Facts were fuzzy in the ancient world. From Homer to Herodotus, myth, science, and history met and mingled, merging into amalgams that were almost invariably greater than the sum of their parts and yet less than what might pass our modern-day tests.
Surrounded by books has been a main circumstance of my long life. So it is now, near the end of my 94th year, when I am in my large library of perhaps 18,000 books in the western wing of my house in Chester County, Pennsylvania.
In 2012, U.S. historian William H. Frederick sparked a fierce controversy about a horrible if largely forgotten episode in Asian history, the so-called Bersiap movement of the 1940’s.
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A week after President Donald J. Trump’s return from his 12-day tour of Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines, its fruits are uncertain. Trump called the trip “very epic.” On the other hand, the media and establishmentarian analysts have predictably declared that he has failed to achieve anything significant.
Since 1962, this nation has dethroned its God and begun debates about which of the flawed but great men who created the nation should be publicly dishonored. Are we really a better country today than we were then, when all the world looked to America as the land of the future?
“Dad,” the inquisitive youngster is bound to ask, “where do corn flakes come from?” In today’s economy, where farms are something you drive by on your way to Disneyland, the most common answer might be “Kroger” or “the 7-Eleven” instead of “from the farm, son, from cornfields.”
The ongoing erosion of norms and standards leaves us adrift, deciding for ourselves what works and what doesn't—sometimes hitting the mark, just as often missing it.