Christopher Caldwell

From Who Comments? - the encyclopedia of comment & opinion
Jump to: navigation, search


225Replace this image person.png

Full name: Christopher Caldwell

Area of interest: Politics, Culture and International Affairs

Journals/Organisation: Financial Times

Email: |

Personal website:

Website: |






Education: Harvard College: English Literature


Current position/role:

Other roles/Main role:

Other activities: Author


Viewpoints/Insight: Regularly writes about what he sees as the increasing Islamification of Europe

Broadcast media:


Controversy/Critcism: Considers that Muslim immigration has served to increase antisemitism in Europe



Other: Father-in-law is journalist Robert Novak

Books & Debate:

Christopher Caldwell Left Hooks, Right Crosses.jpg

Latest work: Reflections on the revolution in Europe: immigration, Islam and the West OCLC495597742, paperback edition published May 2010


Current debate:

  • The illusion of Cuba’s caudillo - When Ernest Hemingway survived a plane crash in Uganda in 1954, he was able to read his own obituaries. A similar diversion may await Fidel Castro - Christopher Caldwell, Financial Times, 23rd February 2008
  • US must end its implacable opposition to Cuba - Sir, Christopher Caldwell (“The illusion of Cuba’s caudillo”, February 23/24) should not just listen to Harvard professors... - Ian Taylor MP, 1st March 2008

Financial Times:

Column name:

Remit/Info: Politics, Culture and International Affairs

Section: Comment

Role: Commentator



Website: FT.Com / Christopher Caldwell

Commissioning Editor:

Day published: Saturday

Regularity: Weekly

Column format:

