Pico Iyer Journeys

The Promise Of America

Obama in Hawaii

It was three days before the New Year in late 2006, and I was eating a burger with the traveler and writer Paul Theroux on Oahu’s North Shore. Beside us in the rickety little shack was a quintessentially Hawaiian group of Chinese Americans, African Americans, semi–Southeast Asians and kids who could have been any or […]

Move On

Four years ago on New Year’s Day, while contemplating the intricate battle of good and evil depicted on the walls of Angkor Wat in Cambodia, I saw two of the Khmer Rouge’s chief killers—Pol Pot’s lieutenants, in effect—walking, unprotected, through the country they had devastated. Having turned themselves in to Cambodian authorities under an amnesty […]

Where are All the Futures?

America, in all the myths, is the place where the future begins, first settled by pilgrims who wished to leave the past far behind them. That sense of broad horizons is what has always drawn people from the Old World (myself included) to its shores–the sense that in America you can live in the optative […]

Morning in America

Were an alien, in a happy state of ignorance, to drop out of the skies today and pick up a piece of the large, and daily increasing, oeuvre of William F. Buckley Jr., he would, I think, come to some interesting conclusions. Freed of preconceptions, knowing nothing of the face that has hosted Firing Line […]

The War of Perceptions

For far too many people, the world changed irreparably five weeks ago; holes were left in hearts and lives–in whole cities–that can never be repaired. And for those on both sides of the fighting in Afghanistan, these days are like no others. When lives are suddenly overturned by a rising of the waters or a […]

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