Stephen Phillips

Writing that burns the eyes

Of how many magazine articles can you recall where you were and what you felt when you read them? If any occur, there’s a reliable chance John Hersey’s ‘Hiroshima’ will figure among them, and not just because it will have been assigned at an impressionable age in school. For the first time in its history,

Don’t call them colonies

Where other nations disbanded their empires following the second world war, America’s underwent transubstantiation, from something solid to something more ethereal. It became a shorthand, connoting an amorphous global entity and its quasi-imperial depredations: commercial infiltration, cultural indoctrination, fomenting coups, waging war. Suitably, this construct (Coca-Cola and cruise missiles) acquired a ‘logo’, writes Daniel Immerwahr