Jack Trotter

Jack Trotter writes from Charleston, South Carolina.

Latest by Jack Trotter in Chronicles

Results: 66 Articles found.
  • Plague Literature: The Threshing Floor
    June 2020

    Plague Literature: The Threshing Floor

    Since plague is one of those natural disasters whose origin cannot be assigned to human agency, it can pose seemingly insoluble moral problems…Does God in fact directly will suffering, or does he merely permit it?

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  • Remembering William F. Buckley, Jr.
    April/May 2020

    Remembering William F. Buckley, Jr.

    Two years after the death of the man whom one of his biographers, John Judis, dubbed the patron saint of modern conservatism, Encounter Books brought out a splendidly packaged omnibus volume of his columns and essays, entitled Athwart History: Half a Century of Polemics, Animadversions, and Illuminations (2010). On the cover, William Francis Buckley stands at the helm of a sailing vessel, an American flag flying high behind him, his hair tousled in a stiff wind, and a pair of sunglasses perched jauntily on his prominent nose. His smile can only be described as ebullient, not unlike the smile that we have seen in dozens of photographs of Buckley.

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  • The American Muse
    March 2020

    The American Muse

    For almost as long as there have been literary works, there have been literary canons, largely established by bookish pedants who do, indeed, “quarrel unceasingly.” The quarreling began early in the third century B.C. and continues today. The “birdcage” to which Timon refers was the great Library of Alexandria, part of a larger temple complex known in the ancient world as the Museum of Alexandria, established by Ptolemy II. Ptolemy, and his father before him, were literary kings who sought to spread the influence of Greek cultural achievements and who founded their museum for precisely that purpose. It was in Alexandria that what we call Hellenism was born.

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  • Our Culture of Narcissism
    October 2019

    Our Culture of Narcissism

    Most Chronicles readers will no doubt recall the sordid Jussie Smollett hoax, which played out over the course of almost three months early this year in a scenario that might have been scripted for reality TV. Given the media’s saturation coverage of the fiasco, I will forego a reprise of the details. Instead, I wish to suggest that the Empire star’s memorable antics on the mean streets of midwinter Chicago were not at all a freakish anomaly, but a perfect illustration of the new American normal.

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  • October 2019

    What the Editors Are Reading

    How is it possible to describe Dostoevsky’s great but sometimes neglected novel, Notes From Underground, without provoking repugnance for the nameless anti- hero whose voice dominates its pages? He is, as he announces in the opening lines, “a sick man…a spiteful man,” yet for all his insight into the nature of his own malady, he is, like Oedipus, sicker than he knows.

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  • The Long Apocalypse
    April 2019

    The Long Apocalypse

    Today, a century after the close of the “war to end all wars,” the prospect of achieving what the U.N. and other such garrulous bodies call “global peace” seems ever more remote.

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  • Out of Troy
    December 2018

    Out of Troy

    Author of several novels and a memorable autobiographical work entitled Our Father’s Fields (1998), as well as a leading light of the Abbeville Institute, James Kibler has produced in the present work an indispensable study of the classical influence on Southern literature.

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  • The Children of Eden
    August 2018

    The Children of Eden

    All of us, I imagine, are granted from time to time moments of uninvited insight that will, for years to come, provide a basis for reflection and a more penetrating glimpse of the forces that shape the realms in which we live and labor.

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  • The Managerial Racket
    June 2018

    The Managerial Racket

    Life in America these days has become a vast numbers racket. That is, most Americans are, cannily or not, ensnared in the numbers game called metrics, or what Jerry Muller in his latest book terms the “metrics fixation.”

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  • A Ruthless Charm
    April 2018

    A Ruthless Charm

    Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. was bred in the bone for his role on the stage of 20th-century American history.

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  • A Great Perhaps
    November 2017

    A Great Perhaps

    Sale’s theme is the restoration of “human scale” in all our works: architectural, political, economic, educational, and technological. His thesis is that only radical decentralization can achieve this aim.

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  • Devil Take the Hindmost
    July 2017

    Devil Take the Hindmost

    Hell is a meritocracy. Yet in America the meritocratic ideal is universally applauded. Everyone agrees—or pretends to agree—that the angel of justice smiles upon the triumph of merit.

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  • Democracy in Action
    November 2016

    Democracy in Action

    As both Drutman and Katz emphasize, before the 1970’s lobbying in America was a paltry enterprise.

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  • October 2016

    The Crossroads Merchants

    Virtually everything in Charleston is a monument to something objectionable. To satisfy the vandals, the city itself would have to be erased and then rebuilt—a job for Charlotte’s city planners, perhaps.

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  • Twilight of the Gods
    September 2016

    Twilight of the Gods

    It would be impossible here to do justice to the scope and massive detail of Gordon’s study. In nine chapters in Part One, he surveys the effects of technological and economic growth between 1870 and 1940.

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  • April 2016

    Persons, Places, and Things

    Throughout the better part of the 20th century there was something approaching a consensus among historians that the American South possessed a distinctiveness lacking in other regions of the country.

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  • Capitalism: The Conservative Illusion
    March 2016

    Capitalism: The Conservative Illusion

    When the Cold War ended in 1991, American conservatives rejoiced over the triumph of democratic capitalism, which had struggled for over half a century, first against the rise of fascism, and then against the Soviet bloc and the specter of global communism.

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  • Conservatives and the Gay Agenda
    October 2015

    Conservatives and the Gay Agenda

    If one had not already been convinced that the gay-rights movement in America had reached a watershed, then the events in Indiana in late March of this year must have been alarming for even the most skeptical.

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  • August 2015

    Enter the Vandals

    As everyone in America knows, on the night of June 17 Dylann Roof, armed with a .45 Glock, slaughtered nine black men and women in Charleston’s historic Emanuel AME church.

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  • Agonistic Politics
    July 2015

    Agonistic Politics

    Thirty years ago Carl Schmitt (1888-1985) was hardly visible on the American intellectual horizon, and the rare mention of his name in scholarly publications was usually dismissive.

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Results: 66 Articles found.



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