Murray Polner

murray-polner-175Murray Polner is a book review editor for HNN.org and was editor of Present Tense, published by the American Jewish Committee from 1973-90. He wrote Rabbi: The American Experience; co-edited (with Stefan Merken) Peace, Justice, and Jews: Reclaiming Our Tradition, as well as No Victory Parades: The Return of the Vietnam Veteran and, with Jim O'Grady, Disarmed & Dangerous, a biography of Daniel and Philip Berrigan. His most recent book is We Who Dared to Say No to War: American Antiwar Writing From 1812 to Now, co-authored with Thomas Woods.

The Real Tricky Dick

Tricky Dick Nixon

Murray Polner: When he entered the White House the country was still bitterly separated by class, race, and Vietnam. He made no effort to heal the divides because he had never been a healer or unifier but was instead possessed by a desperate need to win at all costs.

After He Leaves, What Will They Say About Obama’s Foreign Policy?

barack obama foreign policy

Murray Polner: Obama was going to be different, or so we hoped. The hundreds of thousands who joyously hailed him in Grant Park and the 1.5 million who turned out for his first inauguration were ecstatic with anticipation. The policies of the past were dead and gone. Or so we innocents thought.

“Stop Watching Us”: Who Gets Pardoned?

pardon edward snowden

Murray Polner: In Washington, the center of an empire awash with bribers and piles of money, few skeptical pundits, special interests, greed and opportunities galore, not many want to jeopardize their careers by fretting publicly about the exiled Snowden or Chelsea Manning’s draconian prison sentence.

Keeping an Eye on Fellow Workers

Sherry Chen

Murray Polner: So, Good Luck, Sherry Chen, dealing with a presidential administration which will leave as one of its legacies an unprecedented number of prosecuted leakers and whistleblowers.

Equal Justice or Double Standards?

David Petraeus Sentenced

Murray Polner: When David Petraeus left a federal courtroom last April in Charlotte, North Carolina, contrite, humiliated, and guilty, it was less a victory for our system of justice than another example of how our pretense of equal justice for all is simply untrue.

Remembering the Dead

Killed in War

Murray Polner: I watched in fear as his father ran out of his store on Straus Street and Lott Avenue, crying, yes, crying, and I thought I had never seen a grown man cry in public. “Maybe it’s a mistake, maybe it’s a mistake,” he kept shouting.

Neocons: First in War, Last in Peace

Irving Kristol

Murray Polner: More than most on all sides of the perennial and bitter political clashes of those years, Kristol knew how to use politics and power to grow his fledgling ideological enterprise.

Understanding America’s Many Wars

The China Mirage

Murray Polner: In retrospect, a fearful and angry nation had gone mad. Blacklists, jail terms, a few, but very few, Soviet spies (we had our spies too in Russia), and a shamefully conformist mass media helped scare and silence potential critics.