Ethics matter. This is not only the tag line for the Carnegie Council. It is also the proposition of my work. Many writers take up ethical issues. But few have the vantage point of the Carnegie Council — a place where leaders from around the world come to share ideas, reflect on their experiences, and engage in public conversation.

Posted here are lectures, articles, and reviews reflecting my engagement with the Council’s activities. If there is a pattern, one might say it is opportunistic, seeking to add the ethical dimension to debates ongoing. One might also see a thread of realism. In my view, power and ethics are inseparable and are best considered together. …

The Assault on Ethics

A year and a half into the Trump presidency, its most consequential feature thus far is its assault on ethics. What began as a curiosity and a jolt—reality TV comes to politics— is now routine. Demonstrably false statements arrive daily. Name-calling and outright attacks on reporters, judges, and public figures are standard fare in a stream of tweets, interviews, and rallies.

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Story of Service: Max Missel

Max Missel was born October 18, 1895 in Kovno, Russia (now Kaunas, Lithuania). Five-year old Max came to the United States with his mother Lipsa and his brother Harry in 1900 or 1901 (exact date not determined). They came to join Max’s older brothers John, Samuel, and Abraham who had already established themselves in Boston. The youngest of five sons, Max arrived as a Yiddish-speaking boy. He and his family were part of the wave of Jewish emigration from Eastern Europe in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They left to escape religious persecution and to find a better life.

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