The Best of Persuasion: 2022
To celebrate our second anniversary, highlights from the past year's coverage.
Join us for a public film talk this Thursday at 8pm Eastern to discuss Swing State, a documentary following local candidates in North Carolina during the 2020 presidential election. Details and registration here.
Over the past two years, Persuasion has sought to make good on its promise to defend the values of a free society from threats, regardless of their origin. Today, as we celebrate our second anniversary, we’re sharing highlights from the past 12 months.
From harrowing reporting from Ukraine’s frontlines, to analysis of the polarization spiral that’s tearing us apart, to profiles in courage from Russia to Arizona, we hope you will find in the list below a Persuasion piece that you have not encountered before, or one that perhaps has renewed resonance.
— The Editors
P.S. Join us on Sunday, July 31st for an all-day Festival celebrating our second anniversary! We’ll have a live podcast recording with Coleman Hughes, discussions on domestic and foreign affairs, and a virtual community happy hour. (Registration to come shortly for members in your “This Week at Persuasion” mailing.)
In We Did Not Ask for “Liberation”, Kateryna Kibarova shared her firsthand account of surviving Russia’s brutal occupation of Bucha, Ukraine.
In The Polarization Spiral, Jonathan Haidt and Greg Lukianoff diagnosed why we’re being torn apart, and what we can do to stop the cycle.
In America is Headed for Disaster, Persuasion founder Yascha Mounk argued that the imminent threat of a second Trumpist term requires a radical reassessment by those dedicated to American democracy.
In The Reality Ally, Jonathan Rauch profiled a Republican election recorder who faithfully resisted threats and did his duty in Arizona during the 2020 election.
In History Brought Us Here, Michael Ignatieff reflected on the collapse of aspirations for a post-Cold War order free from the shadow of Russian imperialism.
In The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Social Justice, Ian Buruma wrote on the religious underpinnings linking recent social justice movements.
In The Reactionary Trap, Seth Moskowitz analyzed how the lure of reactionary extremism has poisoned attitudes on both the right and the left.
In The Unseen Side of “Cancel Culture”, Ted Balaker described the often-invisible creep of self-censorship across American society.
In The Dangerous Movement to Stop Treating the Mentally Ill, Norman Ornstein drew on personal experience to argue movingly for a better approach to mental health.
In James Baldwin’s Radicalism, Sahil Handa considered what Baldwin’s writings offer those striving for racial justice and rejecting the politics of division.
In To Reform the Police, Join It, Melvin T. Russell reflected on the lessons of a 40-year career in community policing in Baltimore City and called for a new generation of leaders.
And, across our pages and in our podcast, we continue to highlight the global threats to a free society posed by illiberalism in places like France, Ethiopia, the Philippines, Hong Kong, and India, among others.
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