Chronicles Magazine September 1991

The Terror of the Obvious

There is a painting on my wall that fascinates me. That is partly because it is beautiful, partly because of the story it tells. It is a large Dutch oil of 1658 by Hendrik van Vliet, better known for his church interiors, and it shows two men...

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  • VIEWS

    Can Humanity Forget What It Knows?

    Civilization hangs suspended, from generation to generation, by the gossamer strand of memory. If only one cohort of mothers and fathers fails to convey to its children what it has learned from its parents, then the great chain of learning and...

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  • VIEWS

    The New World Order

    Last September, in a speech about Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, President Bush used for the first time a phrase that has come to signify his foreign policy objectives and his vision of the post-Cold War age: "New World Order."

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  • VIEWS

    The Private Worlds of the Mind

    On the morning of July 13, 1985, as I noted in my journal, I woke with an exceptionally clear recollection of a dream. In it my wife, Elizabeth, and I were in a high-ceilinged Victorian room with brown walls fashioned of rotating metallic discs.

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  • REVIEWS

    Beyond Hubris

    With disarming and hardly disingenuous modesty, Polish humanist Leszek Kolakowski describes his new anthology, Modernity on Endless Trial, as a loose collection of "semi-philosophical sermons" written over the course of a decade or so, purporting...

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  • REVIEWS

    Feminist Fatale

    Because I well remember reading some of the pieces Mary Gordon has assembled here, I had no reason to wish to reread them and no cause to want to read the ones I'd been lucky to miss the first time around. What I think about Mary Gordon's writing...

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  • REVIEWS

    Yellow Peril (Part II)

    Do not be put off by the sensationalist title. This is a solid geopolitical and economic study of power in the Pacific during the 20th century. Basing their prophesy on the record, George Friedman and Meredith Lebard conclude that a second...

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  • REVIEWS

    Trending West

    "Of making many books there is no end," Ecclesiastes has it. Like the endless streams of cat-cartoon and celebrity workout books, the flow of books factual or fictional about the American West seems not only interminable but ever-increasing.

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