Chronicles Magazine July 1987

Cultural Conservation

A few years back, when the air was fresh and the world was new, some of us thought that the election of Ronald Reagan was only the beginning of the beginning of "morning in America." It is a common mistake.

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  • VIEWS

    Transcendent Memory

    The significance of the past—the past of a minute or an hour ago, 100 years ago, or 5,000 years ago—is of consuming interest to me; many writers are concerned with the effects of time on people and institutions. The past provides writers with...

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  • VIEWS

    A Superfluous Man

    One of the hazards of Washington life is the risk of running into people whose politics is their religion. You see them everywhere at receptions, eyes blazing with unhallowed fire, proselytizing for a cause whose victory is always within sight.

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  • REVIEWS

    Past and Present

    A steady flow of scholarly works on the intellectual roots of modern conservatism has appeared since the 1950's. Russell Kirk's The Conservative Mind was and remains the best and the best-known of such books, but similar studies by Peter Viereck,...

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  • REVIEWS

    Unraveling the Remnant

    For years, or at least for that stretch of time between the heady days of Theodore Roosevelt and the hapless days of Jimmy Carter, something called the Eastern establishment benevolently ruled over America.

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  • REVIEWS

    Old Babbitts Die Hard

    The most prominent buildings of a civilization speak eloquently of what it esteems. The great medieval cathedrals of France rose in splendor over their Gothic towns, and the upward pull of their inner space offered otherworldly consolation to the...

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  • REVIEWS

    Fine China

    Anyone who fondly supposes that the Chinese Communists are the "good" Communists should read this exciting, powerful book by the Belgian sinologist Pierre Ryekmans, writing under his nom de plume, Simon Leys.

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  • REVIEWS

    Love and Death

    Perhaps it is inevitable that Life and Fate by Vasily Grossman has been compared to Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace. There are obvious parallels. Tolstoy wrote a lengthy book on the unsuccessful Napoleonic invasion of Russia, while Grossman wrote a...

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  • REVIEWS

    Institutionalized Music

    Samuel Lipman's pieces on music came out originally in magazines, chiefly in Commentary and The New Criterion. The obvious question arises. Are enough of these essays of sufficient interest and importance to justify republication?

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  • REVIEWS

    A Second Opinion

    This profoundly conservative book forms a powerful personal argument against the liberal dogma that "modernity" destroys religion. Much of the left, militantly secular as it is, has attempted to make it "self-evident" that no reasonable person...

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  • REVIEWS

    The Triumph of Time

    The second law of thermodynamics poses a problem for evolutionary biologists. While it seems to predict increasing disorder over time, the record of evolution suggests ever-increasing order and higher levels of organization.

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  • Correspondence

    The Oxford Experience

    The recent election of the new Chancellor of Oxford University—or was it the prospect of another July undisturbed by fireworks?—reminded me of the letter I received from a Cambridge friend last summer, when I was living in Oxford. I quote it with...

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