Chronicles Magazine August 2013

Books Are for Blockheads!

Back in April, my old friend D.B. “Dukie” Kitchens called to inform me that I should soon expect in the mail an invitation to the inaugural Patriot Book Awards ceremony, to be held in Atlanta in late May. “What did I do to deserve this honor?”...

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    Living the Good Life

    Many generations ago, when our country was very new in the political sense but very old still in respect of its general culture, many educated men and women kept what were in those days called commonplace books, mainly a compendium of quotations...

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  • Correspondence

    My Big Brother

    Not long ago, while reading A.J.P. Taylor’s impressively turgid English History: 1914-1945, I found, suspended in the tepid depths of all the fussily annotated tables and statistics, a sentence that all but knocked me out of my chair.

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  • European Diary

    Of Rats and Men

    There are people, in all likelihood a majority, who are by nature obedient. Their lot is to play Sid Sawyer to whatever Aunt Polly comes along, whether the authority in question is a democratically elected leader or an up-to-his-elbows-in-blood...

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    Finding Beauty

    In the last five years, a heightened awareness of beauty and the mystery of beauty has played with my senses more than at any other time in my life, excluding, perhaps, my childhood, when the world so often resonated with the magical and the...

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    Heartless Irony

    Some people should not have children. This is one way to read Henry James’s 1897 novel What Maisie Knew. Another way, the way James preferred, is to marvel at his exquisite rendering of a child’s untutored sensibility dimly awakening to...

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