Timothy Egan

Nota: Este archivo abarca los artículos publicados por el autor desde el 1 de diciembre de 2007. Para fechas anteriores realice una búsqueda entrecomillando su nombre.

Scenes From a Mogul’s Marriage or: The Troubling Fourth Act of Bill Gates

Three years ago, Bill and Melinda Gates answered a range of personal questions in their annual letter — a rare peek into what kept one of the world’s most powerful couples together.

“I love Bill because he has a kind heart, listens to other people and lets himself be moved by what they say,” said Melinda. She mentioned a sculpture of two birds staring into the horizon, a wedding gift from his parents. “And it’s still in front of our house.”

For his part, Bill said, “We are partners in both senses that people use the word these days: at home and at work.”…  Seguir leyendo »

El papa Alejandro VI

Hubo un papa que fue padre de diez hijos de distintas amantes y que compró el papado con mulas cargadas de plata. Se dice que Alejandro VI, el más disoluto de los pontífices de los Borgia, electo en 1492, incluso tuvo una aventura amorosa con una de sus hijas.

Otro papa contrajo sífilis durante su pontificado, una “enfermedad con predilección por los sacerdotes, sobre todo los adinerados”, como se decía en la época del Renacimiento. Ese fue Julio II, conocido como el Terrible.

Un tercer papa, Pío IX, agregó Madame Bovary, de Flaubert, y el libro de John Stuart Mill sobre la economía del libre mercado a la lista de libros prohibidos del Vaticano durante su largo papado en el siglo XIX.…  Seguir leyendo »

El iPhone ha cambiado al mundo pero no tanto como la imprenta

Usé el GPS de un teléfono inteligente para orientarme a través del adoquinado laberinto de la ciudad antigua de Ginebra al ir en busca de una máquina manual que cambió al mundo más que cualquier otro invento. Cerca de una catedral del siglo XIII, en esta ciudad suiza a la orilla de un hermoso lago, encontré lo que estaba buscando: una imprenta de Gutenberg.

“Eso fue el internet de sus tiempos —al menos tan influyente como el iPhone—”, dijo Gabriel de Montmollin, director del Museo Internacional de la Reforma, mientras jugaba con la réplica del gran invento de Johann Gutenberg. Antes de él, para elaborar un solo libro se necesitaban cuatro monjes trabajando arduamente hasta durante un año en su monasterio con plumas de ave y pergamino.…  Seguir leyendo »

People in Manchester, England, on Thursday observing a minute of silence in remembrance of those killed in a terrorist attack on Monday. Credit Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

In the springtime of 100 years ago, nations that shared a Christian heritage slaughtered one another over a few miles of mud. In just one battle, the great powers of Europe fought for more than a month outside this magnificently reconstructed medieval city, and suffered 280,000 casualties.

At the same time, French infantrymen began to mutiny after 200,000 of their young men fell — dead, wounded or missing — in another senseless grind of human flesh to the south.

All of that — the poisonous gas, the mowing down of teenage boys in ashen fields, the legless legions of the Lost Generation — is behind us.…  Seguir leyendo »

Canadian soldiers clashed with Fenians at the Battle of Ridgeway in 1866. Credit Getty Images

We let these people into our country, and what did we get but an epidemic of cholera and criminals. They filled the jails and mental hospitals, the orphanages and poor houses. More than half of those arrested in New York City, just before the Civil War, were Irish.

“Scratch a convict or a pauper, and the chances are you tickle the skin of an Irish Catholic,” The Chicago Post wrote in the 1850s. The Irish gangs of New York — the Forty Thieves, the Roach Guards, the Plug Uglies — terrorized a big part of the city.

These immigrants even had the gall to raise their own army and invade a neighboring territory.…  Seguir leyendo »

Last Sunday, as lovers of free speech filled the streets of Paris, lovers of elegant English period soap opera were watching “Downton Abbey” in America. The episode featured a frisky Lady Mary, in 1924, asking her maid to purchase a contraceptive device for her in advance of a hookup with Lord Gillingham. She pointed to a section in a book, likely one of the pioneering sex manuals of the British botanist Marie Stopes, for guidance.

“Married Love,” first published by Dr. Stopes in 1918, was banned as obscene in the United States until 1931. Why? Because, you can’t just have women empowered with information about the joys of sex.…  Seguir leyendo »