Looking for our new site?

Books

Ted Turner, the Alexander the Great of Television

  • By
  • Tim Wu,
  • New America Foundation
November 11, 2010 |

In 1968, a businessman named Ted Turner purchased WJRJ, a small UHF station in Atlanta, Ga., that was still broadcasting in black and white. It didn't take long after that for Turner to develop grandiose ambitions for the conquest of television, a master plan founded on the idea of the cable network. "Television," announced Turner with prophetic zeal, "has led us, in the last 25 years, down the path of destruction. I intend to turn it around before it is too late."

Programs:

Steve Ross, Time Warner, and Growth for Growth's Sake

  • By
  • Tim Wu,
  • New America Foundation
November 10, 2010 |

In a typical photo, Steve Ross wore a tuxedo with a large bow tie as he stood, silver hair shining, with a celebrity or one of his cronies. Ross, the man who built Time Warner Inc., was the first of a new archetype: the media conglomerator.

Programs:

Adolph Zukor, the Architect of Hollywood

  • By
  • Tim Wu,
  • New America Foundation
November 9, 2010 |

Adolph Zukor, the longtime president of Paramount Pictures and the true founding mogul of Hollywood, once said that his greatest fascination was "understanding audiences." Yet his true talent lay elsewhere, in his mastery of industrial structure. It was Zukor who created the model for the integrated film studios that defined early Hollywood and that still form the blueprint for the way the film industry works.

Programs:

How Theodore Vail Built the AT&T Monopoly

  • By
  • Tim Wu,
  • New America Foundation
November 8, 2010 |

Theodore Vail is not a familiar figure to most Americans, but his life's work is. Vail built the AT&T monopoly, the greatest and longest-lasting communications monopoly in American history. AT&T ruled the American telephone for nearly seven decades in a close partnership with the federal government. For long periods, it was the largest corporation in the world.

Programs:

The Nobelist and the Pygmies

  • By
  • Eliza Griswold,
  • New America Foundation
November 8, 2010 |

Whether he sets his tales in Africa, England, his native Trinidad or anywhere else, V. S. Naipaul is always writing about V. S. Naipaul. In this respect, "The Masque of Africa: Glimpses of African Belief," his 30th book and 16th volume of nonfiction, is not different. This latest journey to the continent is part of a larger whole, the developing narrative of a single consciousness.

Top Gun

  • By
  • Nicholas Schmidle,
  • New America Foundation
November 3, 2010 |

In late 1945, Sergeant Mikhail Timofeyevich Kalashnikov entered an office contest more pressing than even the most rabid of Fantasy Footballers could fathom. Joseph Stalin wanted a new gun, and the Soviet leader tasked his army with selecting the best design. Kalashnikov, an under-schooled former tank gunner working in a secret armaments research lab outside of Moscow, sketched the contours for a revolutionary assault rifle: It would fire both automatically and single-shot, have minimal recoil or "kick," be simple to maintain, and feature a banana-shaped ammunition clip. He won.

Serendipitous Connections

  • By
  • Megan McArdle,
  • New America Foundation
October 5, 2010 |

In the physical universe, chemical reactions are limited by the molecules that are close to one another and the ease with which they can meet up. You can run an electrical current through a chemical bath and synthesize the basic amino acids that form the building-blocks of human life. You cannot synthesize a llama.

Are Monopolies Destroying America?

Thursday, September 23, 2010 - 12:00pm

Most of our public debates about globalization, competitiveness, creative destruction, and risky finance are nothing more than a cover for the widespread consolidation of power in nearly every imaginable sector of the American economy, argues Barry C. Lynn in Cornered: The New Monopoly Capitalism and the Economics of Destruction. As regulation over monopolies has eased, the people who control these corporations have gained the power to govern our economy, our democracy, and our lives.

California Crackup

Tuesday, September 21, 2010 - 12:00pm

California is mired in perpetual budget crisis and its government is paralyzed by partisan gridlock. Groups across the political spectrum are pushing reforms, with some even calling for a constitutional convention. Frustrated Californians know something is wrong, but not what's broken and how it can be fixed.

The Tenth Parallel

August 17, 2010

A riveting investigation of the jagged fault line between the Christian and Muslim worlds

The tenth parallel—the line of latitude seven hundred miles north of the equator—is a geographical and ideological front line where Christianity and Islam collide. More than half of the world’s 1.3 billion Muslims live along the tenth parallel; so do sixty percent of the world’s 2 billion Christians.

Syndicate content