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Stories by Lisa Van Dusen

The past is never dead: South Africa’s #Zexit and Mandela’s legacy

Opinion|By Lisa Van Dusen
Feb. 11 marked 28 years since the moment Nelson Mandela walked out of Victor Verster prison near Cape Town a free man. For the previous decade of Mandela’s 27 years in prison, the image of his…
Opinion|By Lisa Van Dusen
Browsing in a Montreal bookstore the other day, I came across the French version of All the President’s Men, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein’s 1974 bestseller chronicling their Pulitzer-Prize-winning reporting on the unravelling of Richard Nixon’s…
Alexei Navalny has been arrested so many times that it’s hard to find the number of times he’s been arrested. The tally gets updated so often that the latest uptick has apparently been ditched from…
Opinion|By Lisa Van Dusen
Barack Obama’s first State of the Union was indelibly conveyed in its first moments by the visual of America’s first black president standing on the rostrum of the House of Representatives. Eight years later, the…
Opinion|By Lisa Van Dusen
Of all the things the Steven Spielberg Pentagon Papers drama The Post is, a period piece isn’t one of them. Yes, it’s set in 1971. Yes, there are shots of hot metal typesetting and everyone’s smoking their…
Opinion|By Lisa Van Dusen
One of the challenges of living in a time when attacks on democratic integrity have produced outcomes that defy long-standing notions of electability and reason is finding the right words to explain political events to…
Opinion|By Lisa Van Dusen
While much of the armchair analysis of the portrait of Donald Trump delivered by Michael Wolff in his new book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, has focused on the mental health of the intemperate…
Opinion|By Lisa Van Dusen
There is a moment in Joe Wright’s Darkest Hour—a film that chronicles Winston Churchill’s literal tug of war between appeasement in the face of the overwhelming force of Nazi Germany and doubling down on British resolve—in…
Author
It has become my habit, when the loopy cascade of previously unthinkable political headlines emanating mostly, but not exclusively, from Washington starts to harsh my naturally sunny disposition, to score a fix of therapeutic counter-programming.…
Opinion|By Lisa Van Dusen
As if the anecdotal evidence weren’t overwhelming enough, a study published Nov. 15 in the research journal Nature warned that record levels of income inequality, particularly in the United States, could produce social instability. The Republicans in Congress,…
Opinion|By Lisa Van Dusen
My knowledge of sports is so abysmal that when I wrote the Associated Press editing test in Washington years ago, I got to the sports section at the end and substituted an apology for the…
Opinion|By Lisa Van Dusen
The world reeled in wonder this week as the kleptocratic rule of Robert Mugabe came to an end in the face of Zimbabwe’s belated addition to the list of countries throughout the Middle East and…
On Sunday, I went directly from watching America’s weekly brunch of undaunted panellists attempting to dissect the latest instalment of incomprehensibility from their rogue president to a Montreal matinée of Casablanca. For decades, Casablanca was a culty period…
One of the more dangerous phenomena associated with the presidency of Donald Trump in the United States is that the bellicose president is revising political and social norms with every tweet, decree, and viral outburst.…
Opinion|By Lisa Van Dusen
One of the peculiarities of living in the post-internet age is that we really don’t spend a lot of time talking about the peculiarities of living in the post-internet age. Nostalgia, like so many things,…
The bad news is that democracy—having undergone a series of attacks, degradations, and incriminations—is a little under the weather at the moment. The good news is Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping just happen to have…
For a guy who violates multiple rules of common sense on a daily basis, Donald Trump has ushered in more than his share of change-making political innovations. As an agent of change, Trump has introduced…
Opinion|By Lisa Van Dusen
It emerged last week like a neon “vacancy” sign at 4 a.m. on your last quarter-tank of gas in the Mojave Desert. Or like a glowing red “exit” sign in a foggy House of Horrors.…
I was going to lead this column with the quote from Greek playwright Aeschylus on truth being the first casualty of war but, apparently, he never said it. He did say, “If you will take…
In these days of gratuitous political ugliness, divisive rhetorical bomb-throwing, and tactically fuelled disharmony—all of it perpetrated by the president of the United States—I’ve repurposed this column as a musical interlude to help us transcend…
Opinion|By Lisa Van Dusen
When Donald Trump used that counterintuitive, but ironically symbolic, descending escalator to enter the 2016 presidential fray, the thought crossed my mind that if he actually won the GOP nomination, he'd destroy the Republican Party.…
Opinion|By Lisa Van Dusen
MONTREAL—As tends to happen with words that get tossed into the post-truth Trump-o-lizer, “globalization” has taken on some negative associations lately. In the same way that “loser," “classy,” and “huge” have evolved in this era…
Opinion|By Lisa Van Dusen
In normal times, a comment from the world’s pre-eminent spy novelist about the state of our politics wouldn’t seem so noteworthy. But when John le Carré took time away from promoting his new book at…
Opinion|By Lisa Van Dusen
If there were any doubt remaining after the 2016 U.S. presidential election about the status of election outcomes as high-value corruption targets, the death of Chris Msando is worth considering. Msando, whose mutilated body was…
Opinion|By Lisa Van Dusen
In the early 1970s, before the Parti Québécois won its first election in 1976, René Lévesque made an appearance at the National Press Club in Ottawa. In the middle of Lévesque’s disquisition on the necessity…
Opinion|By Lisa Van Dusen
MONTREAL—“A small minority—angry, frustrated group of racists—don’t get to define who we are as a country.” It seemed so easy when Justin Trudeau said it. No prevaricating, no moral equivalence, no discernibly conflicted allegiances. Just…
Like so many places in the American South, Charlottesville is beautiful and haunted. Thomas Jefferson haunts the iconic University of Virginia campus he designed like an invisible chancellor, just as Sally Hemings and hundreds of…
Opinion|By Lisa Van Dusen
As with so many political developments these days, the most obvious comparison with what unfolded in Caracas in the early moments of Aug. 1 wasn’t a historical precedent or a concurrent outrage in a different country;…
Opinion|By Lisa Van Dusen
In our shock-addled scrounging for some familiar prism through which to process events in Washington, it’s been easy to compare Donald Trump’s presidency to a reality show. The spectacle unfolding at the White House offers,…
It isn’t just the setting and costumes that make Christopher Nolan’s brilliant film Dunkirk a period piece. It’s an immersion in a sort of war that will likely never be fought again, not because great powers are…
A year on from the cataclysmic Brexit vote and six months into the cataclysmic presidency of Donald Trump, what can be observed about the state of both? When Bank of England governor Mark Carney predicted…
It’s only the first half of July and, already, Justin Trudeau is having the kind of awesome political summer that befits the lusted-after (per The Irish Times) leader of a newly hip (per The New…

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