History

  • America’s Forgotten 400th Anniversary
    November 24, 2020

    America’s Forgotten 400th Anniversary

    This Thanksgiving, Americans should raise a glass to the Pilgrims who landed on Plymouth rock 400 years ago. We owe so much to those brave pioneers.
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  • What the Editors Are Reading: <em>The Politics</em>
    November 23, 2020

    What the Editors Are Reading: The Politics

    What makes Aristotle’s view of political life so remarkable is its total differentness from current political attitudes. Aristotle was not politically correct.
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  • The World Imperiled by ‘Repair’
    November 19, 2020

    The World Imperiled by ‘Repair’

    A President Joe Biden would enter into office ready to fix the world. By attempting to do so, he may very well end up ruining the world instead.
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  • New Online ‘Mating Sites’ Skip the Soulmate
    November 17, 2020

    New Online ‘Mating Sites’ Skip the Soulmate

    "Platonic co-parenting," in which people look for parenting partners rather than romantic soulmates, is a growing trend. The only problem is that it doesn't end in marriage, further complicating the traditional family.
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  • For Now, the American Republic Stands
    November 13, 2020

    For Now, the American Republic Stands

    If Republicans win one of the two U.S. Senate runoff elections in Georgia, America will have avoided the Constitutional disaster of one party rule under President Biden.
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  • Remembering the Truth About Veterans Day
    November 11, 2020

    Remembering the Truth About Veterans Day

    World War I was innocently thought of as the War to End All Wars. In times of ceaseless conflict, it's important to remember the true origins of Veterans Day.
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  • Will Georgia Halt the Radicals' Revolution?
    November 10, 2020

    Will Georgia Halt the Radicals' Revolution?

    While President Trump and his campaign are devoting time and resources to the ballot count in battleground states, a last crucial battle is shaping up in Georgia, where the stakes are second only to the presidency.
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  • Can a Disintegrating America Come Together?
    November 3, 2020

    Can a Disintegrating America Come Together?

    We are divided over ideology, morality, culture, race, and history. Are we the nation of 1776 and 1789, or the nation of 1619, whose institutions are still infected with the "systemic racism" of our birth? Are we still a shining city upon a hill?
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  • The Court Historians
    November 2020

    The Court Historians

    The conservative establishment artificially elevates editors and commentators for its own ideological or fundraising purposes. The authorized mechanically praise each other’s statements and books, particularly if they are in sync with the party-line.
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  • Considering Judge Barrett
    November 2020

    Considering Judge Barrett

    Amy Coney Barrett is an adherent of Antonin Scalia’s judicial philosophy, Scalia being the most celebrated proponent of originalism and textualism. Adding her to the Court may shift it in a conservative direction for the next generation.
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  • November 2020 Polemics: His Thoughts Are Not Ours
    November 2020

    November 2020 Polemics: His Thoughts Are Not Ours

    Letters from Chronicles readers, with occasional responses from the magazine's editors and writers.
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  • Slavery's Ironic Twist of Fate
    November 2020

    Slavery's Ironic Twist of Fate

    The left asserts that white supremacy motivated the American Colonists to conceive slavery as a founding principle. A look at the historical record, however, suggests slavery actually developed as a consequence of an infectious disease: malaria.
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  • Alien Maestro
    November 2020

    Alien Maestro

    America has largely forgotten one of its greatest classical music conductors, German-born Karl Muck. He was ruined by World War I, labeled the "Kaiser's stooge," a "dangerous enemy alien," and deported.
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  • The Life and Times of Victor Davis Hanson
    November 2020

    The Life and Times of Victor Davis Hanson

    The American establishment in both its neoliberal and neoconservative flavors employs an army of public intellectuals to place the American liberal empire as the culmination of history. Victor Davis Hanson is chief among these court historians.
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  • Cultural Marxism Is Marxist
    November 2020

    Cultural Marxism Is Marxist

    Commonly known as political correctness or multiculturalism, cultural Marxism is an ideology that serves as a religion among America’s elites, one that condemns our traditional, Western, Judeo-Christian culture as “racist, sexist, and homophobic.”
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  • The Modern Left Is Not Marxist, It's Worse
    November 2020

    The Modern Left Is Not Marxist, It's Worse

    Today’s left has a different origin and orientation from what has been historically understood as Marxist. The current left is about open borders, filling Western countries with impoverished Third World populations, and opposing white Christians.
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  • Letter From the City That Deposed Popes
    October 21, 2020

    Letter From the City That Deposed Popes

    Constance is the site of the Church Council that affirmed the “Conciliarist” position: the right to remove an incorrigible pope. Aside from its rich history, it's also one of the "sunniest and warmest spots in all of Germany," Srdja Trifkovic writes.
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  • Does America Have a Future?
    October 6, 2020

    Does America Have a Future?

    Demographic and moral decline afflicts America. We are witnessing the unraveling national self-awareness of the American ethnos, facilitated by the treason of our guardians and combined with the centralization of their power.
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  • Our Recessional Culture
    October 2020

    Our Recessional Culture

    We have forgotten God. America's journey from Camelot to COVID was the result of many wrong turns, but abandoning our faith was central to our political, economic, moral, and cultural decline.
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  • Was Poland's Notorious Communist Dictator Actually a Conservative?
    October 2020

    Was Poland's Notorious Communist Dictator Actually a Conservative?

    Polish leader Wojciech Jaruzelski was a communist dictator, but one whose decisions were guided by the desire to maintain order and stability against a revolutionary wave; a ruler guided by geopolitical realism. Just now, scholars are realizing this.
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  • Rebranding the Right
    October 2020

    Rebranding the Right

    In his latest book, Andrew Bacevich argues the "conservative brand" has been tarnished by popular personalities like Trump and Rush Limbaugh. But conservatism is not a brand nor an ideology—it is a disposition and is no place for purity tests.
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  • Secession Becomes Thinkable
    October 2020

    Secession Becomes Thinkable

    America is coming apart and is "already two nations," F. H. Buckley argues. Once unthinkable, a breakup looks increasingly likely. But can it be done constitutionally and peacefully? Donald Livingston reviews Buckley's case in "American Secession."
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  • Remembering Russell Kirk
    October 2020

    Remembering Russell Kirk

    Kirk taught conservatives about the need to engage the culture on levels other than those of law and politics. The conservative, Kirk insisted, must speak on core concerns not normally addressed in public policy manuals.
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  • A Conciliar Critique, Etc.
    October 2020

    A Conciliar Critique, Etc.

    Letters from readers and responses from Chronicles writers on Vatican II and Catholic social doctrine, the Pilgrims and the English Civil War, and on the concept of jury nullification.
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  • Death of a Propositional Nation
    October 2020

    Death of a Propositional Nation

    The American nation is being destroyed for failing to live up to the ideal of equality. No part of American heritage is safe from destruction in the name of equality, not even that of equality's chief proponent, Abraham Lincoln.
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  • The Worst Purges Come From the Right
    September 26, 2020

    The Worst Purges Come From the Right

    When Silicon Valley suppresses conservatives, it is an attempt to throttle legitimate political dissent. But Conservative Inc. has not treated its abused dissenters one whit better. Its marginalization of people on the right is often even worse.
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  • Remembering 9/11
    September 11, 2020

    Remembering 9/11

    We need to remember 9/11. Our forgetting is being accelerated by progressive politicians and academics, who seek to misremember and to distort our view of the attacks.
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  • Evil That Good May Come
    September 2020

    Evil That Good May Come

    "Not one of the four articles debating the pros and cons of dropping the Bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki presents the orthodox Christian evaluation of that earth-shattering decision." Letters from a priest and columnist Diana West.
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  • Playing Pretend With the Founding Fathers
    September 2020

    Playing Pretend With the Founding Fathers

    The radical left and right have now merged in a virulent form of anti-Americanism, says C. Bradley Thompson. He worries about young men reading scary, reactionary thinkers, and then disagreeing with him about the ideas that motivated the founders.
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  • The 1620 Project
    September 2020

    The 1620 Project

    The Pilgrims were not 21st-century liberal democrats, but they created political institutions and practices that profoundly influenced the course of American politics, and facilitated later experiments in republican self-government and liberty.
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  • The Puritan Legacy Birthed the American Creed
    September 2020

    The Puritan Legacy Birthed the American Creed

    Distorted Calvinist beliefs now animate progressive causes. They are responsible for America’s missionary foreign policy, rootedness in individualism, and repugnance for hierarchy.
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  • Catholics in America: An Uneasy Alliance
    September 2020

    Catholics in America: An Uneasy Alliance

    The speed of the rise of the “woke” brigades and the accelerated abandonment of America’s Christian heritage has once again caused Catholics to doubt the compatibility of their faith with the American experiment.
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  • Remembering Learned Hand
    September 2020

    Remembering Learned Hand

    Learned Hand’s advocacy for judicial restraint, bold defense of the First Amendment, and commitment to the legal rights of the states still claim our attention, especially as judicial activism is promoted by legal minds on the left and the right.
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  • What the Editors Are Reading
    September 2020

    What the Editors Are Reading

    The Age of Empire: 1875-1914 (1987) by Eric Hobsbawm, and Essays in the Public Philosophy (1955) by Walter Lippmann.
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  • What Civil Rights Hath Wrought
    September 2020

    What Civil Rights Hath Wrought

    The civil rights movement of the 1960s began with modest goals for changing the public sphere but morphed into an overhaul of every aspect of life. James Kalb reviews Christopher Caldwell’s "Age of Entitlement."
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  • Catholic Comfort for a Wounded South
    September 2020

    Catholic Comfort for a Wounded South

    There was a uniquely Catholic contribution to the Confederate cause. John DeJak reviews new scholarship on the political loyalties of Confederate Catholics by Gracjan Kraszewski.
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  • Old Story, New Resonances
    September 2020

    Old Story, New Resonances

    Modern politics was born in the French Revolution; knowing its history can enrich our understanding of today’s political challenges. Ronald J. Granieri reviews Jeremy Popkin’s latest book, covering events from the Tennis Court Oath to the Terror.
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  • Put Not Your Faith in Judges
    September 2020

    Put Not Your Faith in Judges

    Conservatives’ faith in originalist judges has been misplaced, as the most recent U.S. Supreme Court term has shown. John Roberts and his ilk will not preserve American liberty or the timeless truths about humanity upon which the Constitution rests.
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  • Ressentiment: He Hates, Therefore He Is
    September 2020

    Ressentiment: He Hates, Therefore He Is

    "Ressentiment" festers in the mind of a person until it manifests itself as a false sense of moral righteousness. This concept stems from a feeling of inferiority, and perfectly describes the mindset of today's violent rioters.
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  • Reparations: Blueprint for a Shakedown
    September 2020

    Reparations: Blueprint for a Shakedown

    Slavery reparations are economically predatory, historically ignorant, politically divisive, legally unconstitutional, and morally repellent. The recent history of such demands demonstrates how the whole thing is nothing more than a big shakedown.
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  • That Damn Cowboy
    September 2020

    That Damn Cowboy

    The Western frontier transformed Teddy Roosevelt from a New York aristocrat into the rough rider who charged up San Juan Hill. While living as rancher, he impressed the locals with his tenacity, and his ability to handle himself in a bar fight.
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  • The Revolution, Televised
    September 2020

    The Revolution, Televised

    Mr. Jones disturbingly renders the Holodomor with Ukrainian peasants driven to extremes of hunger under Stalin's man-created famine. James Norton plays the eponymous Welsh journalist who exposes the horrible truth.
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  • Greek Statues, <em>Molon Labe!</em>
    September 2020

    Greek Statues, Molon Labe!

    Greeks have shared values and beliefs based on a common ethnicity and religion, and so would never tolerate the malcontents of BLM and Antifa effacing their cultural artifacts. In America, however, nothing is sacred and everything is replaceable.
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  • Trump as Mussolini?
    August 20, 2020

    Trump as Mussolini?

    Rep. Jim Clyburn recently compared President Trump to Mussolini. In truth, the closest America has come to Mussolini is not Trump but Franklin Roosevelt, who admired the Italian fascist. And FDR did far greater harm to his nation.
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  • The Genocide Game
    July 29, 2020

    The Genocide Game

    Despite efforts to manipulate the term genocide for political ends, there remain two paradigmatic examples of the phenomenon in the 20th century: the mass murder of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire and the mass murder of European Jews by the Nazis.
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  • In This Number
    August 2020

    In This Number

    Chronicles Editor-In-Chief Prof. Paul Gottfried introduces the August 2020 issue and the four marquee pieces on the 75th anniversary of the atomic bomb drop.
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  • Polemics & Exchanges
    August 2020

    Polemics & Exchanges

    Paul Craig Roberts replies to Tom Pauken's comments on Buckley and Reagan from the June number. Prof. Trifkovic replies to a critique of his 'Monocultural Resilience.' And, Michael Leaser and Prof. Mark Brennan tussle over Pennsyltucky.
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  • Don't Know Much About History
    August 2020

    Don't Know Much About History

    The left has used its growing cultural power to paint the darkest possible picture of the history of our country and our civilization, seeking nothing less than the abolition of America. We need to once again insist on the superiority of the West.
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  • Books in Brief
    August 2020

    Books in Brief

    The Shortest Way With Defoe—Robinson Crusoe, Deism, and the Novel, by Michael B. Prince (University of Virginia Press; 350 pp., $69.50). Simon the Fiddler, by Paulette Jiles (William Morrow; 352 pp., $27.99).
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  • The Myth of the Atomic Bomb
    August 2020

    The Myth of the Atomic Bomb

    The decisive factor in Japan's decision to surrender was the Soviet entry into the war and the Japanese elite's fear of Soviet influence. The enduring myth of the effectiveness of the atomic bombs, however, birthed the ideology of deterrence.
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  • Antifa: Nazis Without a Plan
    August 2020

    Antifa: Nazis Without a Plan

    The antifascist left resembles the Nazis in a striking way, particularly when these earlier advocates of violence were on their way to power. Political movements often imitate those that they purport to stand in opposition to.
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  • Hobbes, the First Individualist
    August 2020

    Hobbes, the First Individualist

    Too many conservatives get Thomas Hobbes wrong. If Hobbes is the champion of individuality that I contend he is, then he has something important to say to us about our present politics of crisis, which has been on steroids during the last few months.
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  • The Triumph of the Atomic Bomb
    August 2020

    The Triumph of the Atomic Bomb

    War's only mercy is a speedy conclusion producing irrefutable victory, attainable only by using overwhelming force to exert maximum destruction upon the foe. The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki saved countless lives by bringing an end to the war.
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  • Slaying Dragons, Coddling Snakes
    August 2020

    Slaying Dragons, Coddling Snakes

    David Kilcullen argues in The Dragons and the Snakes that the West’s mixed success against non-state adversaries to date compels a more hands-off approach going forward, even if such a strategy contravenes conventional military tactics. ...
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  • The Tragedy of the Atomic Bomb
    August 2020

    The Tragedy of the Atomic Bomb

    Roosevelt’s policy of unconditional surrender reached its tragic culmination in death and destruction for Japan, and became the first step toward a new era of American foreign policy which saw the Old Republic continue its long march toward Empire.
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  • Solid Strategy, Limited Vision
    August 2020

    Solid Strategy, Limited Vision

    Metternich was a first-class strategist, but lacked vision. Srdja Trifkovic reviews a recent biography of the Austrian Empire's chief diplomat and geopolitical strategist, written by Wolfram Siemann.
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  • Dropping the Ball on the Bomb
    August 2020

    Dropping the Ball on the Bomb

    The history of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki has been distorted by those more concerned with politics and ideology than with truth. An honest verdict must acknowledge that it ended WWII early, accounting for about 2 percent of total deaths.
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  • Stress Test of a Straining Superpower
    July 24, 2020

    Stress Test of a Straining Superpower

    With her troops still spread across the Middle East, her civilians dying at an unprecedented rate, and her increasing dependence on foreign powers, America may be breaking under the burdens it has lately assumed and is attempting to carry.
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  • What the Editors Are Reading
    August 2020

    What the Editors Are Reading

    Catharine Savage Brosman reviews Marie-Henri Beyle's La Chartreuse de Parme and Stephen B. Presser reviews Saul Bellow's The Adventures of Augie March.
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  • Back To The Mosque
    July 22, 2020

    Back To The Mosque

    Centuries of religious discrimination, causing suffering and death of countless millions, have been covered up by the myth of Islamic “tolerance.” The Hagia Sophia is one more example of the failure to liberalize Islam, from Atatürk to present day.
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  • The Ottoman Zenith
    July 21, 2020

    The Ottoman Zenith

    From its height of power in the 16th century through its decline in the 19th, Islamic Turkish rule was brutal. It was not good for Christians, nor did it provide a "stabilizing force" in the region. Western liberals once recognized this.
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  • Reflections on the Tragedy of the Hagia Sophia
    July 20, 2020

    Reflections on the Tragedy of the Hagia Sophia

    As the Hagia Sophia is transitioned into a house of Islamic prayer, it is worth recalling the impact that Islamic conquest has had on the rich Christian civilization of Byzantium and its dynamic and creative Slavic offspring in Serbia and Bulgaria.
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  • Reenacting the Civil War Is a Losing Strategy
    July 15, 2020

    Reenacting the Civil War Is a Losing Strategy

    The fixation of today's conservatives on ritualistically denouncing the Confederacy is rather bewildering and counterproductive. It’s hard to see whom the anti-Southern conservatives and GOP operatives hope to win over by engaging in such hysterics.
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  • Which Revolution Are We Celebrating?
    July 4, 2020

    Which Revolution Are We Celebrating?

    On Independence Day more than 200 years ago, a member of America's founding generation warned against the encroaching spirit of the French Revolution, of extreme equality dissolving “manner, order, and virtue” and turning liberty into license.
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  • Now It's Woodrow Wilson's Turn
    June 30, 2020

    Now It's Woodrow Wilson's Turn

    It appears Woodrow Wilson's time has come. His name is to be removed from Princeton's School of Public and International Affairs. Where does the madness end?
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  • Goodbye, Columbus
    June 25, 2020

    Goodbye, Columbus

    The media perpetuates the pretense that these destroyers of our heritage are expressing the popular will, so as to browbeat the majority of the population and to give cover for spineless politicians to conform to the latest media narrative.
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  • How Long Will the Vandals Run Amok?
    June 23, 2020

    How Long Will the Vandals Run Amok?