Average length: 1000 words

Articles: 2017

Articles: 2016

Articles: 2015

Articles: 2014

Articles: 2013

Articles: 2012

Articles: 2011

Articles: 2010

Articles: 2009

  • Efficiency is no test for Trident - Nuclear weapons are not meant to counter terrorism. They are meant to counter nuclear weapons. If Britain is to be something other than a province of Europe, it must have its own nuclear deterrent - 19th December
  • Climate change, the great leveller - The concept of victims and perpetrators breaks down when it comes to global warming. Economies collude in pollution. Global warming is not a bilateral problem, it is a global problem - 12th Decermber
  • Berlin’s pious Sabbath decree - The driving force behind misgivings about Sunday shopping is worry over globalisation, and the sort of capitalism that has landed us in such a mess over the past year or two - 5th December
  • A climate of suspicion - On the eve of the Copenhagen summit, the 3,000 e-mails stolen from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia and published last week are a blow to global-warming activists - 28th November
  • France and the culture wars - For novelist NDiaye’s defenders, it is not enough that politician Eric Raoult be wrong – he must be Hitler - 21st November
  • Enemies need not be insane - In Major Hasan’s case, bureaucrats were scared to speak their minds - 14th November
  • Doubt in the Age of Obama - Democrats must wrap themselves in the mantle of Obama’s programme. But what is that? - 7th November
  • The return of rulings on faith - on France v the Church of Scientology - 31st October
  • The state and journalism - The authors of a recent report call upon the government to support journalism, but in that case the taxpayer ought to have a say in what he pays for - 24th October
  • The travesty of the commons - The winner of this year’s Nobel economics prize may have succeeded in countering the influence of one of the most bizarre – and influential – social science papers of our time - 17th October
  • Girls (and mice) on film - Just as pornography used to pass itself off as medical advice, animal violence will pass itself off as art - 10th October
  • Polanski and the maiden - It has grown harder to feel sympathy for Polanski since the intervention of his Hollywood friends – imagine other industries trying such special pleading - 3rd October
  • Obama’s age of atonement - The president’s UN speech distanced him from Bush but more global co-operation will not sit well with the American people - 26th September
  • French suicides complicate corporate life - Blaming company culture for workers’ deaths is simplistic but entirely natural – and hard to combat - 19th September
  • Google writes its own rules - If $125m is all it costs to facilitate a hugely beneficial cyber-library, then who needs Google? - 12th September
  • The west plays Gaddafi’s game - Politicians are not being outsmarted, they are caving in - 5th September
  • The opposite of education - Stanley Kaplan, the self-taught educator who died at 90 this week, can lay a claim to having reshaped American society - 29th August
  • Beware blind faith in bigness - We have lost the sense that big institutions can be a problem - 22nd August
  • Guilt cannot be nameless - Anonymity for defendants is hard to justify - 15th August
  • To the court of King Kim - Bill Clinton’s trip to North Korea was not a humanitarian effort, as he claims, but a diplomatic one that blurred the lines of state power - 8th August
  • Some trifles do concern the law - How seriously the property rights of employers should be enforced against employees is a fuzzy area - 1st July
  • California’s fiscal charade - The state’s problems are those of ‘direct democracy’: the state’s laws are shaped by plebiscites to a degree unmatched outside Venezuela - 25th July
  • An unsentimental education - Obama is right to focus on community colleges - 18th July
  • Mixing morals and money - To judge from his encyclical Caritas in Veritate, published this week, Pope Benedict XVI agrees with those who say that something has gone wrong with the way the world does business - 11th July
  • A test of legal logic for US civil rights - Enforcement is now more pragmatic, less principled, and more corrosive to social ideas of fairness - 4th July
  • Germany has misread Islam - Who has the problem with liberty? - 27th June
  • The catch in the copyright - Unfortunately for J.D. Salinger, you cannot copyright departure, introspection and nostalgia - 20th June
  • Addicts have made a choice - There are costs and benefits in an addiction – the problem is they are difficult to value. Where they become easily calculable, recovery rates are excellent - 13th June
  • The politics of self-abasement - Obama’s Middle East trip gave an inkling of what diplomacy is like when someone else has the upper hand - 6th June
  • MPs’ expenses: a view from the US - The outrage is excessive - 30th May
  • Guantánamo’s Gordian knot - If Americans want to reinstate rights, they will probably have to trade some security. That is the bargain - 23rd May
  • Sarkozy’s war on virtual piracy - In regulating the internet, France has been generally courageous and usually correct. The new Hadopi law should help in the fight against illegal downloading - 16th May
  • A new hunger for headlines - Hunger striking, which was considered rare and radical when Bobby Sands did it 28 years ago, has gone mainstream - 9th May
  • Extinction has a weird appeal - There is a new fascination for life after people - 2nd May
  • No honour among pirates - The desire to deck today’s Indian Ocean pirates out with an ethical system is strong in some quarters. But guff about their ‘code of conduct’ will be short-lived - 25th April
  • Isolation will not free Cuba - If Barack Obama is defending the embargo with his new approach, he is defending it in a way that makes manifest its obsolescence and illogic - 18th April
  • On edge and under scrutiny - British police are a mirror of the society they control – and they believe they are dealing with a heavily armed and undeferential public - 11th April
  • Morality half remembered - The hypocrisy of those who would hang Jacqui Smith out to dry is fully a match for her own - 4th April
  • Words that fail the test of time - It is easy to emerge from a sampling of the volumes of the monumental Dictionary of American Regional English underwhelmed by its subject - 28th March
  • Not populism but opposition - The case for huge executive salaries in the financial sector has crumbled with the finance system - 21st March
  • Bernie Madoff’s life of make-believe - A key to his infamy lies in the words ‘split-strike conversion strategy’. That is the explanation he gave for his spectacularly consistent returns - 14th March
  • Protection by another name - If lax labour standards or minimal welfare states constitute unfair trade practices, then so do subsidies of other kinds - 7th March
  • Highway to hell revisited - The 1956 Highway Act exacerbated the very problems President Obama has been most eager to solve - 28th February
  • Reaching for the Starbucks - The chain will have to serve a different function in the bust economy than in the boom. Maybe espresso bars will thrive as purveyors of ‘cheap luxury’, the way cinemas did in the 1930s - 21st February
  • Not malevolent but mediocre - No individual was capable of predicting the crisis. But the bankers were paid as if they were - 14th February
  • The right to jam your phone - how technology can corrode order - 7th February
  • Is the stimulus Obama’s Iraq? - About a third of the bill – the welfare and social service parts – will be exceedingly hard to end - 31st January
  • Official rhyme without reason - Evidence mounts that official poetry has no natural place in American life - 24th January
  • Galleries, who needs them? - The Prado has posted 14 paintings on GoogleEarth. The experiment reopens the question of what makes art museums worth visiting - 17th January
  • The limits of Senate power - If it admits Burris, the Democratic majority will be doing the right thing, but for reasons of expedience - 10th January
  • Huntington’s misunderstood doctrine - Western policy towards Islam did considerably more to produce Vladimir Putin than it did to produce Osama bin Laden - 3rd January (Samuel P. Huntington, political scientist)

