian bus driver struck Israeli passengers waiting at a stop in South Tel Aviv -- killed eight and left 12 wounded. The government's response was swift. It sealed off the Palestinian territories by air, land and sea. Palestinian residents are forbidden from entering Israel, but also from traveling to Egypt and Jordan, and anywhere else except Mecca, Saudi Arabia for their Islamic pilgrimage.

Her Life an Open Book

In Charlotte Salomon's extraordinary Life? or Theater? A Play with
--a kind of unbound epic, composed of more than 700 watercolor
panels plus text and suggestions for accompanying music--the painted
curtains rise on Berlin, 1913. A young woman, named Charlotte, is
floating blue-faced in her coffin. She has drowned herself. This
exhibit, which features about half of the total work, recently left the
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and is now at the Jewish Museum of New
. Only moments into it, we can already sense the contradictions that
will propel it forward. Here is life--or is it theater?--compressed into