    The left's war on America's past crossed several new frontiers last week. Our Taliban have moved on, past Columbus and the Confederate generals, to dislodge and dishonor the Founding Fathers and their patriot sons.
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  • 'Please Only Eat Half of Me!'
    June 18, 2020

    'Please Only Eat Half of Me!'

    Whitey is still guilty with the ineradicable stain of racism, and not just those Confederate symbols, but all symbols of so-called whiteness and essentially of Western, Christian civilization must be erased, torn down, and smashed to smithereens.
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  • The Chinese Exclusion Act
    July 2020

    The Chinese Exclusion Act

    In 1882 Congress took steps to control Chinese immigration. From the start, the Chinese were different than other immigrants. They were sojourners in the U.S. who rejected the values of American society and carefully maintained their own culture.
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  • Greater Than the French Revolution
    July 2020

    Greater Than the French Revolution

    At the time, the Franco-Prussian War was a shocking and apocalyptic global event. We should not expect any explosion of commemoration on this 150th anniversary, but such neglect is badly mistaken.
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  • Anti-Semitism in Antiquity: The Case of Apion
    July 2020

    Anti-Semitism in Antiquity: The Case of Apion

    Contra Apionem is likely the first attempt in history to undermine an opponent through the charge of anti-Semitism: Josephus charged Apion with disrespecting the Jews by invidiously comparing them with the ancient Greeks.
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  • Remembering James Burnham

    Remembering James Burnham

    James Burnham gave us an understanding of what he termed the “managerial revolution,” in which the bourgeoisie has been replaced by a new class of managerial elites, educated technocrats that specialize in the management of large organizations.
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  • Will Churchill's Statue Be the Next to Fall?
    June 12, 2020

    Will Churchill's Statue Be the Next to Fall?

    Many view the history of the European exploration, the colonization of the New World, and the creation of Western empires not with pride but with shame and guilt. And they want to make expiation.
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  • <em>Black Power</em> and the 1619 Project
    June 2020

    Black Power and the 1619 Project

    Radically recasting America’s formative years would be damaging enough, but The New York Times’ “1619 Project” is applying that same radical intellectual perspective on American history to contemporary social issues and problems.
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  • Defense of Bill Buckley

    Defense of Bill Buckley

    It is hard to know where to begin in responding to Jack Trotter’s profile of a founding father of the modern conservative movement (“Remembering William F. Buckley, Jr.,” April/May 2020).
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  • Looking for Moral Foundations (in All the Wrong Places)
    June 2020

    Looking for Moral Foundations (in All the Wrong Places)

    Some conservatives claim that America's moral foundations are established in the Constitution and enforced in the courts, rather than its culture, religion, and people. They may be barking up the wrong tree.
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  • 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 the Southern Agrarians

    Remembering the Southern Agrarians

    In 1920 a group of writers gathered in Nashville for bi-weekly sessions of reading and dissecting each other’s prose and poetry. The group, who defended the traditional Southern way of life, became known as the Southern Agrarians.
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  • Remembering Whittaker Chambers

    Remembering Whittaker Chambers

    At first glance, the personal history of Whittaker Chambers does not suggest a conservative frame of mind.
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  • A Skeptic on the Road of Saints
    June 2020

    A Skeptic on the Road of Saints

    Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Timothy Egan’s latest book chronicles his pilgrimage along the Via Francigena.
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  • Empire States of Mind
    June 2020

    Empire States of Mind

    Although this relatively short book is closer to an extended, episodic essay than to the comprehensive history of the British Empire implied by the title, it is an excellent example of the author’s style. Jeremy Black takes a broad view…
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  • Observing a Special Memorial Day
    May 25, 2020

    Observing a Special Memorial Day

    Some 75 years later, I’ve decided to search out any living members of the family of my father’s wartime buddy Dale. I located Stephen Dale Lackey—the son that Dale would never see.
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  • It’s the Public Health, Stupid!
    May 14, 2020

    It’s the Public Health, Stupid!

    Lately, my progressive acquaintances and the mainstream media seem unable to complete a thought without mentioning the importance of “public health.” It's a sign of how public health crises are now cynically used to promote political ends and to wrea
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  • Reflections on Victory in Europe, 75 Years Later
    May 9, 2020

    Reflections on Victory in Europe, 75 Years Later

    The most destructive war in history ended in Europe shortly after 9 p.m. on May 8, 1945. Some aspects of World War II remain contentious to this day and deserve to be briefly revisited.
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  • Will Depression II Dictate Trump's Fate?
    May 1, 2020

    Will Depression II Dictate Trump's Fate?

    The economic devastation we have brought upon ourselves to battle the pandemic may prove more lasting and historic in its impact than the terrible losses of human life due to COVID-19. President Trump predicts a V-shaped recovery, the greatest...
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  • Why Are Blacks Democrats?
    April 30, 2020

    Why Are Blacks Democrats?

    A dislike of Republicans may now be part of American black ethnic identity. Despite almost unanimous endorsement of civil rights legislation and dutiful support for every extension of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Republicans, particularly black...
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  • How Buckley's Anti-Communism Morphed Into Neoconservatism
    April 20, 2020

    How Buckley's Anti-Communism Morphed Into Neoconservatism

    I generally ignored Buckley's anti-communist ebullitions, starting with his eagerness to throw nuclear weapons against the commies. I was relieved to learn that one could be an accredited conservative without having to vibrate to these war chants.
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  • The Old Left Wasn't Very Leftist
    April/May 2020

    The Old Left Wasn't Very Leftist

    It would be impossible to imagine any shared moral ground between the left that existed in the 1930s and what today presents itself as their intellectual descendants.
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  • Epidemic for the Record Books
    April/May 2020

    Epidemic for the Record Books

    As the hysterical coronavirus overreaction crashes our economy, I can’t help but think of the Spanish flu, which took some 675,000 American lives in 1918 and 1919.
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  • Faux Originalism
    April/May 2020

    Faux Originalism

    Is Antonin Scalia’s originalism—indeed, constitutional self-government itself—passé? The eternal temptation to read one’s own values into the Constitution beguiles even religious conservatives espousing natural law.
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  • Hitler vs. the Anglo-Americans
    April/May 2020

    Hitler vs. the Anglo-Americans

    On April 20, Adolf Hitler turns 131. Ten days later comes the 75th anniversary of his earthly demise in the ruins of Berlin, but he is still our contemporary par excellence. He continues to haunt and fascinate. Hitler’s countenance, his very...
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  • Remembering Willmoore Kendall
    April/May 2020

    Remembering Willmoore Kendall

    Among the 20th-century conservative movement’s legendary leaders, Willmoore Kendall (1909-1967) stands out as the one who most effectively offered a grounding in a specifically American philosophy. There is also a timeliness in this remarkable...
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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:...
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  • Coins of the Realm
    April/May 2020

    Coins of the Realm

    It is hard for us to imagine that ordinary people used to care about the design of public objects: coins, dollars, bridges, court houses, town halls, churches, schools, and even factories.... We need new coins to reflect our modern reality.
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  • COVID-19 in the Light of History
    March 2020

    COVID-19 in the Light of History

    The pandemic’s future course and cost cannot be predicted. It does appear certain, however, that the world is experiencing changes which are likely irreversible. The contours of its geopolitical impact are becoming apparent in the rapidly...
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  • Two Ways of Changing Our Minds About History
    March 4, 2020

    Two Ways of Changing Our Minds About History

    For more than 60 years, I’ve been interested in both the historical past and in how historical interpretations are created. I’ve also written a great deal on both subjects, but particularly on how public and scholarly opinions about past events...
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  • The Myth of Nazi Inevitability
    March 2020

    The Myth of Nazi Inevitability

    Lately, I’ve been studying a segment of German history about which I knew little as compared with the period before World War I or the great German cultural awakening between 1770 and 1820, sometimes characterized as die Goethezeit. Germany’s...
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  • How Communism Saved the Eastern Bloc from Cultural Marxism
    March 2020

    How Communism Saved the Eastern Bloc from Cultural Marxism

    Despite living under nearly a century of oppressive, conformist, Soviet-style Communism, Eastern Bloc nations have somehow maintained strong senses of cultural, religious, linguistic, and ethnic identities. What’s more, they arguably have...
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  • Bad Intel
    March 2020

    Bad Intel

    A pair of recent news items unintentionally demonstrated the ways the Intelligence Community is a primary source of our confused foreign policy in the Middle East, while also undermining President Trump here at home.
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  • Remembering H. L. Mencken

    Remembering H. L. Mencken

    H.L. Mencken (1880-1956) may no longer seem relevant, but that is not his fault. Mencken was a well-read bon vivant with a taste for Teutonic philosophy and a fidelity to what he understood as truth. He was also a brilliant satirist, a longtime...
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  • Historical Revisionism on the Right
    March 2020

    Historical Revisionism on the Right

    Nietzsche writes in the concluding section of Twilight of the Idols, “One does not learn from the Greeks—their way is too alien, and also too fluid, to have an imperative effect, a ‘classical’ effect.” The divide between Greek antiquity and...
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  • Lighting Up History
    March 2020

    Lighting Up History

    When it comes to social hierarchy, smokers are only a few notches above pedophiles. Yes, smokers are bad, they smell terrible, and they cost us money—and everyone knows it. One would expect the “smokers bad” message to saturate The Cigarette. Surp
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  • The Great Debate: Lincoln's Legacy
    February 2020

    The Great Debate: Lincoln's Legacy

    The year 1975, for those of us old enough to remember, was a calm and quiet time in the United States. The Vietnam War and Watergate were both over, the riots and protests had ceased, and everybody liked our presiding nonpartisan president, who...
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  • Jackson and the American Indians
    February 2020

    Jackson and the American Indians

    Everyone knows that Andrew Jackson wanted American Indians annihilated, defied the Supreme Court in a famous challenge to Chief Justice John Marshall, and forcibly removed the Five Civilized Tribes of the Southeast to lands west of the...
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  • Remembering Richard Weaver
    February 2020

    Remembering Richard Weaver

    Native Southerner and traditionalist conservative, Richard Weaver (1910-1963) was a unique figure in the rise of the modern American right. Weaver, a longtime professor at the University of Chicago, was an historian, literary critic, and...
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  • The Real White Negro
    February 2020

    The Real White Negro

    There were many wannabe Lucifers in mid-century America, from Saul Alinsky to Herbert Marcuse, but nobody combined sulfur with venom, hate with dead-on aim, the way Norman Mailer did. East Coast revolutionary to the core, Mailer—who once nearly...
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  • Deconstructing the 1619 Project
    February 2020

    Deconstructing the 1619 Project

    Several years ago, I purchased a used copy of Robert Fogel and Stanley Engerman’s Time on the Cross: The Economics of American Negro Slavery (1974), one of the five most important books on American slavery that have appeared in the last 50 years....
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  • Nationalism for the Lukewarm
    February 2020

    Nationalism for the Lukewarm

    It seems that Rich Lowry has taken time off from castigating Donald Trump and calling for the prompt removal of Confederate memorial monuments to compose an entire book making “the case for nationalism.” A media launch was provided by Fox News’s...
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  • Remembering Albert Jay Nock
    February 2020

    Remembering Albert Jay Nock

    As a conservative “anarchist” and non-interventionist with anti-vocational views on education, Albert Jay Nock (1870-1945) can seem paradoxical. His influence was lasting and he took unconventional stances on many topics. He viewed conservatism...
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  • Dabney's Blind Spot
    February 2020

    Dabney's Blind Spot

    I read with interest the article by Zachary Garris on Robert Lewis Dabney (“Remembering R. L. Dabney,” December 2019). Having myself graduated from Hampden-Sydney College, where he taught, and being Presbyterian, I have had some interest in his...
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  • Hot Air Raids
    February 2020

    Hot Air Raids

    Global warming is still a “maybe,” but in the Swiss Alps the visual evidence is undeniable. The glacier I used to ski on has disappeared, and man-made snow is pumped out daily in its place. The once-small alpine village from where I write this...
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  • The Reinvention of Reconstruction
    February 2020

    The Reinvention of Reconstruction

    American conservatives have rightly viewed the post-Civil War Reconstruction period as a tragic era rife with corruption, scandal, mismanagement, and unconstitutional uses of power at both the state and federal level. Unfortunately, many have...
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  • Self-Sufficient Faction
    February 2020

    Self-Sufficient Faction

    I much enjoyed Prof. Gottfried’s response in the January issue, “Was Civil Rights Right?”, in which he wrote, “Although I am happy that racial segregation has ended, I am far less pleased with other changes that have come about because of social...
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  • Remembering Robert Nisbet
    January 2020

    Remembering Robert Nisbet

    It is hard to imagine anyone today having a career like Robert Nisbet’s: professor at Berkeley, Arizona, and Columbia; dean and vice-chancellor at the University of California, Riverside; author of widely used sociology textbooks; and co-founder,...
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  • Remembering the Twenty-Teens
    January 2020

    Remembering the Twenty-Teens

    Decades provide a useful, if not infallible, structure for organizing and understanding our historical experience. However frayed and disputed their limits, terms like “the twenties,” or “the eighties” each conjure their particular images and...
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  • The Making of the Midwest
    January 2020

    The Making of the Midwest

    David McCullough’s latest offering, The Pioneers, takes the reader into that little-known period of American history in which the intrepid veterans of the Revolutionary War set out to settle the territories on the banks of the Ohio River. It was...
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  • A City-State on a Hill
    November 2019

    A City-State on a Hill

    Mark Peterson’s new book traces the development of Boston from its founding in 1630 to the end of the American Civil War. In large part the book is a biography of the city, but from the unique perspective of Boston as a city-state and a...
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  • The War for America
    November 2019

    The War for America

    In many ways the American Revolution was unavoidable. Given the struggle to control the resources and riches of these British colonies, armed conflict was an eventuality that could have been foreseen with a little imagination. Britain’s North...
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  • Hope in Little Platoons
    October 2019

    Hope in Little Platoons

    For 26 years, I taught hundreds of home-educated students, including my own children. My checkered teaching career also includes a semester in a university, two years at a prison, and two years in a public high school. During my last 15 years of...
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  • Resurrecting the Old Right
    September 2019

    Resurrecting the Old Right

    For those who may have noticed, I’ve been absent from this venerable magazine for more than 12 years. Upon returning, I feel obliged to give an account of what I’ve learned in the intervening time. Aside from visiting my family and doing research...
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  • The Crucible of Innovation
    September 2019

    The Crucible of Innovation

    It is an inconvenient fact—and one studiously neglected by proponents of unrestricted global migration—that the main military participants in the politically incorrect and toxically masculine medieval Crusades were migrants. Nubian infantry,...
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  • Emperor of Imagination
    September 2019

    Emperor of Imagination

    Charles the Great looms out of the swirling obscurity of post-Roman Europe like the Great Lighthouse of Alexandria, signaling simultaneously radical renewal and an alteration of everything that came before. As Janet Nelson illuminates in her new...
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  • The Old West's Deadly Doctor
    August 2019

    The Old West's Deadly Doctor

    Most Americans know of Doc Holliday only as Wyatt Earp’s sidekick. He was much more than that. He was not only one of the most colorful characters in the Old West but also one of the most feared. He acquired the nickname “Doc” honestly, earning a...
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  • Republic of War
    July 2019

    Republic of War

    For a pacific, commercial republic protected by two giant oceans and two peaceful neighbors with small militaries, America sure has fought a lot of wars. Michael Beschloss’s Presidents of War details eight American leaders beginning in 1807 who...
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  • We Ought to Like Ike
    July 2019

    We Ought to Like Ike

    As a second-year West Point cadet in March 1969, I was returning to my room after chemistry class midafternoon on a Friday. As I stepped inside Pershing Barracks, I saw a number of cadets huddled around a note posted on the stairway railing.
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  • The Word Remains
    July 2019

    The Word Remains

    The last time I visited John Lukacs at Pickering Close, his home just outside of Phoenixville, Penn., he greeted me in Hungarian. My knowledge of that language is confined to goulash and paprikash and the proper pronunciation of Budapest, so I...
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  • Against the Barbarians
    July 2019

    Against the Barbarians

    The 21st century is a return to the Age of Walls. As historian and archeologist David Frye writes in his important new book, Walls: A History of Civilization in Blood and Brick, few have noticed that a new era of wall building is now upon us,...
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  • The War of Nihilisms
    June 2019

    The War of Nihilisms

    The first English translation of Ernst Jünger’s journals from the Second World War is a cause for celebration. The journals were like treasures stashed away in an old castle, behind a door that could be unlocked only if one learned to read...
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  • An Understandable Curiosity
    May 2019

    An Understandable Curiosity

    This is a massive biography of an economic historian whose popular fame rests on his having been made one of 65 Companions of Honour by the Queen while remaining a member of the Communist Party of Great Britain.
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  • Faithful Son
    May 2019

    Faithful Son

    Boyd Cathey is an 11th generation Carolina Tar Heel who was mentored by and worked with Russell Kirk. The Land We Love: The South and Its Heritage is written reverentially, just as one might reflect on the memory of one’s mother.
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  • James Howard: Two-Theater Double Ace
    April 2019

    James Howard: Two-Theater Double Ace

    One would think the only American fighter pilot to earn the Medal of Honor in World War II in Europe would be remembered and honored, or at least mentioned in history textbooks in high school and college. No such luck today.
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  • Glimpses Delightful and Rare
    February 2019

    Glimpses Delightful and Rare

    One of the root problems facing our beleaguered world is that many of our contemporaries are belaboring the past as a burden, believing that the legacy and traditions of Western Civilization are a millstone around modernity’s neck.
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  • William Lundigan
    February 2019

    William Lundigan

    Of our 20th-century wars World War II stands alone. In a sneak attack early on Sunday morning, December 7, 1941, Japanese naval forces bombed Pearl Harbor. As reports were broadcast throughout the day American shock turned to anger.
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  • <em>What the Editors Are Reading</em>
    January 2019

    What the Editors Are Reading

    I expected something quite different than I got when I began reading As A City on a Hill: The Story of America’s Most Famous Lay Sermon, by Daniel T. Rodgers and just released by Basic Books. I am not yet very far into it, but plan on taking it...
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  • Butch Cassidy, Part 2
    December 2018

