Dana Goldstein

Dana Goldstein, a former associate editor and writer at the Prospect, comes from a family of public school educators. She received the Spencer Fellowship in Education Journalism, a Schwarz Fellowship at the New America Foundation, and a Puffin Foundation Writing Fellowship at the Nation Institute. Her journalism is regularly featured in SlateThe AtlanticThe NationThe Daily Beast, and other publications, and she is a staff writer at the Marshall Project. 

Recent Articles


ARE YOU A SELL OUT? Over at Campus Progress , Jesse Singal reviews Daniel Brook 's The Trap: Selling Out to Stay Afloat in Winner-Take-All America . The book is about progressive young Americans' conflicting desires to make a difference, but also to be able to afford health care, a decent place to live, and a high-quality education for their children. As Jesse writes, the system that makes all this so difficult is based on the conservative movement's amazing success "at exploiting the specter of excessive taxation against middle-class people whose most pressing economic concerns—the spiraling costs of education, health care, and housing—are in fact exacerbated by tax cuts at the top." But Americans have "radical, right-wing views on taxes," Jesse points out. "Only 1 percent of Americans think that taxes are too low (compared to 62 percent of Britons)." That's a staggering statistic indeed: Even though most Americans support cheaper health care and college tuition, just 1...


WHEN MINUTEMEN ARE HAPPY ...you know you ought to be dispirited, at the very least. And while the immigration bill required an onerous, anti-family "touch back" and agreed to construct an Orwell ian "security fence" between the United States and Mexico, I can't help but feel disappointed today for the 12 million undocumented Americans who have just learned they're not going to get adequate medical care, college financial aid for their kids, or the right to report domestic violence without fear of deportation after all . I have little faith that Congress will return to immigration during Bush 's term. And even less faith that a Democrat will risk political capital on such a divisive issue in 2009. --Dana Goldstein

Second Tier Candidates, First Rate Ideas

Long-shot Democratic candidates are the ones taking a stance on many worthy, yet unsung, policy problems. Front-runners, pay attention.

Every presidential election is accompanied by hand-wringing over the lack of seriousness in our public discourse. The editors of The New Republic declared the June 3 Democratic debate in New Hampshire "gimmicky," "absurd," and more like Candyland than chess. Surely fearing another Swift Boat-ing, The New York Times ' Paul Krugman devoted one column to a demand for policy specifics from the candidates and used the next to flog media commentators who prize "authenticity" over political motives and goals. And everyone seemed to lament that Wolf Blitzer had more on-screen time at the debates than any candidate. But there's reason to be optimistic. From Iraq to global warming to health care to immigration, the 2008 Democratic primary is shaping up to be dominated by substantive policy debates on issues that matter. The New Hampshire debate featured discussion on whether individual mandates are necessary to achieve universal health coverage (John Edwards: yes; Barack Obama: no), how...


CUT OUT H.I.V.? From hippies reclaiming the body to immigrant groups who wouldn't even consider it, CNN reports that the circumcision rate in the United States has reached an all-time low of 57 percent. The American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends forgoing circumcision, calling it an unnecessary and painful surgery. Even so, the United States remains the Western nation with by far the least foreskins. In the U.K, for example, fewer than 20 percent of men are circumcised; in Denmark, the number is less than 2 percent. But don't call off the bris just yet. As I reported for In These Times last month, the World Health Organization is now recommending the procedure, emboldened by studies that found adult circumcisions in Africa decreased men's likelihood of contracting HIV by as much as 60 percent. Following the WHO's lead, New York City is considering promoting adult circumcision as a preventative measure, which worries activists who've been struggling for decades to send the...


EXEMPLARY AMERICA? I too was at Take Back America yesterday, wowed and moved by both Obama and Edwards ' speeches. But I find it strange that Matt and Ezra found Edwards so "persuasive," "direct," and "plausible" on foreign policy. Edwards laid out a wildly optimistic vision in which: 1. American energy independence (hence, no more oil cash) forces Middle Eastern nations to invest in education, economic development, and good government. 2.The United States starts to rely on homegrown energy sources (ethanol). 3. Europe doesn't have enough empty space to compete, so it invests heavily in African agriculture and energy. 4. African poverty lifts. These would all be excellent accomplishments. But the causality here is far from assured. I agree with Brian Beutler that this seems "incredibly difficult to pull off." And more disturbingly, the notion that we can "remake the Middle East" politically just by decreasing our dependence on their oil -- as Edwards suggested today -- is, I fear, as...