Michelle Goldberg

Michelle Goldberg is a senior correspondent at The American Prospect. She is also the author of Kingdom Coming and The Means of Reproduction.

Recent Articles

The Real Nanny Diaries

Americans pay lip service to the idea child-raising is important work, but when they hire people to do it for them, they tend to pay them little and respect them less.

(AP Photo)
Compared to their counterparts in many European countries, American women get almost no public support in their struggle to combine work and motherhood. Judging from the dispiriting conservative freak-out over health-care reform, that's unlikely to change any time soon -- one can only imagine the type of demagoguery that would attend any attempt to create French-style state-funded crèches. Yet most American women work, and given the contraction of many male-dominated industries and the fact that more women are attending universities than men, they may soon make up a majority of the employed. In some families, this means men will take care of the kids. But for many, it means that nannies will. Indeed, as Barbara Ehrenreich and Arlie Russell Hochschild wrote in the introduction to their 2003 collection, Global Woman: Nannies, Maids, and Sex Workers in the New Economy , "Strictly speaking, the presence of immigrant nannies does not enable affluent women to enter the workforce; it...

Same As It Ever Was?

The pro-Israel lobby, long seen as an immutable part of American politics, may be headed toward obsolescence.

Two orthodox Jewish men walk down a street in New Jersey. (AP Photo/Mike Derer)
Billionaire Jewish philanthropist Charles Bronfman is worried that Israel's conflict with the Palestinians is hurting the country's relationship with young Jews in the Diaspora. "We turned from David to Goliath in 1982, with the invasion into Lebanon, and the Arabs became David," he told the Israeli daily Ha'aretz last week. "Now everybody's worried about the Palestinians. Now we're occupiers, oppressors, who live by the sword. That's what you see in the media, and it festers and has effects on the general population and on Jews as well." Peace, he said, was crucial to maintaining the bond between Israel and the broader Jewish world. Coming from Bronfman, this was a striking statement, because few have done more than he has to cement that bond. He's the co-founder of Birthright Israel, which offers free 10-day trips to the country for Jews between 18 and 26 years old; around 230,000 have participated in the program so far. He's also not alone in noticing that younger Jews are more...

Holdren's Controversial Population Control Past

White House science czar John Holdren co-authored a textbook in the 1970s that discussed coercive population control. Should this disqualify him as a serious voice on science?

(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
There's a conservative campaign against White House science czar John Holdren, and it seems to be ratcheting up. At the heart of it is a textbook book that Holdren co-wrote in 1977 with the famous neo-Malthusians Paul and Anne Ehrlich. Quotations from the book about coercive population control have been floating around the Internet for a while, but it's only in the last week or so that they've really broken through. They are indeed shocking, treading a fine line between describing and condoning outrageous proposals to curtail reproductive autonomy. They're a reminder of an ignominious chapter in American intellectual history. But they tell us very little about where Holdren stands today. Holdren and the Ehrlichs were writing during a time of national, bipartisan panic about overpopulation. Such panic led to real human-rights abuses, spurring an international feminist campaign to replace the idea of population control with a focus on women's health and rights. There was a revolution in...

Sarah in Wonderland

Palin appears to reside in the looking-glass world of the conservative base. From there, resigning as governor seems like the best move she could have made.

Republican vice-presidential candidate Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin blows a kiss to supporters after speaking at a rally at the Silver Spurs Arena, in Kissimmee, Fla. (AP Photo/Joe Burbank, Pool, File)
When Gary A. Lee, chair of Florida's Lee County Republican Party, heard Sarah Palin's resignation speech, he felt "absolute exhilaration." Lee had been publicly enthusiastic about a Palin presidential bid, and nothing he heard on Friday changed that. Watching her, he says, was "riveting -- the fact that she is stepping up, on behalf of families, her state, and the nation, and her willingness to assume what I think will be major national leadership is inspirational both for our republic and the Republican Party." When you look at her, he says, "you see leadership. She's blessed with it in my opinion." Most observers outside of conservative circles find it hard to believe that Sarah Palin has abandoned the Alaska governorship for a possible run for the presidency. It's simply too irrational -- being governor was her only conceivable qualification for the office. Her rambling resignation speech seemed rushed and impulsive. It was full of internal contradictions (remaining governor would...

Hillary's Challenge

Our first feminist secretary of state sets out to prove that foreign policy works best when it makes women a priority.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks to media after meeting privately with ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya at State Department in Washington on Tuesday July 7, 2009 (AP).
On March 27, at a ceremony in Houston, Texas, Hillary Clinton accepted the Margaret Sanger award from Planned Parenthood. In her speech, she expressed her "awe" for the family-planning pioneer and then laid out the connections between reproductive rights and global security. Calling the reproductive-rights movement "one of the most transformational in the entire history of the human race," she argued that Sanger's work isn't done, in the United States or abroad. "Too many women are denied even the opportunity to know about how to plan and space their families," she said. "And the derivative inequities that result from all of that are evident in the fact that women and girls are still the majority of the world's poor, unschooled, unhealthy, and underfed. This is and has been for many years a matter of personal and professional importance to me, and I want to assure you that reproductive rights and the umbrella issue of women's rights and empowerment will be a key to the foreign policy...