    Butch Cassidy, Part 2

    A station agent tried to telegraph Price, Utah—the direction the outlaws were headed—but Butch Cassidy and Elzy Lay had cut the wires. The paymaster had the train’s engine uncoupled.
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  • A Matter of Necessity
    November 2018

    A Matter of Necessity

    God, War, and Providence approaches the story of Roger Williams by exploring the relationship between Puritan Massachusetts and Williams’s Rhode Island, and the relations both colonies had with the Indian tribes inhabiting these regions.
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  • <em>What the Editors Are Reading</em>
    November 2018

    What the Editors Are Reading

    As a means to a brief escape from the (so far) miserable 21st century I picked up and began reading The Reason Why, an excellent work of nonacademic history published in 1953 by Cecil Woodham-Smith . . .
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  • Butch Cassidy, Part 1
    October 2018

    Butch Cassidy, Part 1

    Starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid was a smash success when it was released in 1969. Surprisingly, the movie generally follows the actual events of Butch Cassidy’s outlaw life.
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  • Not Just Any Book
    October 2018

    Not Just Any Book

    Two questions immediately suggest themselves regarding this work: Who was (or is) Pandora (and her box), and do we really need yet another book on World War I, detailing its causes, alliances, generals, battles—replete with maps, photos, charts...
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  • Teddy Wilson and the Swing Era Vocalists
    September 2018

    Teddy Wilson and the Swing Era Vocalists

    Midway through Billie Holiday’s plaintive 1941 recording of “Jim,” there is a short piano solo barely 25 seconds in length—not even a full 32-bar chorus—by Teddy Wilson.
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  • Britons at War
    August 2018

    Britons at War

    Is there a distinctly British brand of heroism? That is the implicit question running through Christopher Sandford’s Zeebrugge, a gripping new history of the British naval raid in April 1918 on the German-held Belgian port of that name.
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  • <em>What the Editors Are Reading</em>
    August 2018

    What the Editors Are Reading

    When the review copy of A Savage War of Peace: Algeria 1954-1962, by Alistair Horne, hit my desk at National Review in 1977, I found a reviewer immediately and waited for a second copy to follow from the publisher (as is so often the case in the...
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  • David Crockett
    August 2018

    David Crockett

    “Watch what people are cynical about,” said General Patton, “and one can often discover what they lack.” Since the 1960’s I’ve been watching what are often called revisionist historians trying to destroy the American heroes I grew up admiring.
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  • How the Crusades Were Won
    July 2018

    How the Crusades Were Won

    The Christian Crusades of the Middle Ages are today deployed for a wide range of political and rhetorical purposes—to make claims about the Church’s betrayal of Christ’s teaching, the evils of European imperialism, or the inextricable link...
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  • The Unhelpful Uncle
    July 2018

    The Unhelpful Uncle

    I recently had a spirited discussion with the British historian James Holland, brother of Tom Holland, also a distinguished man of letters, about FDR, his oil embargo of Japan, and the root causes of World War II.
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  • The Anatomy of Color
    July 2018

    The Anatomy of Color

    History can be refracted through countless prisms—cultural, economic, environmental, ideological, moral, national, racial, religious—but one has been oddly unexplored, despite being not just obvious but ubiquitous.
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  • A Stretch and a Temptation
    June 2018

    A Stretch and a Temptation

    Next year marks the 900th anniversary of Roger of Salerno’s defeat at Ager Sanguinis, the Field of Blood. The battle raged near Sarmada, west of Aleppo, on June 28, 1119. Roger, regent of Antioch (for the child Bohemond II), led his smaller...
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  • Parry O’Brien
    June 2018

    Parry O’Brien

    It’s difficult to explain today that, from the 1920’s through the mid-1960’s, track and field was a major sport in Southern California. There were several reasons for this.
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  • Anniversary of the Modern West
    May 2018

    Anniversary of the Modern West

    Some of the greatest events in human history simply fail to register in popular consciousness. Last year, we rightly heard a terrific amount about the Reformation, or at least, about its early Lutheran phase.
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  • Hang ’Em High
    April 2018

    Hang ’Em High

    I was recently watching Westward Ho, one of the many dozens of B Westerns I have in my collection, and it struck me that until the 1940’s vigilantes were most often portrayed in the movies as the good guys.
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  • “Only Connect!”
    April 2018

    “Only Connect!”

    Niall Ferguson is a distinguished historian of Scottish origin who specializes in big arguments, and contrarian claims. His books are always provocative, frequently infuriating, and often (if not always) correct in their analyses.
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  • Islam, Europe, and Slavery
    March 2018

    Islam, Europe, and Slavery

    At Midsummer 1631, Barbary pirates from North Africa raided the Irish village of Baltimore, and took several hundred local people into lifelong captivity. Such a distant projection of Islamic power might seem extreme and even bizarre, but it was...
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  • Two Friends, Two Americas
    March 2018

    Two Friends, Two Americas

    Gordon Wood, regarded as the foremost historian of the American Revolution, has written a very fine account of the friendship between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.
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  • The Klondike Stampede, Part II
    February 2018

    The Klondike Stampede, Part II

    The 250 Indians who inhabited Dyea on the eve of the gold rush were Chilkats, members of the Tlingit tribe. They were short and stocky, and excellent packers. They commonly carried packs of 100 pounds or more.
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  • What Mean Ye By These Stones?
    February 2018

    What Mean Ye By These Stones?

    Pro-slavery or no, a single one of Fitzhugh’s works is easily worth all the publications of a dozen 21st-century mainstream conservatives—neo-or crunchy. Who believes that modern man is so enlightened that he has nothing to learn from Fitzhugh,...
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  • <em>Books in Brief</em>
    February 2018

    Books in Brief

    This is an excellent account—part social, part military, and part political—of the Mexican-American War, fought between 1846 and 1848 and concluded by the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo in 1849 that ceded, essentially, the northern half of Mexico to...
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  • Mission Accomplished
    January 2018

    Mission Accomplished

    Gary Sheffield is an old hand at writing the history of World War I. In addition to being a professor of war studies at the University of Wolverhampton, he was co-editor of Douglas Haig: War Diaries and Letters, 1914-18.
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  • Fact-Free: Where No Center Holds
    December 2017

    Fact-Free: Where No Center Holds

    Facts were fuzzy in the ancient world. From Homer to Herodotus, . . . myth, science, and history met and mingled, merging into amalgams that were almost invariably greater than the sum of their parts and yet less than what might pass our...
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  • The Klondike Stampede, Part I
    December 2017

    The Klondike Stampede, Part I

    It has always surprised me that the last great gold rush in North America is mostly absent from American history textbooks, especially those of more recent vintage. It’s as if the stampede to the Klondike never happened.
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  • The Indians Who Never Were
    October 2017

    The Indians Who Never Were

    Portland and Seattle have developed sizeable communities of disaffected leftists who are antagonistic toward everything that is traditional America. Hundreds of young folks are ready at a moment’s notice to flood into the streets to protest the...
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  • A Tale of Two Revolutions
    October 2017

    A Tale of Two Revolutions

    A hundred years ago, in the early hours of November 7, 1917, the Bolsheviks grabbed power in Petrograd. Within weeks they took advantage of Russia’s collapsing political and social structure to impose control over the country’s heartland.
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  • The Romantic Revival
    October 2017

    The Romantic Revival

    The first thing to say about the Romantic Revival is that the phrase itself is a bit ambiguous, though I haven’t meant to be misleading. Romanticism originally had an aspect of revival of the medieval, as in the Gothic revival and the revival of...
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  • Who Went Nazi?
    October 2017

    Who Went Nazi?

    When the Germans smuggled arguably the world’s most evil man into Russia 100 years ago, they did not imagine the harm they were springing on the human race. Once Lenin had prevailed, he decided to forge a new consciousness, a New Man, as the...
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  • The Real McCoy
    August 2017

    The Real McCoy

    In the early 1950’s when my family got our first TV set—it had a whopping 12" screen with a green tint—we kids tuned in to The Tim McCoy Show, which aired early Saturday evenings on a local Los Angeles station, KTLA, Channel 5.
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  • The Wrong War
    July 2017

    The Wrong War

    The assault on American history continues apace, with the further removal of Confederate monuments and symbols, and the expunging of anything relating to slavery or slaveholders.
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  • <em>Books in Brief</em>
    July 2017

    Books in Brief

    This excellent, very well-written, and highly readable book is the “full-scale biography” the author set out to write.
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  • <em>Conquista</em> and <em>Reconquista</em>
    July 2017

    Conquista and Reconquista

    As its subtitle indicates, this book dispels a number of imprecisions, equivocations, and outright lies regarding the Islamic conquest of Spain in late antiquity or the early medieval period.
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  • Getting Medieval on Middle Age
    June 2017

    Getting Medieval on Middle Age

    In my youth, I took degrees in history and philosophy, criminal justice, and law—areas of study that went through the Middle Ages on the way to becoming the grown-up disciplines they are today on the campus of Political Correctness University.
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  • Churchill’s Home Front
    June 2017

    Churchill’s Home Front

    It is strange that a major biography of Clementine—a charismatic, clever, and strong-minded person who, as Sonia Purnell demonstrates, exerted a salutary and at times world-altering influence over her husband—should not have been written sooner.
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  • White Slaves
    June 2017

    White Slaves

    For many years I taught a U.S. history survey course. One of my lecture topics was American slavery. I made a real effort to put the peculiar institution into historical perspective.
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  • <em>Books in Brief</em>
    June 2017

    Books in Brief

    This book continues the arguments historians have made over the past three decades that challenge the long-received and -accepted view of the Habsburg Empire as an anachronism among European states in the 19th century.
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  • The Forgotten Secret War
    June 2017

    The Forgotten Secret War

    For much of 1941, and entirely without congressional approval, the United States was in a de facto state of active conflict with Germany.
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  • Churchill in Africa
    May 2017

    Churchill in Africa

    “Half-alien and wholly undesirable” was Lady Astor’s assessment of Winston Churchill. For Winston’s father, Randolph Churchill, had taken an American wife, “a dollar princess,” as many cash-strapped members of the English aristocracy did in the...
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  • Kit Carson
    April 2017

    Kit Carson

    Though the mountain men were responsible for blazing nearly every trail to the Pacific Coast, discovering the natural wonders of the Trans-Mississippi West, and providing the muscle that fueled the fur trade, few gained national recognition.
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  • What the Hell Is Going On?
    February 2017

    What the Hell Is Going On?

    On December 7, 2015—Pearl Harbor Day—candidate Donald Trump called “for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what the hell is going on.”
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  • Butch O’Hare
    February 2017

    Butch O’Hare

    For years I taught a course on the history of World War II. I liked to ask the students if any of them had ever flown into Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. Invariably, one or more in each class had.
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  • Speaking of “Eastern Europe”
    January 2017

    Speaking of “Eastern Europe”

    Apart from Iceland, a European country lying far out in the North Atlantic, the east-west extremes of Europe are Ireland’s coast at 10 degrees west longitude and Russia’s Ural Mountains at 60 degrees east.
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  • Collateral America
    December 2016

    Collateral America

    "The Mirror Test" is John Kael Weston’s testament and witness to seven years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan.
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  • Corsair Ace Ken Walsh
    December 2016

    Corsair Ace Ken Walsh

    Americans have always loved their real-life Horatio Alger characters. They fired our imagination as children and were worthy of emulating. I hate to see many of those who were an inspiration to me disappear from our histories.
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  • A Useful Tool
    December 2016

    A Useful Tool

    Nate Parker has entitled his debut film The Birth of a Nation. He chose his title as a rebuke of D.W. Griffith’s groundbreaking 1915 film.
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  • The Gunfighter: Myth or Reality?
    October 2016

    The Gunfighter: Myth or Reality?

    The reality of the Old West does not sit well with many in academe, who take pride in thinking they are debunking what they call cherished myths of the American people. I think this is especially the case when talking about gunfighters.
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  • Openings and Closings
    August 2016

    Openings and Closings

    Raphael Israeli examines one of the most difficult political problems of our time: The conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians. He approaches the subject by presenting and analyzing research on the conflict by earlier Israeli...
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  • The Romantic Tory
    August 2016

    The Romantic Tory

    David Cesarani’s new biography of Disraeli does not surpass Blake’s book. It focuses on the Jewish aspect of Benjamin Disraeli as part of the Jewish Lives series at Yale University Press.
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  • <em>Books in Brief</em>
    July 2016

    Books in Brief

    Professor Wilson of Oxford University argues that the history of the Sanctum Imperium Romanum, despite its centrality to the history of Europe and its immense longevity, has commonly been written piecemeal, as the history of its component parts...
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  • Obama’s Atomic Wedgie
    July 2016

    Obama’s Atomic Wedgie

    When word came that President Obama was scheduled to appear at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial on May 27, fear crept in among Mr. Obama’s political critics that he was making another stop on his insufferable apology tour.
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  • A Myth Demolished
    May 2016

    A Myth Demolished

    Over the past two decades a great chasm has opened up between the tenured American professoriate specializing in the humanities and social sciences, and the meaningful discussion of its subjects in the public arena.
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  • Living With the Iconoclasts
    May 2016

    Living With the Iconoclasts

    Should the day come when the monuments are removed, true New Orleanians will have a hard choice to make: Do we stay where we are no longer wanted and work to preserve the rest that remains?
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  • Easy Sell
    May 2016

    Easy Sell

    Twice a finalist for the Pulitzer, H.W. Brands, in "Reagan: The Life", describes the 40th president as a conservative Franklin Roosevelt. What Roosevelt was to the “first half of the twentieth century, Reagan was to the second half.”
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  • The Crucial Years
    May 2016

    The Crucial Years

    The evidence of the end of the Cold War around 1990 was clearer than evidence of its beginning had been around, say, 1947. By “Cold War” we mean the conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union—not that between the United States and...
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  • Hollywood’s Lone Ace
    April 2016

    Hollywood’s Lone Ace

    He is virtually unknown to Americans today, though he appeared in 65 movies and was the only actor to become an ace during World War II.
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  • An Historian of Imagination
    March 2016

    An Historian of Imagination

    Forrest McDonald, the great historian of the American founding and early Republic, passed away on January 19 at the age of 89.
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  • The Chief and His Men
    March 2016

    The Chief and His Men

    On June 1, 1945, Pope Pius XII met for three hours in private audience with his co-conspirator, the German lawyer Josef Müller. “I had hardly crossed the threshold into his study when the Holy Father approached me, and embraced me,” Müller later...
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  • The Agony of Nations in the West
    February 2016

    The Agony of Nations in the West

    European history since the fall of the Roman Empire may be regarded as the slow forging, as if by a hidden hand as well as by human passions, of these particular forms of human collectivities called nations.
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  • Rhodes to Hell
    February 2016

    Rhodes to Hell

    Here’s some more good stuff from the “academy” to get 2016 rolling. It concerns Cecil Rhodes, the empire builder who left an Oxford college more than 50 million big ones in today’s money.
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  • The Union as It Was
    October 2015

    The Union as It Was

    A minority on the left is possibly willing to admit that a few “good Southerners” during the War Between the States opposed slavery, secession, and the Confederacy.
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  • Sophistory
    September 2015

    Sophistory

    We broke history because fewer and fewer Americans have the desire—much less capacity—to think in historical terms.
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  • Conquering History
    September 2015

    Conquering History

    In just two decades, the Western world has undergone a revolutionary transformation in its definition of marriage and sexual relationships, as same-sex marriage has moved from the realm of ultraradical fantasy to mainstream practice and social...
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  • A Perversion of History
    September 2015

    A Perversion of History

    If you think the removal of the Confederate Battle Flag from the grounds of the South Carolina capitol was the end of flag controversy, you may be surprised to learn that an op-ed piece in the Los Angeles Times declared, “It’s time...
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  • Belleau Wood
    July 2015

    Belleau Wood

    Within the Marine Corps the World War I Battle of Belleau Wood is legendary. Outside the Corps it is relatively unknown.
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  • The Third Muslim Invasion
    June 2015

    The Third Muslim Invasion

    They came in the early eighth century across the Straits of Gibraltar, unleashing terror and carnage across Iberia “like a desolating storm.” They were stopped deep inside today’s France, at Tours, by Charles Martel in 732.
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  • The Patsy
    May 2015

    The Patsy

    In general I am not a fan of conspiracy theories. A good historian learns that, in regard to controversial events, the simplest explanation is the one most likely to be accurate.
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  • Surveying America: A Plan for Growth
    May 2015

    Surveying America: A Plan for Growth

    Latin America has repeatedly failed to achieve the kind of settled distribution of property that could support a middle-class society.
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  • An American Sniper
    May 2015

    An American Sniper

    A galloglass was a professional warrior hired by an Irish chief. The practice of employing such men became common in the decades following the Norman invasion, when it became obvious that heavily armed and mail-clad fighters were needed to...
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  • 1865: The True American Revolution
    April 2015

    1865: The True American Revolution

    The standard opinion has it that, ever since they set foot on the new continent, the English settlers felt they were one people, Englishmen united by their common language, common origins, common enemies.
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  • Society Precedes Government: Two Counterrevolutions
    April 2015

    Society Precedes Government: Two Counterrevolutions

    A successful War of Independence established 13 free and independent states in North America in 1783. This was followed, unfortunately for us, by the French Revolution and then by the 19th century, preeminently a time of violent government...
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  • Gone With the Wind
    April 2015

    Gone With the Wind

    This year marks the 150th anniversary of Appomattox. In recent times, academics studying the Civil War have reached a striking degree of consensus about how that war should be understood, and its practical implications today.
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  • A Towering Genius, Greatly Missed
    April 2015

    A Towering Genius, Greatly Missed

    On April 1, 1815, Otto Eduard Leo pold von Bismarck was born on the family estate at Schönhausen near Berlin, in what used to be Prussia.
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  • Charmless
    March 2015

    Charmless

    Early in Owen Wister’s 1905 novel Lady Baltimore, the narrator, recently arrived in Charleston from Philadelphia, remarks upon the stillness of the city, its “silent verandas” and cloistered gardens behind their wrought iron gates—“this...
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  • <em>Annus Horribilis</em>
    March 2015

    Annus Horribilis

    The centennial of that enormous calamity later known as World War I saw the release of about a dozen books on the subject.
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  • Idealists Without Illusions
    February 2015

