Tom Piatak

Latest by Tom Piatak in Chronicles

  • Tariffs Work
    March 1, 2020

    Tariffs Work

    For decades, American political discourse has largely operated within the spectrum of opinions voiced by the editorial pages of The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal. Opinions not embraced by one of these newspapers were unlikely to advance very far, and those voicing such unapproved opinions were, sooner or later, likely to be denounced as thought criminals of one variety or another. Not coincidentally, the opinions of the Big Three newspapers tend to advance the material interests of the type of persons who write them and read them, regardless of the impact they have on the country as a whole or on the great many Americans who are far removed culturally and geographically from the opinion-forming centers of Manhattan and D.C.

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  • Reviews
    February 30, 2020

    What the Editors Are Reading

    Evelyn Waugh wrote Brideshead Revisited (1945) while on a six-month leave from the British Army during World War II. It proved a hit with the public, but the critics who had praised Waugh’s earlier satirical novels were less impressed, objecting both to its religious themes and its lush prose. Waugh never apologized for the former, but by 1959, when he wrote a preface to a new edition, he had come to agree with the critics about the latter, blaming the novel’s “glaring defects” on the grim reality of the wartime circumstances in which it was written.

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  • A Giant Beset by Pygmies
    December 1, 2019

    A Giant Beset by Pygmies

    Most newspaper and magazine articles are forgotten not long after they appear. Does anyone read the 25-year-old columns of Norman Podhoretz, William F. Buckley, or Richard John Neuhaus for insight into current events? It therefore tells us something when First Things prints a 20-page essay about a political journalist who has been dead for almost 15 years. This person, we learn, “won almost no access to major conservative outlets” in life, and indeed was “purged and marginalized.” It tells us even more when the journal running this long essay rarely agreed with the subject during his life. Thus, whatever else it may be, First Things’ lengthy essay on Sam Francis must be regarded as proof that he remains relevant to contemporary debate, and was what many readers of Chronicles knew he was: a genius.

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  • Time for an Immigration Pause
    October 1, 2019

    Time for an Immigration Pause

    The postwar American conservative movement had many factions, but most at least feigned to revere British statesman Edmund Burke. Those who read the movement’s books and magazines were told Burke abhorred radical change, and so should we. In practice, however, most movement conservatives proved powerless to stop the many radical changes America has seen since the 1960s, either because they were too busy cheering the changes brought by free market forces or too timid to resist the ones brought about by leftist cultural forces. Most movement conservatives could barely mount a whimper of protest, much less stand athwart history yelling, “Stop!”

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  • In Memoriam
    June 17, 2019


    Easter 2019 was a vivid reminder that Good Friday still precedes Easter Sunday. The global news machine brought us horrific images of Christians massacred in their churches by Islamic terrorists in Sri Lanka.

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