Miriam Lambert

Miriam Udel Lambert is a writer living in New York.

Recent Articles

Born in the U.S.A :

I lham Hameedduddin, in a loose robe and head scarf, is often mistaken for a foreigner. Although her mother is Indian and her father Arab Indian, Hameedduddin was raised in the United States, attended public schools, and is working toward a BA at Middlesex College in New Jersey. Nevertheless, she says, "Neighbors are surprised I can speak English without an accent. They assume I'm fresh off the boat and I just haven't assimilated yet ." Actually, Hameedduddin doesn't plan to assimilate, at least not as far as her religion is concerned. As a proud American and devout Muslim, she is part of a new, "indigenous" American Muslim generation. Until now, this country's Muslim community has included several subgroups: immigrants from Arab countries and the Indian subcontinent, along with American converts of European or African-American descent. Since immigration restrictions were eased in the late 1960s, many Middle Eastern and South Asian Muslims have come to the States, building...

From New York to Jerusalem

It might seem odd that a foreign leader charged with conducting complicated statecraft in his own country should involve himself in state-level politics in America. Or that anyone should take notice when the mayor of a foreign town of 700,000 lavishes political favors on the mayor of a U.S. city of almost seven million people. But when the state in question is New York and the foreign country is Israel, the usual laws of political gravity no longer apply. Ehud Barak is the left-leaning prime minister of Israel. Ehud Olmert is the Likudnik mayor of the Jerusalem municipality. And the two Ehuds--never the best of friends--have clashed over a Senate race taking place half a world away. The dispute erupted when, during a trip to the United States in November 1999, Barak spoke enthusiastically about Bill and Hillary Clinton's dedication to the Mideast peace process. His comments reportedly infuriated the staff of Rudolph Giuliani because they were seen to be an implicit endorsement of...

Changes is Epedemic

By his own definition, Malcolm Gladwell is a "translator," one of a special class of people who "take ideas and information from a highly specialized world and translate them into a language the rest of us can understand." In his articles for The New Yorker , Gladwell has been a bloodhound for speci-ficity, sniffing around obscure corners in the realms of fashion, e-commerce, crime, and medicine, and turning up astounding results. Gladwell introduced the idea of the "tipping point"--that, as with epidemics, only a slight push might send a trend soaring or plummeting--in a 1996 article about the decrease in Brooklyn's crime rate. The premise for the tipping-point theory is the counterintuitive, nonlinear relationship between effort and results. To illustrate nonlinearity, he recalls his childhood frustration with an unresponsive ketchup bottle, and he quotes the ditty his father recited: "Tomato ketchup in a bottle. None will come, and then a lot'll." Just as the pressure on the...