    Idealists Without Illusions

    Like all relationships, the special transatlantic one is in a state of constant flux—warmer or cooler at different times, enhanced by empathy, marred by misunderstandings, riven by reality—but always affected by the personal qualities of the...
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  • The Way of All Flesh
    February 2015

    The Way of All Flesh

    The Confidence Trap is a book that, in spite of its many penetrating insights, peripheral as well as central to its thesis, on further examination is less striking and original than it promised to be.
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  • Benjamin Franklin’s American Dream
    January 2015

    Benjamin Franklin’s American Dream

    Today’s preferred way to think about immigration and the nation-state is exemplified in the title of a 1964 pamphlet that the Anti-Defamation League published posthumously under the name of John F. Kennedy: A Nation of Immigrants.
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  • Waitin’ for <em>The Robert E. Lee</em>
    December 2014

    Waitin’ for The Robert E. Lee

    The life of Lee having been “done,” redone, and perhaps even undone by revisionist treatment, the present weighty phenomenon requires some contextual examination. We might first and simply ask the question, What is the purpose of this book?
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  • The Christmas War 1914
    December 2014

    The Christmas War 1914

    This past year, we have heard a great deal about the centennial of the outbreak of World War I. Throughout that commemoration, though, we have rarely paid due attention to the religious language of Holy War and crusade deployed by all combatants.
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  • Battle of the Journeymen
    November 2014

    Battle of the Journeymen

    The 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I has long been anticipated, judging by the publication of dozens of new books on what was called, until World War II, the Great War, although the Ghastly War might be more appropriate.
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  • In Your Heart, You Know He’s Still Right
    November 2014

    In Your Heart, You Know He’s Still Right

    Under the slogan, “In Your Heart You Know He’s Right,” Goldwater suffered a monumental defeat at the hands of Lyndon Johnson, who garnered 61.9 percent of the vote, more than any presidential candidate except George Washington.
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  • A Strange Dearth
    October 2014

    A Strange Dearth

    In 1985, in the wake of the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of the Great War, a plaque went up in Westminster Abbey’s Poets’ Corner, commemorating several heroes.
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  • The Father of History
    October 2014

    The Father of History

    Twenty-five centuries ago, in a narrow mountain pass 80-odd miles from Athens, the armies of Iran fought a brutal battle with the armies of Europe.
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  • Hush! It Is General Lee
    October 2014

    Hush! It Is General Lee

    The Lee Chapel at Washington and Lee University is the final resting place of Gen. Robert E. Lee, one of the most beloved of all Americans, and his family. It has been a place of pilgrimage and a quiet and dignified memorial to the lost Second...
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  • Confiscating Liberty
    September 2014

    Confiscating Liberty

    In Gun Control in the Third Reich Halbrook takes us overseas to see how the Nazis used gun-restrictive laws to oppress people they deemed “enemies of the state.”
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  • Anniversary of Lies
    September 2014

    Anniversary of Lies

    August 10 marked the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon Johnson’s signing of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which Congress had passed three days earlier.
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  • A Joint Criminal Conspiracy
    August 2014

    A Joint Criminal Conspiracy

    The Great War started 100 years ago this August. The most tragic event in human history, that war destroyed a vibrant, magnificently creative civilization.
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  • Too Quiet Flows the Don
    August 2014

    Too Quiet Flows the Don

    The stone head from the Iron Age glowers out of its glass case as if outraged by the indignity of imprisonment, its relegation from totem to tourist attraction.
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  • Something With Pages
    August 2014

    Something With Pages

    Some thoughtful soul, not I, would perhaps have some positive words about the present volume, and not without some justification.
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  • Whens, Ifs, and Buts
    August 2014

    Whens, Ifs, and Buts

    When did World War II start? An American is entitled to think it started with Pearl Harbor, as, clearly, the world without the United States is only a world in part.
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  • Country
    August 2014

    Country

    Every time I watch the above scene from Gladiator, that powerful movie about the decadence of Roman imperial government, the lamentation of Maximus for the unfulfilled promise of Rome and for the long-defunct republic turns my thoughts to...
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  • His Land, His People
    July 2014

    His Land, His People

    “Dickinson was, in truth,” writes William Murchison, "as much philosopher as writer, a man to whom God had imparted the gifts not merely of expression but also of examination and reflection. Among the large fraternity active in the cause of...
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  • The Long Sadness
    July 2014

    The Long Sadness

    William Ball was just shy of 19 and living in the town of Souris on the prairies of Canada when war erupted in Europe in August 1914. The region was still something of a frontier, devoted to trapping and trading with Indians, and inhabited by...
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  • Intransigent Diplomacy
    July 2014

    Intransigent Diplomacy

    There is a disturbing pattern over the decades in Washington’s negotiations with countries deemed to be adversaries. It is a tendency to adopt a rigid stance marked by unrealistic demands that make achieving a settlement virtually impossible.
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  • Mencken and the World Warmonger
    July 2014

    Mencken and the World Warmonger

    As World War I is remembered in this year of its hundredth anniversary, one rivalry continues to resonate across America. It isn’t between the Allies and the Central Powers, or between two houses of European royalty, but between two countrymen:...
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  • The Wasted Century
    July 2014

    The Wasted Century

    The Great War and its inevitable successor have been called Europe’s civil war, and there is some truth in this characterization.
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  • World War I and the Modern West
    July 2014

    World War I and the Modern West

    History may be a series of more or less contingent events, whose only connection to the preceding or following ones is that men react to what others do.
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  • Americans and War
    June 2014

    Americans and War

    World War II seems to be getting a lot of what might be called revisionist treatment these days.
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  • <i>Si vis pacem</i>
    June 2014

    Si vis pacem

    “All may have if they dare try a glorious life or grave.” I saw those words—George Herbert’s, as it turned out—incised into the stonework of a church near Waterloo Station.
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  • Operation Tidal Wave
    June 2014

    Operation Tidal Wave

    It seems that Benghazi is remembered today only for the 2012 attack on the American diplomatic mission there. In the 1940’s and 50’s, though, it was known for launching the planes that conducted Operation Tidal Wave, a brilliant example of the...
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  • America’s Grand Strategy
    May 2014

    America’s Grand Strategy

    “Robbing, slaughtering, pillaging they misname sovereign authority, and where they make an empty waste they call it peace.” -Tacitus
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  • Worse Than Useless
    May 2014

    Worse Than Useless

    Many a wise ancient employed allegory to elucidate meanings obscured by platitude, and so I thought, why not use the trick in this book review?
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  • Russia’s Way Back
    May 2014

    Russia’s Way Back

    Liberalism’s Glorious Age of parliamentary democracy, nation building and national consolidation, free trade, and empire, of which Great Britain was the chief power and paramount symbol, reached a catastrophic close in 1914.
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  • The Writer and the Lawyers
    May 2014

    The Writer and the Lawyers

    Every fact of Edgar Allan Poe’s life is hotly disputed, as there is a wide range of sources, primary and secondary, to sift through, as well as thousands of utterly contradictory letters from dozens of Poe’s contemporaries.
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  • National Debtors
    April 2014

    National Debtors

    The United States is a nation of debtors. Whatever sources you consult or trust, our per capita debt is extraordinarily high.
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  • Bear Flag Revolt
    April 2014

    Bear Flag Revolt

    Most Americans have no idea that California was once an independent republic and came into the Union, like Texas, without going through a territorial stage. This is symbolized by California’s state seal, which features Minerva, who sprang from...
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  • Little Yellow Bastards
    April 2014

    Little Yellow Bastards

    One of life’s safest bets is that, following a visit by a Japanese premier to the shrine that honors the nation’s war dead, a lot of Chinese megacrooks and inheritors of the greatest murderer of all time will cry foul, and lots of buffoons of the...
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  • The Way of Perfection
    March 2014

    The Way of Perfection

    Paradoxically, Westerners of every faith and political opinion seem perennially unhappy with Western society, despite the West’s assurance that it is the best, most fair, most free, most enlightened, and most humane way of life in human history.
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  • Light From Elsewhere
    March 2014

    Light From Elsewhere

    In the beginning, the poetic birth of the city becomes visible in the Iliad in the warrior camp of the Achaeans, in what Pierre Manent calls—in one of his most striking formulations—the “republic of quarrelsome persuasion.”
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  • Upstarts Like Shakespeare
    March 2014

    Upstarts Like Shakespeare

    I’ve no more desire than the next Anglophile with a framed colored engraving of the queen-empress on his office wall to pull down the aristocracy; to take away their estates and paintings and seats in the Lords and ancient Rollses resting on...
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  • Leftist Culture, Leftist Memory
    March 2014

    Leftist Culture, Leftist Memory

    This book’s lugubrious title, Franco’s Crypt, indicates its partiality. Written in a fluid style befitting its author, who has published in the New York Times Book Review and served as editor for The Times Literary Supplement, the book draws on...
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  • Back to the Trenches
    February 2014

    Back to the Trenches

    One cliché that we can expect to hear very frequently is “trench warfare,” a phrase that has come to summarize the military history of the time.
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  • Take a Hand
    February 2014

    Take a Hand

    There’s no analysis to speak of in Bill Minutaglio’s and Steven L. Davis’s account of life and events in the city—Dallas—that much of the world came to hate after the Kennedy assassination.
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  • A Vanishing Nation
    February 2014

    A Vanishing Nation

    On December 16 of that year, a 470-strong force under Andries Pretorius, sent to help the settlers, withstood a sustained attack by some 12,000 Zulu warriors, killing a third of them and securing the trekkers’ survival.
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  • That Special Relationship
    February 2014

    That Special Relationship

    John Kennedy and Harold Macmillan were the odd couple of the Special Relationship. Conjuring a picture of them from the cuttings files and obituaries, they seem almost comically mismatched.
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  • Updike's Grandfather
    January 2014

    Updike's Grandfather

    A poll of American historians, not long ago, chose James Buchanan as “the worst” American president. But judgments of “best” and “worst” in history are not eternal and indisputable truths.
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  • A Certain Knack
    January 2014

    A Certain Knack

    Even at first dip, this book gives the impression of being unreadable to any but the tweediest Anglophile.
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  • The End of (a) History
    January 2014

    The End of (a) History

    “There is significance in the end of things,” a young man, hinting at a wisdom beyond his years, once told me. For that reason alone, A Short History of the Twentieth Century, the latest book by John Lukacs, would be significant.
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  • Answering Islam
    November 2013

    Answering Islam

    According to President Obama, “Islam has always been part of America . . . American Muslims have made extraordinary contributions to our country.” This is a preposterous lie, though a President who knows so little of our history can be pardoned...
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  • One Big Thing
    November 2013

    One Big Thing

    Devouring Freedom is substantially a useful history of the spending wars between America’s two main political parties since 1932, culminating in the years since 2009 when Barack Obama became president of the United States.
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  • It’s Always World War II
    December 2013

    It’s Always World War II

    They call it the “Good War,” I suppose, in order to differentiate it from all the really bad wars we’ve been fighting—and losing—lately: Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, and all the future conflicts our political class has up its collective sleeve.
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  • Japan’s Prelude to Pearl Harbor
    December 2013

    Japan’s Prelude to Pearl Harbor

    Was Japan’s sneak attack on Pearl Harbor out of character for the chrysanthemum nation? Her actions at Port Arthur, nearly 38 years earlier, suggest otherwise.
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  • The Night the World Didn’t Change
    December 2013

    The Night the World Didn’t Change

    Most sober historians have little respect for counterfactuals, those extrapolations of alternative worlds where matters developed differently from the world we know. Yet such alternatives are actually hard to avoid.
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  • Cuba: Distorted History, Different Rules
    August 2013

    Cuba: Distorted History, Different Rules

    This past May in Newark, the FBI added former Black Liberation Army mercenary Joanne Chesimard to its Most Wanted Terrorists list at a ceremony held on the 40th anniversary of New Jersey’s most infamous cop killing.
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  • Goodbye to All What?
    August 2013

    Goodbye to All What?

    As far back as I can remember, I had the feeling that I had been born some time after the end of everything that mattered.
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  • A Difficult Decade
    September 2013

    A Difficult Decade

    James Patterson’s controlling idea is that the 60’s became the 60’s in 1965, and that this represented an “Eve of Destruction.” One struggles for about 300 pages trying to find out . . . destruction of what?
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  • Horses and Carriages
    September 2013

    Horses and Carriages

    I don’t know whether I buy completely into Mary Eberstadt’s arresting title. How does anybody “lose” God the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth (as the Nicene Creed impressively denominates Him)?
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  • Margaret Thatcher
    June 2013

    Margaret Thatcher

    Margaret Thatcher enjoyed being who she was. She did not think of this inner bounce as a gift of fortune but as a virtue, as obligatory self-respect. She was a patriot and a Tory in that way.
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  • Where Color Led
    May 2013

    Where Color Led

    Yale University Press promises that Witness to History “will fascinate anyone interested in the great political figures of world history during the twentieth century.”
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  • Plato and the Spirit of Modernity
    May 2013

    Plato and the Spirit of Modernity

    In C.S. Lewis’s The Last Battle the world of Narnia begins to dissolve and disappear. The Pevensie children are confused and frightened, but Professor Kirke, now Lord Digory, reassures them that the Narnia and the England they had known...
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  • Fiat Values
    April 2013

    Fiat Values

    The American publishing industry—academic presses in particular—is proof of Pope’s observation on the bliss that rewards ignorance and condemns wisdom as folly.
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  • Frost/Nixon
    March 2013

    Frost/Nixon

    David Frost is a schizophrenic. His creative personality bestrides the Atlantic ocean. When he’s at home in England, Sir David, as he’s known, fronts daytime-television panels and gives splendid summer parties at the country home he shares...
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  • The Patton You Didn’t Know
    February 2013

    The Patton You Didn’t Know

    Thanks to the movie, most Americans are familiar with George Patton—the crusty, outspoken, and brilliantly aggressive general of World War II fame. Yet few know of his exploits as a young officer.
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  • Portrait of Lincoln, With Warts
    January 2013

    Portrait of Lincoln, With Warts

    The publication of the last volume of William Marvel’s four-volume history of “Mr. Lincoln’s War” completes one of the more remarkable historical works of our time. Marvel is an “amateur,” nonacademic, historian.
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  • A Giant Maligned
    December 2012

    A Giant Maligned

    The “Great Men” of history were mostly mad or bad, and often both. To be driven by pride, vanity, and ruthless ambition is common and unremarkable. That drive is not sufficient to leave a lasting mark on the affairs of mankind, of course, but...
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  • An Epic Bogosity
    December 2012

    An Epic Bogosity

    The standard histories of English literature give Edmund Spenser top-drawer ranking with Chaucer, Shakespeare, and Milton, and there is no denying the power of his idiosyncratic style at its best or his appeal to other poets with epic ambitions. ...
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  • Diplomacy Good and Bad
    December 2012

    Diplomacy Good and Bad

    These two volumes shed considerable light on the fateful events of 1945-46, events determinative of much that followed in American foreign relations.
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  • John Wayne and World War II
    December 2012

    John Wayne and World War II

    Ever since I can remember, John Wayne has been the actor the left most loves to hate. While the left’s criticisms of him are many, the one that seemed to have the most validity was his failure to serve his country during World War II.
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  • Destroyers and Keepers
    December 2012

    Destroyers and Keepers

    In retrospect, the executed were not truly villains, and the administrators of "justice" were certainly not heroes.
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  • Piltdown Man
    December 2012

    Piltdown Man

    Scientific confidence in Piltdown depended in large measure on Charles Dawson’s profound confidence in himself, and on his untiring promotion of a whole series of stunning archeological finds that followed in quick succession from his original...
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  • Nonconformist Historian
    November 2012

    Nonconformist Historian

    Eugene Dominick Genovese, r.i.p. Gene Genovese, 82, one the more important and controversial American historians of the 20th century, passed away quietly at his Atlanta home on September 26.
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  • A People's Worst Enemy
    November 2012

    A People's Worst Enemy

    The adjective in the title of The Lost History of 1914 refers to the five ways in which the Great War might not have happened—five lost paths leading to peace. Though some critics have described the book as counterfactual, in fact it is...
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  • How We Got Here
    November 2012

    How We Got Here

    Chilton Williamson’s illuminating enterprise—and let me assure you, it does illuminate—is to examine democracy’s course since the publication, not quite two centuries ago, of Democracy in America.
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  • A Republic Not Kept
    October 2012

    A Republic Not Kept

    American conservatism, as Brion McClanahan and Clyde Wilson understand it, can be summed up in the words independence, liberty, free trade, strictly limited government, and constitutionalism, as the Jeffersonian and states’-rights Whig tradition...
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  • Maistre in the Dock
    October 2012

    Maistre in the Dock

    In September 2010, Émile Perreau-Saussine, age 37, was rushed to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, U.K., with chest pains. The junior physician on staff misdiagnosed his condition and thus failed to prevent his death hours later of a massive...
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  • An Unruly Character
    October 2012

    An Unruly Character

    While in prison awaiting trial, he converted to Catholicism, a dangerously countercultural thing to do in the England of 1598.
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  • One City, Three Faiths
    October 2012

    One City, Three Faiths

    Simon Sebag Montefiore’s latest book is an ambitious yet incomplete survey of Jerusalem’s history. It begins with the Exodus from Egypt and concludes with the reunification of the Holy City under Israeli rule in 1967.
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  • The Soldier's Soldier
    October 2012

    The Soldier's Soldier

    At 9:40 p.m. on Friday, October 23, 1942, the night sky on the Egyptian coast west of Alexandria was suddenly lit by three red flares, followed, a moment later, by the unearthly screech of 882 phosphorus-shell launchers and other heavy-artillery...
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  • Ace of Aces: Richard Bong
    October 2012

    Ace of Aces: Richard Bong

    He was an all-American boy who became an American hero in World War II.
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  • By Merit Raised
    September 2012

    By Merit Raised

    In his most recent book Charles Murray argues that over the course of more than five decades American society has undergone an evolution of social classes “different in kind and degree than [sic] anything the nation has ever known.”
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  • A Study in Courage
    September 2012

    A Study in Courage

    As with her previous biography, Susan Hertog is concerned with her subjects as icons of feminism, with their efforts to balance (or not balance) their careers with the traditional requirements of “piety, purity, submissiveness, and domesticity.”
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  • Boyhood and Single-Sex Education
    September 2012

