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Spring 2006


Beyond Repair?
In a post–Cold War, post-9/11 world, the UN feels anything but united. Six Columbia insiders comment on the future of an embattled American temptress on Chinese television gave Rachel DeWoskin a matchless insight into East-West misunderstandings. Her millions of fans taught her a lot about herself, too.

String Is the Thing
With best-selling books and late-night TV appearances, Brian Greene is making higher-dimensional physics more accessible. by JR Minkel

Speak, Memory
Under the direction of Mary Marshall Clark, Columbia’s Oral History Research Office is changing how we think about what we remember. by Paul Hond

The Future Tents
Kinetic sculptor Chuck Hoberman’s collapsible toys have implications far beyond the playroom. by David J. Craig

A Literary Filiation
Norman Podhoretz was Lionel Trilling’s star pupil, but the relationship grew complicated as the student came into his own. by Thomas L. Jeffers

The King of Maps
John Tauranac puts the art (and heart) in cartography, and helps us see New York from above — and below. by Jessica Ullian

The Columbian Candidate
Nicholas Murray Butler, the president of Columbia University from 1902 to 1945, wanted a slightly bigger job. An excerpt from Michael Rosenthal’s biography examines Butler’s political aspirations.


Letters to the editor

Look Homeward, Angel; Mad Libs; A Fling and a Prayer

Henry S. Coleman, popular dean held captive during 1968 protests, dies at 79; Kraft receives NCAA’s Theodore Roosevelt Award; Largest gift in Columbia’s history will fund The Jerome L. Greene Science Center; Reawakening a faith-based liberalism; Economist Stiglitz says Iraq war will cost $1-2 trillion; Ten arts and sciences profs receive mentorship awards funded by Lenfest; J-school kicks off semester with new broadcast facility; Not to miss New Orleans; Columbia inaugurates Jewish studies institute, professorships; New road to Rome honors Sovern; Easing the Big Easy

Former UConn offensive coordinator Norries Wilson takes over Lions football; First class of Lions stars inducted into Hall of Fame; Bierbaum named NCAA’s top female cross-country runner

In Brief; Back a while, crocodile; New Down syndrome test is safe, spots trouble early

Whites and Wrongs; In Denial; Call Him Herman; Gained in Translation

My Columbia Roseann Fitzgerald ’88SOA found communion and community in Ford Hall

Nicholas I

Cover illustration by Phil Foster