Articles: 2008

  • No smoke without ire - The attention paid to Barack Obama’s relationship to cigarettes is evidence of a pathology – and not on the part of the president-elect - 27th December 2008
  • Time for some morality trades - The public is unsure whether the global finance system seized up because it was mismanaged or because it was, in a moral sense, wrong - 20th December 2008
  • Politics and poor English - Harvard’s plans to restructure its literature course reveal a confusion about what a college English department is supposed to do - 13th December 2008
  • Leaks are good for governance - No government ever ought to be leak-proof. The vast majority of stuff that leaks ought to leak - 6th December 2008
  • The problem with Hillary - Mrs Clinton’s probable nomination as US secretary of state is a worry. She shows a willingness to interfere in the internal workings of sovereign countries, which would require force. It is questionable whether the tools of force she extols are still effective - 29th November 2008
  • The ‘right’ to work until 70 - The same French government policy that a 48-year-old views as a right, a 68-year-old may view as an imposition - 22nd November 2008
  • Righteous Peeping Toms - tabloids and the basic right to privacy - 15th November 2008
  • Obama: radical moderate -The new president did not stand up for progressive values or talk about gun control and abortion the way Democrats used to - 8th November 2008
  • The hedonists’ reckoning - We should worry less about the bigness of our problems than about the smallness of our character - 1st November 2008
  • W and history’s true character - Oliver Stone’s film fails to capture the reality of the US president and his dime-a-dozen personality - 24th October 2008
  • French culture’s existential angst - France is coming to see that it is not so much a protector of minority cultures as a minority culture itself - 18th October 2008
  • The excesses of pragmatism - Sometimes people are forced to choose which they want more – democracy or prosperity. We are picking the latter - 11th October 2008
  • A disturbing darn debate - It is astonishing what an unsteerable ship an American presidential campaign is - 4th October 2008
  • Reality dawns in real estate - Thanks in large part to tax laws, US homeowners saw their houses become investment engines – rickety ones - 27th September 2008
  • There’s no free lunch and no free economy - Having discovered there is no such thing as a free lunch, Americans now suspect there is no such thing as a free economy - 20th September 2008
  • France only wants to know - By midweek, Edvige, the new police database, had few supporters anywhere in French politics - 13 September 2008
  • The evolution of creationism - The battle over Darwin’s theory is a class conflict disguised as a religious or moral conflict - 6th September 2008
  • Human error is struck out - Whether or not video replay raises the quality of refereeing, it renders US football less gladiatorial and more litigative - 30th August 2008
  • Caught in the human traffic - Traffic, by the science journalist Tom Vanderbilt, has become the big succès d’estime of the US summer publishing season - 23rd August 2008
  • Myths of the Obamacans - It is neither on foreign policy nor on economics but on religious values that Barack Obama has made his big pitch to party-switchers - 16th August 2008
  • The folly of a trans-fat tax - In any health-conscious country, consumer knowledge about trans fats will create a stampede away from them - 9th August 2008
  • The price of saying sorry - If slavery has warped US society as the bill claims, Americans of all races are owed an apology - 2nd August 2008
  • Parallel visions of Sarkozy - The president’s peccadilloes are overshadowing his real achievements in modernising reform-resistant France - 26th July 2008
  • Hear the one about Obama? - Comedy has never been more important to American politics, perhaps as a consequence, it has never been less funny - 19th July 2008
  • Communion as discord - The battles within the Anglican Church’s are a symptom of the newfound might of African Christianity - 12th July 2008
  • Philanthropy goes to the dogs - Generosity often means relinquishing power. It does not mean assigning armies of the less wealthy to tasks of one’s own devising - 5th July 2008
  • The ideology of teen pregnancy - Every year at Gloucester High School in Massachusetts, three or four girls get pregnant. But not this year. This year 17 did - 28th June 2008
  • Italy is right to curb it's politicised judges - Enduring Silvio Berlusconi’s behaviour last week was like “sitting through a film you’ve seen before”, said Senator Anna Finocchiaro, the parliamentary head of Italy’s Democratic party. Not two months after starting his third stint as prime minister, Mr Berlusconi is in a familiar controversy - 21st June 2008
  • Web gossip is forever - There is, it turns out, something worse than being dragged through a messy divorce in court – being dragged through a messy divorce in cyberspace - 14th June 2008
  • Spying and the abuse of data - Setting up cameras and monitoring employees’ toilet breaks, as the supermarket chain Lidl did; keeping a “black money” fund for kickbacks to officials in developing countries, as Siemens allegedly did; diverting money to pay for call girls for refractory board members, as Volkswagen did ... German executives have not been at their best lately - 7th June 2008
  • Military makes its sacred claim - You can measure the continuing power shift in Washington by looking at the costly package of veterans’ benefits sponsored by James Webb, the Virginia senator elected on an anti-Iraq war platform in 2006 - 1st June 2008