    Boyhood and Single-Sex Education

    In Britain, the late 1940’s and early 50’s were probably the hardest years of the 20th century. For millions of people, the postwar decade was one of icy nights in gaslit rooms, interminable queues, and meals composed of whale fat and tinned...
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  • Free Will in History
    September 2012

    Free Will in History

    Since 1945, democracy’s reputation has climbed so high that, by the beginning of the 21st century, democracy itself had become nothing short of an idol throughout much of the world.
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  • Men Men Men Men Manly Men Men Men
    September 2012

    Men Men Men Men Manly Men Men Men

    Some insomniacs do endless sequences of sums in their heads, while more traditional conservatives rely on counting sheep—or sheep in elephants’ clothing. An instinctive Machiavellian even as a child, and dimly conscious of the reality of...
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  • Little Jimmy Rides Again
    August 2012

    Little Jimmy Rides Again

    Books that refer in their titles to “the making of America” should generally be avoided. The phrase is meaningless, except in the realm of nationalistic mysticism. “America” was not made—she grew.
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  • See the USA in Your Chevrolet in 1964
    August 2012

    See the USA in Your Chevrolet in 1964

    Pop pulled the sky-blue 1963 Chevy Impala out of the driveway in Wayne, Michigan.
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  • The Battle off Samar
    August 2012

    The Battle off Samar

    One would think that a battle called the most gallant in the history of the U.S. Navy would be prominently featured in our textbooks. Not only does the Battle off Samar in the Philippine Sea on October 25, 1944, go unmentioned in schoolbooks,...
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  • The Cassandra of Caroline County
    June 2012

    The Cassandra of Caroline County

    “A crocodile has been worshipped,” wrote John Taylor of Caroline, “and its priesthood have asserted, that morality required the people to suffer themselves to be eaten by the crocodile.”
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  • The Shot Heard Round the World
    June 2012

    The Shot Heard Round the World

    While nearly all my college students had heard of Lexington and Concord and the first battle of our Revolutionary War, only rarely did any of them know why the British were marching on the small Massachusetts towns.
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  • Man of Honor

    Man of Honor

    Ralph Walker Willis was a fireman, the author of five books, including My Life as a Jarhead (1999), and a contributor to Chronicles, but most of all he was a Marine.
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  • Eating Cake
    June 2012

    Eating Cake

    In the capital city of Palermo, where I live, cash transactions of less than 1,000 euros are illegal—or at least viewed with derision by the men who matter.
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  • Get Back
    May 2012

    Get Back

    For some time now, I’ve had it in mind to write a book called Everything You Know Is Wrong. Among other areas, it would visit various modern celebrities whose fame, it could be said, is more a function of lurid self-projection, and the...
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  • Against His Own Nature
    April 2012

    Against His Own Nature

    Formula 1 and sports car racing back in the 50’s and early 60’s, when drivers wore polo shirts and flimsy helmets, and before seat belts and other safety-related developments, is for a host of reasons a most appealing topic, but the more you...
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  • The Tuskegee Airmen
    April 2012

    The Tuskegee Airmen

    If you think political correctness is a recent phenomenon in America, then the longtime promulgation and perpetuation of distortions and falsehoods concerning the Tuskegee Airmen should disabuse you of such a notion.
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  • The Celebration of War
    April 2012

    The Celebration of War

    World War II surprised most Americans, who, in those days, paid less attention to the rest of the world than they do today. In our town, World War I was a dissolving memory, kept alive by the sale of paper poppies and the sight of a few...
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  • Sesquicentennial Sidelights
    April 2012

    Sesquicentennial Sidelights

    I have always thought that the Northern way is more in need of explanation and should receive more close attention. It was the North that conducted a vicious war of invasion and conquest against other Americans, a thing previously unthinkable,...
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  • History Today
    March 2012

    History Today

    God’s Crucible is a fluid 473-page panegyric of Islam and a visceral diatribe against the Christian West. Significantly, in the Index, one finds under al-Andalus the inevitable entry on “Christian fanaticism” but searches in vain...
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  • Fall of a Titan
    February 2012

    Fall of a Titan

    The current work exhibits the most famous paleoconservative’s trademark word-crafting verve, encyclopedic knowledge of history and politics, and emotional power.
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  • Khrushchev Remembers
    February 2012

    Khrushchev Remembers

    U.S. President Barack Obama has “Reset” Washington’s relationship with Moscow, seeking to ease Kremlin concerns about Eastern Europe missile defense in exchange for continued U.S. access to Afghanistan over Russian territory.
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  • Divine Wind
    February 2012

    Divine Wind

    Suicidal ground attacks had been a common Japanese tactic since Guadalcanal, but the first such aerial attacks were not employed until the Battle for Leyte Gulf in October 1944. By March 1945 kamikaze attacks had become a basic component of...
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  • Origins of the Balkan Wars
    January 2012

    Origins of the Balkan Wars

    The long-awaited new edition of Srdja Trifkovic’s work on the genocidal Ustaša—Croatian Revolutionary Movement is a pivotal contribution to modern Balkan studies, an area regrettably mired in deception, half-truths, and outright lies served up...
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  • Homing in on England
    January 2012

    Homing in on England

    Michael Wood begins with a quotation from Blake: “To Particularize is the Alone Distinction of Merit.” This line betokens his aim, which is to zero in on one small English place and use its specific saga to tell the wider tale of all England...
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  • Gabriel's Horn
    January 2012

    Gabriel's Horn

    Surely, no American city has endured such a history of disaster as Charleston, set beguilingly beside the Atlantic upon her fragile spit of earth between the Ashley and Cooper rivers.
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  • J. Edgar Who?
    January 2012

    J. Edgar Who?

    By the film’s conclusion, I was left wondering why Eastwood ignored so many more important moments in Hoover’s career.
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  • Rome and Jerusalem
    December 2011

    Rome and Jerusalem

    William Blake was quite mad, even madder than most Swedenborgians—and that is saying a good deal—but Christians less insane than Blake have dreamed of building a new Jerusalem where the unpromising specimens of humanity they had known all their...
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  • The Other America
    December 2011

    The Other America

    Violence, coarseness, crises of immigration, collapses of distinctions—these phenomena sound American and raise a question: If our country is so different from Britain, then how is it that we seem to have wound up in such a similarly precarious...
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  • Myth and Phobia
    December 2011

    Myth and Phobia

    Orlando Figes’ new book does much to shed light on a conflict long neglected by contemporary historians and is likely to become the preeminent work on the Crimean War.
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  • Pragmatic Destruction
    December 2011

    Pragmatic Destruction

    Greek writers, and writers coming after them for the next 2,000 years, attributed the short life and violent end of democratic governments to democracy’s infallible tendency toward demagoguery and the dispossession of the wealthy and educated by...
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  • Communities and Strangers
    December 2011

    Communities and Strangers

    According to many Christian theologians, Jesus, the moral Will of God, descended from a state of perfection to take on flesh and blood, with all the pain that goes with living and dying in time.
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  • Despair, Detachment, and the West
    December 2011

    Despair, Detachment, and the West

    Then as now, the pagan critic sees the fall of the great city (Rome, Constantinople, New York) and fingers Christian “universalism” as the agitating force that cracked the city walls.
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  • Bombing the West Coast
    December 2011

    Bombing the West Coast

    The Battle of Los Angeles was preceded by ten Japanese submarine attacks on American ships off the California coast and one attack on an oil field. The attacks left the coastal population apprehensive, if not unnerved.
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  • A Little Rebellion
    November 2011

    A Little Rebellion

    Scandalously, Thomas Jefferson once wrote to James Madison, “I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and is as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.”
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  • Partisan Revisionism
    November 2011

    Partisan Revisionism

    Richard Miles presents a new history of Carthage, which aims to show the land of Dido and Hannibal in a new light and rehabilitate the Punic state from what the author considers neglect and prejudice on the part of later historians.
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  • The Miracle Program
    November 2011

    The Miracle Program

    Who today has heard of the Bridgewater Treatises? In 1829, the earl of Bridgewater left a will devoting funds to support the publication of essays “On the Power, Wisdom and Goodness of God as manifested in the Creation.”
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  • The Tyranny of Democracy
    November 2011

    The Tyranny of Democracy

    Winston Churchill’s backhanded praise of democracy as “the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried” is usually cited as the last word on the subject.
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  • A Sentimental Education
    October 2011

    A Sentimental Education

    Many Americans probably think that the Pledge of Allegiance dates to the time of the American Revolution, but it was written more than a century later, in 1892.
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  • Medieval Modernism
    October 2011

    Medieval Modernism

    Unlike certain 19th-century poets of difficult character or seemingly foredoomed, whom Paul Verlaine called maudits (accursed)—Rimbaud, Gérard de Nerval, Corbière, Verlaine himself—Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918) was a pleasant,...
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  • Conan Doyle
    October 2011

    Conan Doyle

    On the evening of September 7, 1919, 60-year-old Arthur Conan Doyle sat down in a darkened room in Portsmouth, England, to speak with his son Kingsley, who had died in the Spanish-influenza epidemic ten months earlier.
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  • Unreal Bodies, Unholy Blood
    October 2011

    Unreal Bodies, Unholy Blood

    The vampire, possibly the most enduring mythic figure of the modern age, emerged out of the shadows of the Enlightenment. . .The emergence of the Romantic vampire cannot be adequately understood without reference to The Vampyre (1819), a novella...
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  • Maltese Delights
    October 2011

    Maltese Delights

    Those who were struck by the graceful prose and clear thinking of Judge Giovanni Bonello’s decision in the case of the Italian crucifix (see “Keeping History,” Cultural Revolutions, July) should be interested to learn that he has for some...
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  • Remember the (Unrevised) Alamo!
    September 2011

    Remember the (Unrevised) Alamo!

    The heart of the attack on the Alamo is the allegation that Davy Crockett and several other defenders surrendered and were executed, rather than fight to the death.
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  • Mrs. Pyle and the Japs
    September 2011

    Mrs. Pyle and the Japs

    The Pyles lived on the corner of Bahia Vista and Pomelo. Even on the sunniest day, you could barely see their one-story house, crouched in the dark shadows of three sprawling oaks hung with Spanish moss.
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  • Home Rule
    August 2011

    Home Rule

    The city-state is the seedbed of civilization, but the concept seems alien to the American tradition. Nonetheless, our cities did once possess, at least before the Revolution, many of the same rights enjoyed by English and European burgs.
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  • Anglo-Saxon Reality
    August 2011

    Anglo-Saxon Reality

    Some poems in Celtic languages are older, but the earliest sizable body of vernacular literature in Europe is the Old English, dating, by liberal estimation, from the seventh century to the twelfth.
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  • Society Before Government: Calhoun's Wisdom
    July 2011

    Society Before Government: Calhoun's Wisdom

    John C. Calhoun was the last great American statesman. A statesman must be something of a prophet—one who has an historical perspective and says what he believes to be true and in the best long-range interest of the people, whether it is...
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  • The Rebirth of States' Rights
    July 2011

    The Rebirth of States' Rights

    One of the most important of John Randolph’s ideas, and the one that resonates most today, is the cause of states’ rights.
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  • At the Moral Front
    July 2011

    At the Moral Front

    What sets Moral Combat from other apart World War II works is Michael Burleigh’s examination of the moral aspects of the war and the choices made throughout by the participants.
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  • One Civilian Casualty
    July 2011

    One Civilian Casualty

    In 1942, I had never met my Aunt Ann or my four first cousins. They’d moved in the 30’s from Jacksonville to Los Angeles, where Uncle Stuart worked for Walt Disney. Among other things, he provided the voice for the hunter in Snow White and the...
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  • Home for Political Animals

    Home for Political Animals

    Most people know that polis is the Greek word for city. To be more accurate, it is a many-layered word that we conveniently translate with the simple English word city, which comes (by way of French) from the Latin civitas.
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  • Experiencing the Horse
    July 2011

    Experiencing the Horse

    Yale bills The Future of History as a reflection on the historical profession and the writing and teaching of history, and there is much here to justify this marketing approach.
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  • A Need for Stewardship
    June 2011

    A Need for Stewardship

    Sissinghurst, in the Kentish part of the Weald, is the estate that prose author and poet Vita Sackville-West bought in 1930 after it became clear she would not inherit the lease on Knole, her family property.
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  • The King James Bible at 400: Love's Labor's Lost
    June 2011

    The King James Bible at 400: Love's Labor's Lost

    I was in seventh grade, and we were downstate for the annual Bible Bowl. Our little fundamentalist school fielded a team every year. We were the most conservative of fundamentalists, which mean that we were King James Only (affectionately KJVO).
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  • The Lost Secret of Kells
    May 2011

    The Lost Secret of Kells

    Watching the 2009 Irish/French/Belgian film The Secret of Kells, I was genuinely surprised by the very powerful statement it made about the role of religion in history—or rather, the total absence of such a role.
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  • The Exceeding Asp
    April 2011

    The Exceeding Asp

    Cleopatra is a provocative topic—it was ever thus. And somehow Cleo rings a bell these days, for we live in bizarre times.
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  • The American "Civil War" and the Tower of Babel
    April 2011

    The American "Civil War" and the Tower of Babel

    The whole truth about Lincoln’s war to prevent 11 American states from forming a federation of their own cannot be understood unless it is seen as an extension of a brutal process of centralization that had been going on in Europe since the 13th...
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  • What Dr. Mudd Saw
    April 2011

    What Dr. Mudd Saw

    Though Dr. Samuel Mudd would later declare he had not recognized the fugitive in the false whiskers at his door that Holy Saturday morning, he was, in fact, acquainted with him, having been introduced to Booth in November 1864.
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  • Soothe the Savage Soul
    April 2011

    Soothe the Savage Soul

    The Autobiography of Mark Twain, recently released, contains a reminiscence, dictated by the author, of a mass public meeting on the night of January 22, 1906, held as a fundraiser on behalf of Booker T. Washington’s Tuskegee Institute on the...
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  • Paris Personified
    April 2011

    Paris Personified

    In an established literary conceit, houses become people, and people become houses: Roderick Usher and the House of Usher, Quasimodo and Notre Dame. Similarly, people become their cities, and cities their people.
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  • Bury Me With My People
    April 2011

    Bury Me With My People

    But those days are long gone. Today, if your ancestors include a Confederate veteran, April really is the cruelest month—a time to be pilloried nationally in the ongoing unpleasantness over the Late Unpleasantness.
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  • The Algebra of Equality

    The Algebra of Equality

    When Abraham Lincoln tried to explain the issue between North and South, he said it was a test of the conception on which America had been founded, “a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created...
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  • Growing Up Too Fast
    March 2011

    Growing Up Too Fast

    She had noticed a strange, indefinable malaise among many of the actors and actresses we met. Although fortunate by the standards of the Czech working man, they lacked what she called a “moral center.”
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  • Another Brown Scare
    March 2011

    Another Brown Scare

    In the run-up to World War II, when FDR was locked in a political struggle with his conservative Republican opponents, Roosevelt’s “brain trust” came up with a scheme to win the war of ideas and get rid of the President’s bothersome critics. ...
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  • The Elusive Conflict
    March 2011

    The Elusive Conflict

    Of the making of Civil War books there shall be no end. There are so many, most of which cover the same bloody ground in much the same slogging way, without any new insight or contribution.
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  • Jumpin' Jim Gavin
    March 2011

    Jumpin' Jim Gavin

    Like most kids I loved reading about Americans who rose from nothing to greatness. When I got to college and encountered my first left-wing history professor, I learned that Horatio Alger characters were pure myth—except I had already read and...
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  • European Union
    February 2011

    European Union

    Sometimes short books on great musicians markedly surpass longer ones. Aspects of Wagner, by British philosopher and ex-parliamentarian Bryan Magee, provides a much better guide in its 112 pages to the Master of Bayreuth than do most...
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  • Forgetting a Villian
    February 2011

    Forgetting a Villian

    Imagine it is the year 2030, and you are talking to some young adults. To your horror, you find that they have never heard the name Osama bin Laden.
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  • Gelded Europeans
    February 2011

    Gelded Europeans

    Those who have the duty of teaching in the church and in civil society must always offer the genuine reasons for human conduct and use the rhetorical and odious comparison very sparingly.
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  • The Fighting Marine: Gene Tunney
    January 2011

    The Fighting Marine: Gene Tunney

    Though he beat Jack Demp­sey decisively the two times they met in the ring, was undefeated as a heavyweight, and retired as heavyweight champion, Gene Tunney is often forgotten when today’s era of fight fans or others discuss the greatest...
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  • Europe's Dark Roots
    January 2011

    Europe's Dark Roots

    The further we remove ourselves from a knowledge of Western and specifically European civilization, the more the Hitler era appears as a simplistic morality tale, almost as an invasion of otherworldly evil into a peaceful Christian continent.
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  • World of War
    December 2010

    World of War

    With the two brief exceptions of Baghdad and Spain over a millennium ago, the history of Islam has been that of a long decline without a fall. What started as a violent creed of invaders from the desert soon ran out of steam, but the collective...
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  • Dan Daly
    November 2010

    Dan Daly

    A friend recently sent me an e-mail with a link to YouTube. A click took me to a tribute to Col. Bob Howard, broadcast by NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams upon Howard’s death just before Christmas 2009.
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  • Goodbye to Gold and Glory
    October 2010

    Goodbye to Gold and Glory

    “The Father of Waters now flows unvexed to the sea,” Lincoln famously announced in July 1863. He was, according to a reporter, uncharacteristically “wearing a smile of supreme satisfaction” as he related the news of the surrender of Vicksburg.
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  • On the Sullivan Translation of David
    October 2010

    On the Sullivan Translation of David

    The Sumerian epic Gilgamesh predates King David by 2,000 years, so we know that poetry was an ancient art in the time of the king. But David is the first poet in human history whom we know by name, and we regard him as the father of lyric...
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  • Children of the Revolution
    October 2010

    Children of the Revolution

    We are all children of the Revolution. Wherever we look, in the office or at church, whatever professions we examine or traditions we cherish, we are hard pressed to discover a single significant aspect of human experience that has not been...
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  • A Grand Missed Steak
    October 2010

    A Grand Missed Steak

    Professor Stauber is not the first man I ever heard of who has suggested that the American Revolution was a mistake. Sigmund Freud thought that America herself was a mistake and made no distinction about the Revolution, but then he was a...
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  • A Legend for Our Time
    September 2010

