American Hallowe’en, 2020. Is there anything scarier?

As you read this, the last superpower on earth is three days out from an election that will decide whether Donald J. Trump, a reality show businessman who is $900 million in debt and facing investigation by federal and state authorities, deserves four…


Valerie Plame photographed in her home in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Photos: Benjamin Rasmussen

Valerie Plame worked for the CIA and tangled with Bush. Now she wants to fight Trump from Congress.

Ten Thousand Waves Spa is a pagoda of Zen steam on the New Mexico high desert. Behind the sliding doors and walls of falling water, a photogenic blonde drops her robe and, backdropped by the flag-blue sky, slips into the 106-degree water of the women’s communal tub. No one seems…


Uncool, middle-aged white women are Democrats’ best hope for unseating Trump. Why does the online left hate them so much?

I am late to the Karens, which probably makes me Karen-ish — that is, white, middle class, middle-aged, female, college-educated, from Midwestern suburbia, and too distracted to track what’s trending on Twitter. So, when a video was retweeted into my feed last week calling an obnoxious, mask-defying white woman a…


One writer’s defense of the Covid-19 cocktail hour

Photo: Jamie Grill/Getty Images

April is the cruelest month, breeding daffodils and gin and tonics.

If we survive, I will forever associate this period of our lives with the sacrificial slicing of the lime, the pouring of the holy inebriant lightly tinctured with the presidential miracle, tonic of quinine. …


Reflections on the Mediterranean diet as an antidote to encroaching middle age

Illustration: Karnn Bhullar

CILENTO, ITALY — By the time my husband and I set off on our hike in the Cilento, an Edenic mountainous region of Italy where some of the longest-lived people on Earth dwell, we’d been in Italy gorging on antipasti, primi, secondi, dolci, and vino twice daily for almost a…


Reasonable Doubt

Ex-CIA spooks talk Trump-Russia, JFK, and more at Valerie Plame’s inaugural espionage conference

Photo: Busà Photography

It was just a week after my return from Spies, Lies & Nukes, a weekend espionage seminar hosted by former CIA agent Valerie Plame in November at a hotel in downtown Santa Fe, when one of the conference attendees — let’s call him Snow Goose — buzzed my cell with…


Power Trip

The SCOTUS battle was never about Roe v. Wade. The real prize, as always, is money and the power to make more of it.

Photo by Tom Williams/AFP/Getty

Now we know that Judge Brett Kavanaugh is not “sober as a judge.” His handlers might have preferred it otherwise. But if watching a rock-ribbed former wide receiver and cornerback snivel and sob for a chance at a lifetime job offended the sensibilities of a he-man worshipper like Senator Lindsey…


Great Escape

Reflecting on my childhood fear of mirrors

Illustration: renald Louissaint

I was seven and already on my way to becoming a neurotic, bookish kid. I had only recently learned how to read the words in the volumes piled helter-skelter on shelves, spilling out of cardboard boxes in closets, the collapsing columns of tomes on the floor. I could not have…


Nina Burleigh is on assignment with Newsweek in Antarctica.

It is still Earth, but Antarctica is an alien land. In his book Future of Life, Nobel-winning American biologist Edward O. Wilson wrote of Antarctica, “On all of the Earth, the McMurdo Dry Valleys most resemble the rubbled plains of Mars.”


Nina Burleigh is on assignment with Newsweek in Antarctica.

We have seen many whales around the Antarctic Peninsula in the last few days. Their great black backs rise up out of the freezing brine and disappear, sometimes followed by a tourist-pleasing flip of the tail, called a fluke.

It’s hard…

Nina Burleigh

Writer, explorer, national politics, 6 books, NYC.

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