TIME

Mueller offers a lesson in the power of reason

The special counsel’s 22-month investigation captivated the nation—for good and ill

ALMOST A CENTURY AGO, IN THE AFTERMATH OF the First World War, the journalist Walter Lippmann, then 32 years old, published an influential and disturbing critique of democracy and its future. The mood in the U.S. was anxious—about immigration, about race, about women, about the nation’s role in the world, about civil liberties, about religion, even about science (the Scopes trial was a few years off). The 1920 Census had found that more Americans now lived in cities than on unlike our own.

Into this climate came Lippmann’s book Public Opinion, which argued that the complexity of the changing world made true perception and genuinely popular self-government impossible. Skeptical about the capacity of democracy to arrive at

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

Related Interests

More from TIME

TIME3 min read
Annette Gordon-reed: Thomas Jefferson’s Revolutionary Words
THOMAS JEFFERSON BEGAN LIFE IN A MONARCHY, UNDER THE reign of George II, in one of Britain’s North American colonies—Virginia. In this monarchical system everyone knew his or her place, with little expectation of being able to move very far outside o
TIME3 min read
When Mom Needs To Hear That It’s O.K. Not To Be O.K.
I HAD MADE IT AS FAR AS THE STREET CORNER WHEN IT occurred to me that I hadn’t paid. I’d said goodbye to my friends at the restaurant and walked out. When I returned, embarrassed and apologetic, one friend mentioned that another had asked if I was O.
TIME3 min read
R. Eric Thomas: A Wedding Anthem of Inclusion
“NO UNION IS MORE PROFOUND THAN MARRIAGE, FOR IT embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice and family,” the pastor said at our wedding ceremony, borrowing from Justice Anthony Kennedy’s opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges, the Su