    A Legend for Our Time

    In the spring of 88 b.c., dozens of cities across Asia Minor united in a secret plot to kill all the Romans and Italic peoples—man, woman, and child—in their territories. How the plot was kept secret remains unknown, but the massacre was carried...
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  • The Man Who Won the Revolution
    September 2010

    The Man Who Won the Revolution

    Every history textbook has a paragraph or more devoted to Crispus Attucks, who, besides being half black and half Indian and one of those killed in the Boston Massacre, was of little historical significance. Nearly everything else said about him...
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  • An Unfinished Story
    September 2010

    An Unfinished Story

    Srdja Trifkovic is no stranger to Chronicles readers, many of whom have found his articles commenting on foreign affairs, with particular attention to the Balkans, to be insightful, penetrating, and written with authority. His latest...
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  • Sustained Magnificence
    September 2010

    Sustained Magnificence

    Sixty-five years after the last guns ceased firing on the last Pacific atoll, Britons of all political persuasions are still wallowing in tepid World War II nostalgia.
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  • Atomic Anniversary
    August 2010

    Atomic Anniversary

    Sixty-five years ago, on August 6, the United States dropped the first offensive nuclear weapon in history. This bomb, code-named “Little Boy,” killed around 140,000 people in Hiroshima, Japan.
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  • The Path to Modernity
    August 2010

    The Path to Modernity

    The Hobbesian mayhem that struck Europe in the first half of the 17th century was not an event, or a series of events, befitting the designation of a war. The plural form, as in the Napoleonic Wars, would be more apt.
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  • Chorus Lines
    July 2012

    Chorus Lines

    The catastrophic burst of the housing bubble in the fall of 2008 shook the foundations of the world economy and instilled a fear of a new depression. Morris Dickstein notes with irony that he completed his cultural history of the Great...
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  • The Logic of the Map
    July 2010

    The Logic of the Map

    Soon after his election in 1844, James K. Polk sat down with the historian George Bancroft and, before offering him the Cabinet post of secretary of the Navy, sketched the four objectives of his presidency.
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  • You Say Ásátru, I Say Shoresh
    June 2010

    You Say Ásátru, I Say Shoresh

    In these days of political correctness and multiculturalism, the surprising thing is that there was so little controversy when the board of School District 205 awarded a $40,000 contract to revisionist historian Michael Hoffman.
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  • <i>Deo Vindice</i>

    Deo Vindice

    No sooner did Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell issue his proclamation declaring April Confederate History Month than the ideological canister fire began.
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  • Unknown Soldiers
    May 2010

    Unknown Soldiers

    Thomas Carlyle wrote that “History is the essence of innumerable Biographies.” While that description does not cover all the duties of historianship, it is true in an important sense.
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  • Soulcraft as Leechcraft
    May 2010

    Soulcraft as Leechcraft

    The photographs on the jacket of Our Times provide a pointed reminder that the British past is not just another country but another continent.
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  • Parallel Lives
    May 2010

    Parallel Lives

    Nicholas Thompson, the grandson of Paul Nitze, chose to write a biography of his grandfather, but with a restriction. Thompson thought it best to describe and compare his grandfather’s public career together with that of another public...
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  • Healthcare Reformer
    May 2010

    Healthcare Reformer

    The empire was beset by foreign invaders and war in the Middle East. Far-flung wars meant more taxes for the provinces and an increase in poverty. Some men had to choose between feeding their families and paying for medical care. Some couldn’t...
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  • Lucky Lindy
    May 2010

    Lucky Lindy

    Nearly everyone knows that in 1927 Charles Lindbergh made the first nonstop solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean, lifting off from a field on Long Island and touching down in Paris 33 hours and 3,600 miles later.
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  • A Man of One Idea
    April 2010

    A Man of One Idea

    The Chief Culprit incorporates by reference, as a lawyer might say, the main argument of Icebreaker, putting it into the broader context of Soviet history. On Soviet history Suvorov is good, though it is not his forte, which is...
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  • Dark Age to Dark Age
    April 2010

    Dark Age to Dark Age

    The decline and fall of the Roman Empire began to haunt the West’s imagination many centuries before Gibbon’s masterpiece immortalized the phrase.
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  • One For the Road
    March 2010

    One For the Road

    In the summer of 1956, a junior transport minister activated a green traffic light in the middle of a field in Lancashire. That was the signal for a bulldozer to flatten a hedge and start shifting soil.
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  • Dead Sea Drama
    March 2010

    Dead Sea Drama

    Ever since Marshall McLuhan’s famous review of Northrop Frye’s Fearful Symmetry and Parker Tyler’s Magic and Myth of the Movies in 1947, Western intellectuals have felt obliged to mix traditional scholarship with themes from popular...
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  • A Sum of Contradictions
    March 2010

    A Sum of Contradictions

    In American Creation Joseph Ellis, a prominent scholar of the American Revolution known for his embrace of the Sally Hemings myth, shows how serendipitously the American founding actually unfolded, hardly in accordance with the godlike...
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  • The Great American Outlaw
    February 2010

    The Great American Outlaw

    When Public Enemies was making the rounds in theaters across America last summer, doing nearly $100 million of business domestically, I was reminded that we Americans love our outlaws—not our criminals, mind you, but our outlaws. It is a...
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  • On Dueling, Divorce, and Red Indians
    February 2010

    On Dueling, Divorce, and Red Indians

    In February 1861, Joseph Sadoc Alemany, the first Roman Catholic bishop of the state of California, wrote an urgent pastoral letter to his flock.
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  • Print the Legend
    February 2010

    Print the Legend

    By the standards of civilized life, both sides were guilty of cold-blooded murder, but, if we look at it from the killers' perspectives, they all had reasons that amounted to justification according to the Code of the West.
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  • Three Cities, Three Empires
    February 2010

    Three Cities, Three Empires

    Stendahl begins his peculiar autobiography, The Life of Henry Brulard, with his alter ego standing at the summit of the Janiculum Hill, surveying the city of Rome, west to east.
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  • Going Through the Motions
    December 2009

    Going Through the Motions

    I did not expect to like the Basilica of Sacré Coeur, which is why I had never bothered to go up to Montmartre. The basilica was commissioned by Catholics who had survived the Paris Commune of 1870-71, when churches were destroyed and the...
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  • The Mass Age Medium and Future Shlock: Making Sense of the 60's
    January 2010

    The Mass Age Medium and Future Shlock: Making Sense of the 60's

    The 60’s were a mess from which we have never recovered, and I doubt we ever will.
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  • When the Going Gets Tough. . .
    January 2010

    When the Going Gets Tough. . .

    Hesiod’s works are masterpieces of history. History, remember, is not what happened in the past, but neither is it the nit-picking exercise of dissertation writers stringing footnotes together in an exercise of what Clyde Wilson calls “honest...
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  • Pancho Villa
    January 2010

    Pancho Villa

    There are hundreds of Mexican restaurants in the United States named for the revolutionary Pancho Villa. Photos of the Durango native line the walls, and his raid on the small American hamlet of Columbus, New Mexico, is celebrated. Nowhere is...
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  • Nestorius of Constaninople
    January 2010

    Nestorius of Constaninople

    At a time when many historians have become much more interested in long-term trends and processes, Giusto Traina reminds the reader of the centrality of events to the study of any historical period.
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  • Waiting for Charles the Second
    December 2009

    Waiting for Charles the Second

    “A state cannot be constituted from any chance body of persons, or in any chance period of time,” wrote Aristotle. “Most of the states which have admitted persons of another stock, either at the time of their foundation or later, have been...
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  • Race and Racism: A Brief History
    November 2009

    Race and Racism: A Brief History

    Today, many Americans presume that the debate over slavery in the 18th and 19th centuries turned on the question of race. Though race was an ingredient in the Great Debate, it was no more than a pinch of salt.
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  • A Transformational President
    November 2009

    A Transformational President

    Jon Meacham, editor of Newsweek, portrays Andrew Jackson as one of America’s transformational presidents, including him in the company of Lincoln and the two Roosevelts.
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  • Remembering Who We Were
    October 2009

    Remembering Who We Were

    Greece, like other E.U. countries, is being flooded by immigrants. In Greece, though Albanians continue to cause a great deal of mischief, a greater danger is presented by Muslims from North Africa and the Middle East.
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  • History and Nature
    September 2009

    History and Nature

    Thanks for your response. I enjoyed it immensely, and I believe you will understand that this is debate as it should be, not the invective that often substitutes for intellectual vibrancy these sad days.
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  • A Living Past
    July 2009

    A Living Past

    It is a small town in Bavaria, and it is at least 32 degrees C. The camera weighs heavy in my hands, and I can feel speckles of sweat accumulating beneath my black rucksack, as it soaks up the sun like a square and sinister sponge.
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  • Hiroshima and Nagasaki
    July 2009

    Hiroshima and Nagasaki

    I recently saw a video clip of a television talk-show host calling President Truman a war criminal for authorizing the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I have heard others make similar comments.
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  • Of Queens, Democrats, and History
    July 2009

    Of Queens, Democrats, and History

    Here are three very excellent books, two on the subject of America, the third substantially so. One of the three authors is an Englishman who has spent many years in the United States, another an American who has lived long in England.
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  • Revision in Deadpan
    July 2009

    Revision in Deadpan

    Charles Glass, who lives in London, is an old friend of mine. He is, moreover, a member of White’s; a witty conversationalist; an American with impeccable manners; immaculate, if slightly Brooks Brothers conservative, in his dress; and almost...
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  • You Should Have Been Here Yesteryear
    June 2009

    You Should Have Been Here Yesteryear

    California was imagined and named before it was discovered. In 1510 in Seville there appeared a novel that would have Fabio on the cover today. Written by Garcia Ordóñez de Montalvo, Las sergas de Esplandián is a romance of chivalry that...
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  • Just One More Thing

    Just One More Thing

    Alexander Hamilton said debt is a blessing: It oils the wheels of business and enhances national power. Jefferson said debt is a curse: It binds future generations without their consent, striking at the very heart of the Republic—the consent of...
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  • The Moral Temper
    May 2009

    The Moral Temper

    Fr. James Pereiro’s new history of the Victorian Church examines a much-neglected element of the Oxford Movement’s central tenets. Ethos, he contends, was the key component in the development of a complex theory of knowledge that...
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  • The Puzzle of France
    May 2009

    The Puzzle of France

    Robert Gildea, professor of modern history at Oxford, is the author of some half-dozen volumes dealing with France after 1800 or, in one case, Europe as a whole. Most are broad studies or learned surveys (the terms are not intended as...
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  • The Way of the World
    April 2009

    The Way of the World

    In his essay on “self-reliance,” Emerson wrote that “travelling is a fool’s paradise.” He was referring to those who travel to escape the boredom or sadness of their lives, and who hope to return home somehow transformed.
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  • Dead Romans and Live Americans
    April 2009

    Dead Romans and Live Americans

    Libero Ingresso” says the little sign on the doors of an Italian shop. English speakers who know enough Italian to translate the words, Free Entrance, sometimes wonder if there was a time when Italian shopkeepers charged customers an...
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  • St. Elmo’s Pay
    April 2009

    St. Elmo’s Pay

    When news of Lepanto arrived in Rome, the Pope exclaimed, “Now Lord, you can take your servant, for my eyes have seen your salvation.” The battle’s outcome gratified the pontiff, but it may not have surprised him.
    Read more
  • Epic But Forgotten: Peleliu
    March 2009

    Epic But Forgotten: Peleliu

    Few Americans today know of Peleliu, a speck of an island in the southwest Pacific. A part of the Palau group of the Caroline Islands, Peleliu is only six miles long and two miles wide.
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  • Il Whig in Italia
    March 2009

    Il Whig in Italia

    Some years ago I was interviewed by a reporter for Corriere della Sera, Italy’s most prestigious newspaper. He had heard that I was a follower of Umberto Bossi, leader of the secessionist Lega Nord, and he wanted to know what plans I had...
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  • Diplomacy Before the Fall
    March 2009

    Diplomacy Before the Fall

    The first two sentences of this fine book tell it all. “This is a text for our times. It is a celebration of diplomacy and diplomats—of an essentially extinct profession.” I shall return to this summa summa rum; but first, here is my...
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  • The North Worth Saving
    February 2009

    The North Worth Saving

    “Defeat in detail” is a military concept that denotes the rout of an enemy by dividing and destroying segments of his forces one by one, instead of engaging his entire strength. A brilliant example was Stonewall Jackson’s 1862 Shenandoah Valley...
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  • Lincoln and God
    February 2009

    Lincoln and God

    Before the first shots were fired in the U.S. Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln had begun to style himself as an instrument of the Lord.
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  • Rendering Unto Lincoln
    February 2009

    Rendering Unto Lincoln

    “Now he belongs to the ages,” Edwin Stanton is supposed to have said, when he learned of President Lincoln’s death. In a trivial sense at least, Stanton was obviously correct.
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  • The Treasury of Counterfeit Virtue
    February 2009

    The Treasury of Counterfeit Virtue

    A few years ago, a well-known conservative historian lamented that the American public was not morally engaged to undergo sacrifice after the September 11 attacks, unlike it was in its heroic response to Fort Sumter and Pearl Harbor. Wait a...
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  • What Really Happened on Hotrocks
    January 2009

    What Really Happened on Hotrocks

    Little did I know that when I entered junior high I would be confronting red-diaper babies. These kids were intellectually sophisticated and well educated. They told me many things that were contrary to my instincts. Having little knowledge of...
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  • Tales From the Dark Side
    January 2009

    Tales From the Dark Side

    Raimondo’s book focuses on the men and women who opposed both the New Deal and America’s entry into World War II, while Lowndes charts how former Dixiecrats were assiduously courted by an earlier incarnation of National Review and helped Barry...
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  • Cosmopolitan Nation
    January 2009

    Cosmopolitan Nation

    The search for and, when it cannot be found, the construction of a usable past remains the overriding task of our official historians, who believe that we are forever on the cusp of a new age.
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  • Caesar on His Own
    January 2009

    Caesar on His Own

    “The Republic is nothing, a mere name without form or substance,” Julius Caesar allegedly stated. The sentiment, certainly, was validated by the end of Caesar’s life, which marked the transition from an imperial republic to an empire eclipsing...
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  • How to Win the War Against Christmas
    December 2008

    How to Win the War Against Christmas

    In the seven years since my first essay on the War Against Christmas appeared in Chronicles, I have had no trouble writing at least one such essay per year, because each year brings new and outrageous attempts to suppress the public...
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  • The Monkey Chronicles
    December 2008

    The Monkey Chronicles

    I want to make something very, very clear. This column’s review of the autobiography of Cheeta, Tarzan’s chimpanzee, has absolutely nothing to do with the man who just got elected to the White House last month.
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  • So Far From God
    December 2008

    So Far From God

    The poor United States of America: so far from God, so close to Mexico.
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  • The Burden of History
    November 2008

    The Burden of History

    Peter Green is one of the rarest birds in the academic chicken coop, a popular historian who combines careful scholarship and original opinions into a coherent account that respects its sources and yet attempts to go beyond them.
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  • Fastest Jewish Gun in the West
    October 2008

    Fastest Jewish Gun in the West

    Frank Gallop’s 1966 spoof recording, “The Ballad of Irving,” left most people laughing heartily. What nearly no one knew then and few know now is that there was a real Jewish gunfighter in the Old West, and he ranked considerably higher than the...
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  • Russian Patriot: Solzhenitsyn’s Preoccupation With History
    October 2008

    Russian Patriot: Solzhenitsyn’s Preoccupation With History

    Chronicles has asked me “to participate in a roundtable on the contributions and legacy of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.” His contributions were of enormous importance. His legacy, perhaps less so.
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  • G.K. Chesterton, Peacemaker
    October 2008

    G.K. Chesterton, Peacemaker

    G.K. Chesterton’s writings are as prescient today as they were over three quarters of a century ago. When he wrote most of the essays in this anthology during the early 20th century, he was either warning Great Britain about the impending...
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  • David Hume: Historian
    September 2008

    David Hume: Historian

    Intellectual historians commonly group Voltaire, Edward Gibbon, William Robertson, and David Hume as the four greatest 18th-century historians. If limited to only one of these authors, we would do well to begin with Hume.
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  • The Dean of Western Historians
    September 2008

    The Dean of Western Historians

    It is usually difficult to choose only one author who is essential to the study of a particular subject. When it comes to the history of the frontier West, however, the choice is easy. Ray Allen Billington stands alone above all.
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  • George Garrett: 1929-2008
    September 2008

    George Garrett: 1929-2008

    A few years ago, an editor at The Oxford American telephoned to request that I write a piece for that journal about the Calder Willingham-Fred Chappell feud.
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  • Chinese Monkeys on Our Backs
    September 2008

    Chinese Monkeys on Our Backs

    An eminent British statesman once confessed to Horace Walpole that he had learned all he knew of the Wars of the Roses from reading Shakespeare’s histories. I do not recall who the statesman was, and I am only guessing that Walpole is the source...
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  • Witness to the Truth: Through Every Human Heart
    September 2008

    Witness to the Truth: Through Every Human Heart

    Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn lived, against all odds, because he was chosen by God to share his people’s Calvary, to stand as its witness, and to provide a rare source of light in the cultural and moral darkness of the past half-century.
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  • Studies of Character
    September 2008

    Studies of Character

    “Teach him he must deny himself,” said Lee. That was the general’s advice to a young mother who brought her infant to him after the War Between the States to receive his blessing.
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  • Old Dominion, R.I.P.
    September 2008

    Old Dominion, R.I.P.