  • Network power that works too well - At the heart of globalisation is a basic, and politically explosive, mystery; globalisation proceeds through the breaking down of boundaries, the unfolding of diversity and freedom of choice – so why is it experienced by so many people as a constriction, an oppression and a loss of freedom? - 24th May 2008
  • Real spies grow harder to find - New details emerged this week of how Syria managed to conceal the secret nuclear plant it was building with North Korean help, and how close to producing plutonium it was before it was destroyed by an Israeli air strike last autumn - 17th May 2008
  • Disasters and dictatorships - About 2,000 square miles of Burma’s Irrawaddy delta are still under water a week after the arrival of cyclone Nargis - 10th May 2008
  • Austria, incest: real news at last - The Austrian incest story – the one about the “devil dungeon” or the “sex-hell pit”, to use The Sun’s descriptions – is the archetypal tabloid story. It is violent, macabre, conducive to easy moral outrage and of no practical interest to anybody - 3rd May 2008
  • More mortal than some - Americans were shocked on Tuesday to read the results of a study by four scientists affiliated to the Initiative for Global Health at Harvard University.* Since 1983 life expectancy has declined for women in hundreds of US counties, most of them in the south, and for men in a dozen counties - 26th April 2008
  • Humility and Harry Potter - “We all know I’ve made enough money,” said J.K. Rowling, the author, in a courtroom in New York City this week. “That’s absolutely not why I’m here.” - 19th April 2008
  • The lazy, crazy middle class - Two years ago, several prominent economists gathered in Italy to debate the wide gap in annual working hours that separates the workaholic US from leisure-obsessed Europe. The conference was called: “Are Europeans Lazy? Or Americans Crazy?” - 12th April 2008
  • The perils of shaping choice - This week’s New York Times/CBS poll, which showed Americans more pessimistic about their country’s prospects than they have been in decades, yielded a puzzling figure. In the midst of a spreading credit crisis, barely a quarter of Americans (28 per cent) blame the banks that made bad loans and even fewer (14 per cent) blame borrowers. A big plurality (40 per cent) blame government - 5th April 2008
  • China will not be cowed - Boycotting the Olympic Games scheduled for Beijing next August is a solution that has long been in search of a problem - 29th March 2008
  • Obama breaks the secret code - Towards the end of his speech about race on Tuesday, Barack Obama made an observation that was raw enough to knock any attentive American listener out of his chair - 22nd March 2008
  • Birth of a ‘creedal’ nation - Lord Goldsmith, the former attorney-general, released a report called “Citizenship: Our Common Bond” this week that seeks to redefine what it means to be a British citizen - 15th March 2008
  • Tall tales of the would-be victim - Love and Consequences – the memoir of a half-American Indian girl adopted into a caring but star-crossed black family in gang-infested Los Angeles – was praised to the skies last week - 8th March 2008
  • What Obama owes to Reagan - There was a curious moment in Tuesday’s televised debate between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama - 1st March 2008
  • The illusion of Cuba’s caudillo - When Ernest Hemingway survived a plane crash in Uganda in 1954, he was able to read his own obituaries. A similar diversion may await Fidel Castro - Christopher Caldwell, Financial Times, 23rd February 2008
  • A-listers at the barricades - When several Hollywood studios reached an agreement with the Writers Guild of America last weekend, ending a strike that had lasted 100 days, the film director, Michael Moore, called it “an historic moment for labour in this country” - 16th February 2008
  • Why Kerviel is so unsettling - “You lose a sense of the amounts when you’re doing this kind of job,” the rogue trader Jérôme Kerviel told Agence France-Presse this week. “Everything gets dematerialised. You can get carried away.” - 9th February 2008
  • Bipartisan allegiances - Something bizarre is happening in the minds of American voters. Two US presidential candidates – the Democrat Barack Obama and the Republican John McCain – are attracting supporters who oppose their stances on major issues - 2nd February 2008
  • In defence of the right to offend - The Netherlands has spent the past several weeks in a political crisis out of a novel by Borges. People are worried that a politician might say something he has already said. And they are divided over how to interpret a film that may not exist - 26th January 2008
  • Confusion over Scientology - In a four-year-old video that was much watched on the internet this week, the actor Tom Cruise mentioned various leaders he had met around the world. “They want help,” he said, “and they are depending on people who know, and who can be effective and do it, and that’s us.” - 19th January 2008
  • Politics of the personal - Hillary Clinton used a moment of brilliantly staged emotion to win the New Hampshire Democratic primary on Tuesday, which every opinion poll had predicted she would lose - 12th January 2008
  • A question of competition - A business can occasionally bring out products that are too popular for its own good. Such a product is the New England Patriots football team. Such a business is the National Football League and specifically its pay-television spin-off, the NFL Network - 5th January 2008

News & updates: