Claire Berlinski

Writer, Researcher, and Journalist


Claire Berlinski

Novelist, essayist, journalist, historian, travel writer, biographer, critic.



The Czarist image of mass shootings

Let’s retire the term ‘gun violence,’ or reserve it for jealous husbands who shoot their wives. What happened in El Paso is terrorism; more properly, it is a nihilist insurgency. We should pause to consider the origins of this phenomenon in late Czarist Russia, the cradle of modern terrorism. There is an eerie similarity between America’s shooter culture and the sinister and contagious form of violent nihilism that emerged between 1861 and 1866 in Russia.


It’s September, the sky is blue over the Communist suburbs of Paris, and revolutionary music is pumping from every speaker in Georges Valbon Park in La Courneuve. Someone was making a killing on Che Rebel Spirit energy drink, for which I developed a taste. It packed a big caffeine punch. The French Communist Party (Parti Communiste Français, or PCF) was holding its annual Fête de l’Humanité, a three-day bash to raise money for its daily newspaper.
City Journal Link to Story

The Problem with No Name

The American Interest Link to Story

France Doesn’t Have Enough Cops

The Gilets Jaunes say they can’t take it anymore. They’re not the only ones. Violent uprisings are a sign of public unhappiness. They are also a sign of state failure. France is hardly a failed state, nor will it be one. But it is exhibiting symptoms associated with state failure. It is struggling to maintain practical control of its territory.
The American Interest Link to Story

Jupiter and Rambo

“Grotesque speculations” are crippling France when we need it most. Most Americans have not heard the name Benalla, and if they have, they haven’t a clue why it should concern them. How could they? The White House is a region of spacetime exerting such a strong pull on our attention that no one can escape; a scandal in France that sounds inscrutable and insignificant will not be the exception to the rule, even if it is neither.
The American Interest Link to Story

Opinion Arm in Arm, Trump and Putin Are Pulling Europe Apart. The Consequences Will Be Catastrophic


Europe’s Dependence on the U.S. Was All Part of the Plan

POLITICO Link to Story

Assailing NATO, Trump joins Kremlin in war on the democratic world order

The United States has inexplicably undermined, if not destroyed, its relationship with Germany, the foundational relationship of the postwar world order and the reason the world has endured no great-power war since 1945. It did so not because of a great friction of strategic interests, but because the President attempted publicly to shake down the chancellor like a real estate contractor in New Jersey.
New York Daily News Link to Story

On the Eve of the NATO Summit, Trump Has Pissed Away the Pax Americana

Modern Europe—liberal, democratic Europe—is a creation of the United States. This story was once known to every American, but as the generation responsible for this achievement dies, it seems this knowledge is no longer passed down. The United States built the modern order upon an architecture of specific institutions: the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the International Court of Justice.
The Daily Beast Link to Story

How the French Mourn

When countries refuse to look clearly at the past, they are like neurotics controlled by compulsions they cannot understand. On March 23, an ISIS-affiliated terrorist stormed a supermarket in the small French town of Trèbes, shot two people dead, and took others hostage as human shields. After security forces had negotiated the release of all but one of his captives, a senior gendarme, Arnaud Beltrame, volunteered to take her place.
The American Interest Link to Story

Trump, une tragédie américaine

Début septembre, on a pu voir dans le Forum du commandant en chef, une émission de la chaîne NBC, un spectacle étrange. Et quand on lui a demandé comment il comptait s’y prendre, Trump a répondu qu’il fallait « laisser quelques groupes s’emparer du secteur… vous savez, avant ça s’appelait la paix des vainqueurs.

The Dark Continent

The End of Europe: Dictators, Demagogues, and the Coming Dark Age, by James Kirchick (Yale, 288 pp., $27.50) Journalist James Kirchick’s first book is about Europe, not America, but throughout the reader will sense that it rests upon unvoiced axioms about America and its role in the world. These are axioms upon which no argument can rest confidently in the age of Donald Trump.
National Review Link to Story


Claire Berlinski

I'm an American novelist, freelance journalist, travel writer, biographer, historian, editor and consultant who lives amid a menagerie of adopted stray animals in Paris. I'm the author of There is No Alternative: Why Margaret Thatcher Matters. I'm also the author of Menace in Europe: Why the Continent's crisis is America's, Too, and two spy novels: Loose Lips and Lion Eyes. I'm a contributing editor of City Journal, a fellow of the Manhattan Institute, a senior fellow for Turkey of the American Foreign Policy Council, and an editor and regular contributor at

I'm now working on a book called Brave Old World: Europe Revisited, a sequel to my first book about Europe, which was published ten years ago. This time, my reporting will be entirely funded by my readers: I'd be ever so grateful for your help.



  • Writing novels
  • Writing essays
  • Journalism
  • Travel writing
  • Historical research
  • Writing biographies
  • Criticism