    In the last 38 years, Virginia has evolved from being the “Mother of Presidents” to the “Mother of Foreigners.” That is the upshot of the latest hodgepodge of data from the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center.
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  • Beginning With History
    September 2008

    Beginning With History

    Any fool can write history, and many do. Please do not assume that I mean by this statement to vaunt the “expert” and slight the amateur.
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  • Evolving the Sensitive Soldier
    September 2008

    Evolving the Sensitive Soldier

    World War II cast an enormous cultural shadow over American life. It provided a backdrop for novels, television shows, and—especially—movies.
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  • Send in the Clowns
    September 2008

    Send in the Clowns

    Karagiozis is a mythical Greek character created sometime during the Ottoman occupation (1455-1827). He manages to outwit the Turk at every turn by being funny, dishonest at times, and a very quick thinker.
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  • Alfred Hitchcock’s Empty Suit
    August 2008

    Alfred Hitchcock’s Empty Suit

    In 1939, a short, fat Englishman named Alfred Hitchcock arrived in Hollywood at the invitation of David Selznick. Impressed by Hitchcock’s work in British film, Selznick thought he would be perfect to direct Rebecca, starring Laurence...
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  • Yankee, Go Home
    August 2008

    Yankee, Go Home

    Sixty years ago an incident lodged in my memory forever as it seems, as I walked with the beautiful redheaded young lady who paused to ask me a question. There above an old outbuilding—I hesitate to call it a barn—there was a weathervane...
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  • Lost in the 50’s
    August 2008

    Lost in the 50’s

    It was about 1965, in Jimmy Dengate’s “club” in Charleston, when I got my first clue to what the 50’s had been all about. I met an unusual sportswriter. Let us call him Jack, if only because it was his real name.
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  • No More Girls in Bikinis
    August 2008

    No More Girls in Bikinis

    It might seem politically incorrect to say this, but the Berlin Olympics were the best ever staged, the last time white American and European men and women competed on an equal level with blacks, despite the great feat of Jesse Owens in winning...
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  • Rockin’ in the 50’s
    August 2008

    Rockin’ in the 50’s

    When the mode of music changes, Plato remarked, the walls of the city shake. When the mode of music changed back in the 1950’s, the denizens of Plato’s Pad and their peers saw more fingers than walls shaking: The music they were listening to,...
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  • The Necessary Century
    August 2008

    The Necessary Century

    Admirers of Winston Churchill, and at least one prominent reviewer of this book, insist that World War II indeed was a necessary war waged to defeat a great evil even at the expense of collaboration with an evil of equal magnitude.
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  • The Perfect Republic
    August 2008

    The Perfect Republic

    Augustin Cochin (1876-1916), a French historian little known today, sought to provide a comprehensive understanding of the dynamics of the French Revolution with an eye to discovering the reasons for the terror and butchery that arose in its course.
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  • What Civilization Remains
    July 2008

    What Civilization Remains

    We once had a book about Eastern Europe at home, in between the encyclopedias and Robinson Crusoe. I do not remember its title nor the author’s name, but it contained highly atmospheric black and white photographs of Rumanian scenes.
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  • States of Autarky
    June 2008

    States of Autarky

    A great many economists and politicians contend that the absence of trade inevitably leads to armed conflict. Thus, in the interests of national security, they insist on virtually unlimited trade and castigate those who favor its restriction as...
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  • Lieutenant Ramsey’s War
    June 2008

    Lieutenant Ramsey’s War

    Ed Ramsey never aspired to be a hero. He was only 12 years old when his father committed suicide. He was a natural-born hell-raiser; bootleg whiskey and fighting were his passions. His mother thought the Oklahoma Military Academy might salvage...
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  • Beastie Boys
    May 2008

    Beastie Boys

    After the recent shootings on the campus of Northern Illinois University, network-news programs were filled with helpful proposals for dealing with the growing problem of school violence.
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  • City of Light, Summer of Hate
    May 2008

    City of Light, Summer of Hate

    It was the merry month of May, 40 years ago. I had been living in Paris for a decade, had just moved into a beautiful farmhouse ten miles west of the city, had recently become a bachelor again at age 31, and had given up competitive tennis for...
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  • Smokers in the Arsenal
    May 2008

    Smokers in the Arsenal

    Several years after he was forced into retirement, Otto von Bismarck was asked what could start the next major war. “Europe today is a powder keg,” he replied, “and the leaders are like men smoking in an arsenal . . . I cannot tell you when that...
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  • <i>Federales</i>, Gringo Style
    May 2008

    Federales, Gringo Style

    For most of American history, federal law enforcement consisted only of U.S. marshals serving in the territories of the West. Their legacy is decidedly mixed. Many were appointed purely for their political connections, and graft and corruption...
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  • Payback for Pearl Harbor
    April 2008

    Payback for Pearl Harbor

    I was recently visiting with an old Marine Corps buddy, Ralph Willis, at his home on California’s central coast. At 86, he is one of the fortunate few who are still alive to describe their experiences fighting the Japanese in the Pacific during...
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  • Little Aristocracies of Our Own
    April 2008

    Little Aristocracies of Our Own

    "How beastly the bourgeois is,/ Especially the male of the species." D.H. Lawrence’s lines are still quoted, though most often by writers who know nothing else of his poetry.
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  • Lincoln, Diplomacy, and War
    April 2008

    Lincoln, Diplomacy, and War

    In the tumultuous six months between his election in November 1860 and the outbreak of the Civil War in April 1861, Abraham Lincoln rejected all diplomatic efforts to resolve the deepening crisis peacefully.
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  • The Curious Career of Billy the Kid
    February 2008

    The Curious Career of Billy the Kid

    For most of the 19th century, the American West was a fairly tranquil place. The myths of Hollywood and the wishful thinking of certain revisionist historians notwithstanding, throughout the region, for every gunfighter there were a hundred...
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  • He Got Them First
    February 2008

    He Got Them First

    Joe McCarthy, a Catholic poor-boy-made-good from Middle America, a guy most Americans instinctively rooted for, called out our progressives on their ordering of the world in favor of what, by 1950 or so, was clearly the Other Side.
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  • A Spy Thriller to the Wise
    February 2008

    A Spy Thriller to the Wise

    It is almost inevitable that a reader of my interests and disposition should slightly miss the point of this book, described in a Daily Express blurb as “a good spy thriller,” and that is precisely what I propose to do.
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  • What Is Wrong With Ideology?
    January 2008

    What Is Wrong With Ideology?

    Ideology is an intellectual pathology that has gripped the West for about three centuries. At times, we have been told that ideology is at an end.
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  • Two American Lives
    January 2008

    Two American Lives

    The Gilded Age still exerts a strange pull on the American imagination. It was a time of larger-than-life people and larger-than-life business entities.
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  • With Malice Toward Many: Washington, Lincoln, and God
    December 2007

    With Malice Toward Many: Washington, Lincoln, and God

    Most Americans in the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries believed in the public expression of religious sentiments as surely as they believed in publicly proclaiming their patriotism. Such expression was not merely their right; it was their duty.
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  • Epicene Europa
    December 2007

    Epicene Europa

    “Nothing,” goes the Johnsonian cliché, “concentrates a man’s mind more wonderfully than the prospect of being hanged.”
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  • The Fighting Irish
    December 2007

    The Fighting Irish

    Before a new documentary series on World War II by Ken Burns even aired on PBS, there was controversy. Mexican-American organizations complained that there was no episode that focused solely on their people.
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  • The Skin of Their Teeth
    December 2007

    The Skin of Their Teeth

    John Ferling, professor emeritus from the University of West Georgia and author of several other books on politics and political figures in the Revolutionary and New Nation eras, has produced a work of mature scholarship that reflects a lifetime...
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  • The Strange Case of the Missing Constitution
    December 2007

    The Strange Case of the Missing Constitution

    Some acute scholar of future times, should there ever be such, will perhaps ponder over the very strange career of the United States Constitution—how it came, without changing a word, to be understood almost universally to mean things it did not...
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  • An Image of the East
    November 2007

    An Image of the East

    It is a cliché among Byzantinists that too few people in the world, especially in the West, know anything about Byzantium, so there is no doubt that more works of “popular synthesis” that make this Christian successor to the Roman Empire in the...
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  • A Democrat of the Head
    November 2007

    A Democrat of the Head

    Hugh Brogan has lived a long time—since the late 50’s, when he was reading history at St. John’s College, Cambridge—with the subject of this biography. Across the decades, though his affection for Alexis de Tocqueville has not lessened, his...
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  • “Make Me Do Right or Make Me Do Wrong, I’m Your Puppet”
    October 2007

    “Make Me Do Right or Make Me Do Wrong, I’m Your Puppet”

    Nicholas Chiaroscuro is one of the most important men in American politics. Not that he is a politician. Mr. Chiaroscuro does not aspire to the lofty position of political puppets whose only qualifications are an insipid face, a case of hair...
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  • Submarine Ace of Aces
    October 2007

    Submarine Ace of Aces

    Now that the youngest of our World War II veterans, with but a few exceptions, are in their 80’s, I fear that, as they die, memory of them will die also.
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  • The Bombast and Glory of William Jennings Bryan
    October 2007

    The Bombast and Glory of William Jennings Bryan

    For three decades, William Jennings Bryan streaked across the sky of American politics, his brightness never fading despite countless failures. Renowned for his zealous Christian faith, he appropriately expired immediately after his final and...
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  • Promises, Promises
    September 2007

    Promises, Promises

    The world of pulp and prevarication, whose deluged plateau the young woman I was in love with had fled, called to mind a private letter of Pasternak’s written in the 1920’s.
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  • Waiting for Greatness
    August 2007

    Waiting for Greatness

    According to John O’Sullivan’s version of recent history, in the fullness of time, three great conservative leaders—Ronald Reagan, Pope John Paul II, and Margaret Thatcher—came unexpectedly to occupy positions of power, to shatter post-World War...
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  • Surprise! Surprise!
    August 2007

    Surprise! Surprise!

    In 1988, I wrote in a review in these pages, “If there is any young historian out there who wants to know where the cutting edge is in American historical understanding, it is . . . the new and coming field of Northern history.”
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  • Americans Don’t Die!
    July 2007

    Americans Don’t Die!

    Americans do not believe in death. At least, they live as if they will never die. This has been the case from colonial times. It is a consequence of seemingly limitless opportunity and a drive for upward mobility, denied to generations of...
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  • Protestantism, America, and Divine Law
    June 2007

    Protestantism, America, and Divine Law

    Since the time of the Founding Fathers, Protestantism appeared to be the default religion in the United States.
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  • Sex Slaves
    June 2007

    Sex Slaves

    By the 1950’s, professors at our universities were teaching American history, “warts and all.” By the late 60’s, it was mostly warts. Now, it is all warts, all the time.
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  • Of Landlords, Leases, and Calico Indians
    May 2007

    Of Landlords, Leases, and Calico Indians

    In 1845, James Fenimore Cooper wrote Satanstoe, the first novel of The Littlepage Manuscripts, a trilogy Cooper conceived as a fictional response to the New York “anti-rent” uprising that, since 1839, had pitted leasehold tenants...
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  • Still Sorry After All These Years

    Still Sorry After All These Years

    With all the mud spattered on the Confederate Battle Flag of late, you knew it wouldn’t be long before Ol’ Virginny scrubbed up for Jamestown’s 400th anniversary with a grandiloquent apology for slavery.
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  • The Gospel That Nobody Knows
    April 2007

    The Gospel That Nobody Knows

    “Out of the sacred space the sacred text would grow,” says Mr. Boritt. He’s right; those of us who grew up as Yankees know in our bones that our country is sacred ground.
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  • The Empire Quacks
    March 2007

    The Empire Quacks

    By comparing America to the empires of the ancient world and Europe, Charles Maier has attempted to answer the question, Is America an empire?
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  • The West on the Brink
    February 2007

    The West on the Brink

    We do not hear much about the Armenian genocide of 1915. Even less well known is the Turk’s expulsion of the Greeks of Western Anatolia and the Pontic coast in the years after World War I.
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  • Clint Eastwood and Moral Equivalency
    February 2007

    Clint Eastwood and Moral Equivalency

    Since at least the late 60’s, there has been an effort in academe and in Hollywood to make all cultures morally equivalent. More recently, there has been an effort to make “indigenous cultures”—whatever that means—morally superior to Western...
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  • Founders, Keepers
    January 2007

    Founders, Keepers

    There can be no question but that we need to recover a vital connection to the spirit of the Founding Fathers: By identifying that spirit, Wood has made an imposing contribution not only to American history but to the regeneration of the national...
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  • The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
    January 2007

    The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

    Because I thoroughly enjoyed the book, because Clint Eastwood is the director, and because Marines crave movies about Marines, I had high hopes for the movie Flags of Our Fathers. I was largely disappointed.
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  • The Declaration of Independence and Philosophic Superstitions
    January 2007

    The Declaration of Independence and Philosophic Superstitions

    It is common among our political elites and pundits to link the Declaration of Independence with Abraham Lincoln, who found in it the ground and telos of the American nation: the Enlightenment doctrine that all individuals are endowed with rights...
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  • <i>Jihad</i>'s Fifth Column
    December 2006

    Jihad's Fifth Column

    No one on the planet, by now, has not heard of the violence that greeted Pope Benedict’s references to Emperor Manuel II and his reflections on Islam.
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  • “Scratch One Flattop”
    December 2006

    “Scratch One Flattop”

    It was America’s first naval battle of World War II, Japan’s first loss at sea in the war, the battle that saved Australia from a Japanese invasion, the greatest naval battle in Australian waters, the first carrier battle, and the first battle in...
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  • After Watergate
    December 2006

    After Watergate

    A large portion of American history is only now being invented. For most periods of that history, we know the broad outlines: For instance, any account of the 1850’s has to include certain themes, certain events and landmarks.
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  • When Incarnation Is Considered Idolatry
    December 2006

    When Incarnation Is Considered Idolatry

    In 1917, one year before his courageous brother, Cecil, died in France, Chesterton published A Short History of England. It was written in response to “a sort of challenge,” and he calls it, with characteristic modesty, merely “a popular...
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  • Pure Personality
    November 2006

    Pure Personality

    Only recently, I learned that the community of Columbus, New Mexico, U.S.A., is home to Pancho Villa State Park, which lies immediately south of town.
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  • It's Hard Times, Cotton Mill Girls
    October 2006

    It's Hard Times, Cotton Mill Girls

    Historians tend to make the same argument: The South lost the Civil War because its economy was agrarian rather than industrial, with too few munitions factories to supply Confederate troops with weapons and too few textile mills to clothe them.
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  • Atrocities Azteca
    October 2006

    Atrocities Azteca

    Nearly every celebration of Mexican heritage by Mexicans in the United States now features references to the Aztecs and some form of traditional Aztec dance, called La Danza Azteca.
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  • Dinner in Moscow
    October 2006

    Dinner in Moscow

    June 1941 is an important and valuable book. Rather than provide the lives of Hitler and Stalin in parallel, historian John Lukacs seeks carefully to probe the dynamic of the relationship between the two men in order to illuminate a...
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  • Don’t Blame Bryan
    October 2006

    Don’t Blame Bryan

    In his recent biography of William Jennings Bryan, A Godly Hero, Michael Kazin joins a long line of historians in making the claim that Bryan (1860-1925) was an ideological precursor of Franklin D. Roosevelt.
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  • Historians in Blunderland
    October 2006

    Historians in Blunderland

    The academy is in an even worse plight than you may imagine. Every so often, surveys reveal just how far America’s professors are out of touch with the political and cultural mainstream.
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  • The Asiatic Parallel
    October 2006

    The Asiatic Parallel

    World War II has been very slow to yield up its secrets. We learned easily about the heinous misdeeds perpetrated by the Axis powers upon innocent populations, but it has been harder to expose and explain the “secrets” of our conduct toward...
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  • Of Chance and Memory
    October 2006

    Of Chance and Memory

    Coincidence is the smile of luck, but it is also the laughter of misfortune. A smile is singular, rather like tears; it appears meaningful insofar as it seems to have a precipitant cause.
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  • Thoughts on July 4, 2006
    September 2006

    Thoughts on July 4, 2006

    In the late 1960’s and early 70’s, when I was at college and graduate school, the moral and social validity of meritocracy was beginning to be challenged by the schools and in the press.
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  • The Natural History of the Night Watchman State
    August 2006

    The Natural History of the Night Watchman State

    Liberalism, in all its guises, is a vision of the final form of political association. All history is viewed as a slow and painful struggle toward the realization of the liberal state.
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  • Guadalcanal: An Emotion, Not a Name
    August 2006

    Guadalcanal: An Emotion, Not a Name

    In most history textbooks today, coverage of the war in the Pacific consists of a summary of the Battle of Midway, a brief mention of leapfrogging islands, and the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
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  • 3:00 A.M. in America
    August 2006

    3:00 A.M. in America

    In Decade of Nightmares, Philip Jenkins considers how the progressive and “forward-looking” decade of free love, drugs, and cultural revolution led to the reactionary “counterrevolution” of the 1980’s, personified by Ronald Reagan.
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  • The Fire Next Time (A Message to Culture Warriors)
    July 2006

    The Fire Next Time (A Message to Culture Warriors)

    Houston now has a professional soccer team, which is not something I’m especially excited about. The team’s initial moniker, however, apparently got a rise out of the Bayou City’s “Latino” residents, many of whom, we are told, “only came here to...
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  • Why the Empire Fell
    June 2006

    Why the Empire Fell

    Why do empires fall? Nearly everyone has a theory. The fall of the Roman Empire in the West has been interpreted through every imaginable variety of theoretical approach, from Gibbon, who blamed the Christians; to A.H.M. Jones, who attributed...
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  • Black Sheep One
    May 2006

    Black Sheep One

    “Thou shalt not honor a white man,” says the first commandment of the politically correct—unless, of course, the white man in question is hastening the destruction of Western civilization or, perhaps, preserving the habitat of the pupfish.
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  • The Great Getaway
    May 2006

    The Great Getaway

    A friend who sells high-end real estate tells the story of a well-heeled Northern couple who were enchanted by the idea of owning an antebellum Southern mansion.
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  • An Invisible Border
    April 2006

    An Invisible Border

    The first question that comes to mind regarding the Minutemen movement is: “What do these people imagine they’re actually doing, sitting camped out down there on lawn chairs on the Southwest border?”
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  • Hell in Panonia
    April 2006

    Hell in Panonia

    The siege of Budapest in the winter of 1944-45 was not as militarily significant as that of Stalingrad or as colossally wasteful of human life as Leningrad, but it was still a human tragedy of the highest order.
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  • The Virginian
    March 2006

    The Virginian

    To be published by a university press, one must demonstrate originality of scholarship. In a forgetful age, that is not hard to do. It is easier still when a constant rewriting of history is required to meet the ever-changing dictates of empire.
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  • Does the Federal Government Protect Private Property?
    March 2006

    Does the Federal Government Protect Private Property?

