Matthew T. Phillips

Power and Doom

Richard Westall's Sword of DamoclesNPR’s All Things Considered interviews Bard College English Professor Daniel Mendelsohn for an explanation of the phrase, “Sword of Damocles,” used by John F. Kennedy and with increasing frequency to describe the American economy (particularly during the debt ceiling crisis).

Typcially used to suggest impending doom, the phrase alludes to a much richer story about power and responsibility, particularly when representing or leading others.

Listen at NPR.