This newsletter takes its name from a passage in The Education of Henry Adams that I read in New York City twenty or more years ago:
The New Englander, whether boy or man, in his long struggle with a stingy or hostile universe, had learned also to love the pleasure of hating; his joys were few. Politics, as a practice, whatever its professions, had always been the systematic organization of hatreds, and Massachusetts politics had been as harsh as the climate.
Now that I’m a political scientist at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, the passage feels almost prophetic—both personally and about what politics has become again.
This newsletter will be a personal view—my view, mostly—of the study of politics and international relations. I’ll talk about what it’s like to be a professor, what I’m researching, and what I’m reading in other people’s research. From time to time I’ll present another entry in the Bad Congress series—a series covering the baddest, evilest, all-around-worst members of the U.S. Congress in history. And there’s the Endnotes section, presenting links to books, reports, articles, and posts that I think might be worth your time.
I publish this approximately “when I can”—somewhere between twice a week and twice a month.
Who am I?
I’m a political scientist specializing in international relations and foreign policy. I work at the University of Massachusetts Amherst (but this newsletter is very much not affiliated with them and represents nobody’s views but my own, if it even represents my own views).