    Thirteen of the British colonies in North America declared their independence in 1776 as the only means of preserving the life, liberty, and property of what was then declared to be the American people.
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  • Latter-Day Beggars
    March 2006

    Latter-Day Beggars

    Roman beggars, like Roman gypsies and Roman cats, not to mention Roman prostitutes warming themselves by their little winter chestnut fires, are the bearers of an ancient tradition, peculiar to the City of the Seven Hills, the kaput mundi,...
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  • The Path Not Taken
    February 2006

    The Path Not Taken

    We are familiar with George McClellan’s historical reputation: indecisive, timid, politically ambitious, vainglorious. It is as old as the war, created by the Republicans, perpetuated by the postwar historians of Northern righteousness (e.g.,...
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  • A Loyal Life
    January 2006

    A Loyal Life

    A remark I recently overheard on FOX News captured a key difference between Sir Alfred Sherman, whose assessment of the Thatcher years I now have in my hand, and those minicons who float on and off of FOX.
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  • Fortifying the Backyard
    January 2006

    Fortifying the Backyard

    “Cincinnati is no mean city,” one of my Greek professors used to say when he wanted to illustrate the use of litotes.
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  • Pugin and the Gothic Dream
    December 2005

    Pugin and the Gothic Dream

    When peace came to Europe in 1815, Britain was in the unique position of possessing empire, wealth, and power, which would make possible a century of commercial and industrial growth and prosperity.
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  • Foss's Flying Circus
    December 2005

    Foss's Flying Circus

    In the early 1960's, I was introduced to a fellow motorcycle rider by the name of Steve Foss. Before I could say anything, he quickly offered, "No relation to Joe Foss." He had anticipated my question and that of nearly everyone he had met for...
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  • Truth of Blood and Time
    December 2005

    Truth of Blood and Time

    When I was a college student in the late 1980's, the obsession of conservative activists in academia was summed up in the buzzword relativism. By the early 90's, that term had been paired with nihilism, understood to be relativism's darker and...
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  • The Cataclysm That Happened
    December 2005

    The Cataclysm That Happened

    Why did the Roman Empire in the West fall apart in the fifth century? The argument started even before Odovacar forced the German puppet Romulus Augustulus, whimpering, off the stage in 476.
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  • A Different Past
    November 2005

    A Different Past

    Sometimes historical scholarship tells us more about the present than about the past.
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  • 'War Between the States'
    October 2005

    'War Between the States'

    Judge John Roberts can rest assured that his Supreme Court confirmation will go very smoothly, judging from the weak 11th-hour attacks the left is mounting against him in the media.
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  • American Historians and Their History
    September 2005

    American Historians and Their History

    For this occasion, I have been asked to reflect on “the historian’s task” and “the American republican tradition.” To do so could be a gloomy undertaking—examining two things apparently suffering through terminal illness. I shall try not to...
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  • Shelby Foote, R.I.P.
    September 2005

    Shelby Foote, R.I.P.

    Shelby Foote, one of the giants of Southern literature, passed away on June 27 at his home in Memphis at the age of 88.
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  • A Place to Stand
    July 2005

    A Place to Stand

    The names are legendary; the tales of heroism, a part of our heritage as Texans and Americans. Houston, Crockett, Bowie, Travis: All, save William Barret Travis, were nationally known figures before they came to Texas, which was then considered...
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  • Heroes in the Age of the Antihero
    July 2005

    Heroes in the Age of the Antihero

    We Americans are in a serious quandary. Our national mythology—like the mythologies of most nations—requires us to pay tribute to the heroes of the past.
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  • Guys of the Golden West
    July 2005

    Guys of the Golden West

    During the first half of the second-to-last decade of the 19th century, three young gentlemen traveled from their native region of the northeastern United States to the trans-Mississippi West, still a few years short in those days of the official...
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  • <em>Felix Culpa</em>
    July 2005

    Felix Culpa

    This sprawling and densely written 400-page study of Southern political thought, from Old Republicans John Taylor of Caroline and John Randolph of Roanoke down to Whig social theorists (and humorists) John Glover Baldwin and Johnson Jones Hooper...
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  • Antiwar Federalists
    July 2005

    Antiwar Federalists

    The contrast between the importance of the subject of Richard Buel’s new book—New England’s defiance of federal authority during the years of commercial embargo and war with England—and the dullness and conventionality of the narrative reminds us...
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  • Firebombing the Fatherland
    June 2005

    Firebombing the Fatherland

    While teaching at UCLA, I heard a student ask one of my teaching assistants why the United States dropped The Bomb on Japan and not on Germany.
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  • Shooting One Another in the Land of the Free
    May 2005

    Shooting One Another in the Land of the Free

    Opening in 2003, director Ron Maxwell’s Civil War film, Gods and Generals, was swept from the multiplexes within two weeks by a torrent of critical hysteria. “Jingoistic goat spoor,” raged one reviewer; “boring and bloated,” sputtered...
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  • Who Will Judge the Judges?
    January 2005

    Who Will Judge the Judges?

    Abraham Lincoln, in his 1860 Cooper Union speech, asked, “What is the frame of government under which we live?” The answer must be, he said, the Constitution of the United States.
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  • Red Over Black
    December 2004

    Red Over Black

    For hundreds of years, perhaps thousands, the Indians of North America practiced slavery. Until the 18th century, those enslaved, for the most part, were other Indians.
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  • Where Have All the Nazis Gone?
    October 2004

    Where Have All the Nazis Gone?

    Back in the 1960’s, as a graduate student at Yale, I kept hearing that the Germans had still not confronted their past. They would do so only when they understood that Hitler, as explained by German leftist historian Fritz Fischer, was not a...
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  • Remembering the Alamo
    October 2004

    Remembering the Alamo

    The familiar mythic image of the Alamo was burned into my mind at an early age, augmented by legends told by my grandfather; pictures of my namesake, who died in combat in what everybody called “The War”; and celluloid images of Audie Murphy,...
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  • Remember the Texas Revolution
    September 2004

    Remember the Texas Revolution

    “Chicano Studies” departments at American universities portray the Battle of the Alamo as the triumph of the lawful rulers of Texas over a rowdy, drunken band of illegal aliens. Such a portrayal has a delicious irony to it, though it is mostly...
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  • Toward the Heavenly City
    September 2004

    Toward the Heavenly City

    Eugenio Corti should be well known to Chronicles readers as the author of the terrifying war diary Few Returned and The Red Horse, one of the finest novels of our time and perhaps the greatest piece of Christian fiction...
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  • Millions for Tribute
    September 2004

    Millions for Tribute

    That imperial anthem, the hymn of the U.S. Marine Corps, is today somehow an obscure exercise. The halls of Montezuma? The shores of Tripoli?
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  • The Unlovely Republic
    September 2004

    The Unlovely Republic

    The most respected historian specializing in the Spanish Civil War and the history of fascism, Stanley G. Payne has never hesitated to challenge received opinions in his field.
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  • The First New Deal
    September 2004

    The First New Deal

    A calm image of businessmen and clerks engaged in the buying and selling of cotton on the New Orleans Cotton Exchange is not what you expect to find on the dust jackets of books about the Civil War.
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  • Military Unintelligence
    August 2004

    Military Unintelligence

    Nothing is riskier in life—at any rate, for those interested in discovering that elusive thing, the “truth”—than to assume that what one has personally experienced years ago can be a useful guide in judging present problems.
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  • Americans Before the Fall
    August 2004

    Americans Before the Fall

    For those of us who love the Old Republic, a new book by David Hackett Fischer is a cause for celebration. His newest will not disappoint the high expectations created by his previous work.
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  • A Living Library of the Law Revived
    August 2004

    A Living Library of the Law Revived

    Whatever the mess his personal life may have been, Sir Edward Coke's professional accomplishments were the stuff of immortality.
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  • Tax Slavery
    April 2004

    Tax Slavery

    The American Revolution, as all Americans are taught, began as a rebellion against unfair taxation; in the United States today, however, some 230 years after James Otis protested the Stamp Act, unimaginably higher taxes are imposed on the...
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  • Whose Atrocities?
    March 2004

    Whose Atrocities?

    The Last Samurai is the latest movie to treat us to the spectacle of the U.S. Army slaughtering American Indian women and children. Playing a disillusioned captain, Tom Cruise suffers from nightmares for his role in the dastardly deed.
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  • Shine, Republic
    February 2004

    Shine, Republic

    The America First Committee of 1940-41 was the largest antiwar organization (800,000 members) in American history. Although it was founded by a group of Yale law students in the summer of 1940 and never lost its patrician character, it was...
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  • Objective, Burma!
    January 2004

    Objective, Burma!

    The Burma campaign began in January 1942 with the Japanese invasion from Thailand in the south. Chinese troops, with Stilwell as Chiang’s chief of staff, invaded from the east, along the 715-mile Burma Road from Kunming to Lashio.
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  • The American Myth of World War I
    January 2004

    The American Myth of World War I

    In 1917, two revolutions engulfed war-ravaged Europe. The first was America’s military intervention in France on June 26, which prolonged World War I and, thus, made possible the second: the communist seizure of power in Russia on November 7.
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  • A Sudden Attack
    January 2004

    A Sudden Attack

    The U.S.S. Liberty was suddenly and deliberately attacked on June 8, 1967—a date that should live in infamy—by naval and air forces of the state of Israel.
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  • California&rsquo;s Mythologized <em>Bandido</em>
    December 2003

    California’s Mythologized Bandido

    On the wintry morning of February 20, 1853, more than a hundred Chinese miners were working their claims near Rich Gulch. Without warning, five mounted and gun-brandishing bandidos swept down upon the Chinese.
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  • From Cincinnatus to Caesar
    December 2003

    From Cincinnatus to Caesar

    Dr. Clyde Wilson’s new gathering will be of particular interest to readers of this journal, as some parts of it have appeared in these pages and as he has for years maintained a special relationship with Chronicles.
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  • Local Devolutions
    December 2003

    Local Devolutions

    Most Rockfordians are familiar with the garishly modern Winnebago County Courthouse at 400 West Main Street, which is easily recognized by its filthy cement exterior and offensive “contemporary” style.
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  • A Monopoly of Violence
    November 2003

    A Monopoly of Violence

    Contrary to the claims of a number of mid-20th-century historians of the Tudor age, the Tudors and their servants did not invent the modern state.
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  • Thomas More’s <em>Supplication of Souls</em>
    November 2003

    Thomas More’s Supplication of Souls

    In his informative and consoling masterpiece of historical research The Stripping of the Altars, Eamon Duffy drew the conclusion that the most distinctive characteristic of late-medieval English piety on the eve of the 16th-century...
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  • Lies and More Lies
    October 2003

    Lies and More Lies

    Having come across several references this spring to a French literary critic, Jean Sévillia, who is criticizing leftist historical reconstructions, I read his two most recent books, Le Terrorisme Intellectuel (2000) and...
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  • Only a Madman Laughs at the Culture of Others
    September 2003

    Only a Madman Laughs at the Culture of Others

    We are so used to hearing Herodotus called “the father of history” after Cicero’s clever formula (On the Laws 1.1.5) that it has become common to take him for a credulous old fuddy-duddy whose history is full of amusing and delightful stories...
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  • Unit 731
    September 2003

    Unit 731

    Every time I ask my college students if they are familiar with Nazi atrocities, the collective reply is “Of course.” Nearly all of them have also heard of Dr. Josef Mengele and his horrific medical experiments conducted at Auschwitz.
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  • Style in History
    September 2003

    Style in History

    With this book, Roberts returns to his favorite subjects—Winston Churchill’s life and times and, behind that, the larger theme of Britain versus the Continent.
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  • . . . <em>plus c&rsquo;est la&nbsp;m&ecirc;me chose</em>
    September 2003

    . . . plus c’est la même chose

    Gavin Menzies, a retired British naval officer and submarine commander, has advanced a startling thesis. He believes that, in 1421-23, a large Chinese fleet circumnavigated the world and skirted the continents of Africa, South America,...
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  • The Authority of Pain
    September 2003

    The Authority of Pain

    In April 1970—between the fall of Prince Sihanouk's government and the American and South Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia—the young Sean Flynn, war photographer and son of Errol Flynn, deliberately drove into a Vietcong roadblock in Cambodia.
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  • Republic or Empire?
    August 2003

    Republic or Empire?

    “Remember Pearl Harbor” was a phrase familiar to everyone I knew growing up. In a sneak attack, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor! This was a dastardly, despicable act. A sneak attack!
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  • The French Revolution in Three Acts
    July 2003

    The French Revolution in Three Acts

    To put it in a nutshell, the French Revolution may be viewed as a lesson on the power of one of the most common of human vices: vanity, or the desire for social recognition—provided it is understood that lust for social standing is inversely...
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  • The Modern Conception of Sovereignty
    July 2003

    The Modern Conception of Sovereignty

    The question of sovereignty reappeared at the end of the Middle Ages, when many began to ask not only what is the best possible form of government, or what should be the purpose of the authority held by political power, but what is the political...
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  • Augustin Cochin and the Revolutionary Process
    July 2003

    Augustin Cochin and the Revolutionary Process

    Augustin Cochin, born in 1876, died prematurely—as did so many other French intellectuals of his generation—killed at the front in 1916.
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  • It Was the Worst of Times
    July 2003

    It Was the Worst of Times

    Even before the Revolution, there were two Frances, the France of ordinary people—of the rich countryside and its traditions, of Joan of Arc, of the Church—and the France of the intellectuals—the country of atheism, immorality, and class warfare.
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  • <em>Le dernier rire</em>
    July 2003

    Le dernier rire

    I am frequently asked to recommend the best book on ancient history or moral philosophy or the French Revolution, and, since I do not believe there is one best book on anything, I usually content myself with saying what not to read.
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  • Bury the Facts at Wounded Knee
    June 2003

    Bury the Facts at Wounded Knee

    At Wounded Knee Creek, on December 29, 1890, the last fight of any size or significance between the U.S. Army and American Indians occurred.
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  • Making the Man
    March 2003

    Making the Man

    “There is something about a man in uniform,” the old adage goes. Few have been as affected by their time in uniform as Paul Fussell, who served in the U.S. Army from 1943 to 1947, during which period (he tells us in his memoir) he was...
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  • American Icons
    March 2003

    American Icons

    “Thou shalt not portray a white male in an heroic light.” Thus reads the first commandment of the politically correct. Ever since the late 1960’s, the cultural Marxists have been engaged in a drive to destroy American heroes—if they are white...
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  • The Myth of Red Brotherhood
    March 2003

    The Myth of Red Brotherhood

    Second only to the myth of Indian as ecologist is that of red brotherhood. Although physically similar, the Indian peoples of what is today the United States were a diverse lot.
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  • Taking Up the Cross
    February 2003

    Taking Up the Cross

    The Crusades are an increasingly controversial topic of historical debate. As much as slavery, the Civil War, and the conquistadores, Western Europe’s attempt to recover the Holy Land has been denounced by the anti-Christian left as a...
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  • Reclaiming the American Story
    February 2003

    Reclaiming the American Story

    The war of 1861-65 is still the pivotal event of American history, despite all that has passed since.
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  • Imperialism From the Cradle to the Grave
    February 2003

    Imperialism From the Cradle to the Grave

    Mesopotamia was the cradle of empires, but it was also their grave, as the Persians were to discover. The Persians were a great people, whose simple code of honor—ride a horse, shoot straight, and tell the truth—was admired by their Greek enemies.
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  • My Hometown
    December 2002

    My Hometown

    Saint Augustine did not originally desire to be a pastor. When, in 387, he finally surrendered to the Holy Ghost in the garden of his “philosophers’ estate” in the countryside outside Milan, he intended to follow the example of Saint Anthony and...
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  • Boethius and/or Cassiodorus
    December 2002

    Boethius and/or Cassiodorus

    American conservatives used to be fond of saying that the United States have entered a decadent period something like that of the Roman Empire.
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  • Boethius and Lady Philosophy
    December 2002

    Boethius and Lady Philosophy

    The political story that shaped Boethius’ life began in 324, when Constantine’s plan to move the capital of the empire from Rome to the city of Byzantium, on the eastern shore of the Sea of Marmora, matured.
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  • American MAGIC and  Japanese-American Spies
    October 2002

    American MAGIC and Japanese-American Spies

    The competition for victim status is fierce in today’s America. Considering their disproportionate degree of success here in the United States, it is ironic that, for the last several decades, Japanese-Americans have been engaged in that...
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  • Homage to Montenegro
    October 2002

    Homage to Montenegro

    Not until I was well into this book did I realize how much it is needed. The son of illiterate Serbian immigrants from Montenegro, I knew almost no early Montenegrin history.
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  • Royal Teddy
    July 2002

    Royal Teddy

    Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., was the first of our Northeastern rich-boy presidents, blazing a trail for his kinsman Franklin, John F. Kennedy, and the two Bushes. Even Nelson Rockefeller, who had no abilities and no popularity that was not bought...
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  • Not Separate and Not Equal
    July 2002

    Not Separate and Not Equal

    After World War II, the rush into the San Fernando Valley began. By 1950, the Valley’s population had more than doubled, reaching 400,000. Much of the Valley, especially its western reaches, still consisted of wide-open spaces.
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  • Beyond the “Other Victorians”
    April 2002

    Beyond the “Other Victorians”

    To call something “Victorian” is, in left-liberal parlance, to say that you don’t like it. The fact that hardly anything routinely called “Victorian” accurately characterizes the era of Queen Victoria’s long reign, from 1837 to 1901, is one of...
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  • When They Bare the Iron Hand
    March 2002

    When They Bare the Iron Hand

    It is one of the most famous photographs of the nineteenth century: Alexander Gardner’s picture of four hooded figures dangling from a gallows in the old federal penitentiary in Washington, D.C. on July 7, 1865.
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  • Nordic Conquests
    February 2002

    Nordic Conquests

    In Northfield, Minnesota, St. Olaf’s College was celebrating the 17th of May—the day the sons of Norway wrote their constitution in 1814, declaring self-government and independence from Swedish rule.
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  • Indian as Ecologist
    February 2002

    Indian as Ecologist

    Most of us learned in grammar school, if not before, that the American Indian had a special reverence for nature. He was a kind of proto-ecologist who conserved natural resources, be they trees or beasts, with a religious devotion.
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  • Our Fathers’ Fields
    February 2002

    Our Fathers’ Fields

    Chesterton, an English Catholic version of a Southern Agrarian, once remarked that Yankee tycoons (John D. Rockefeller, Henry Ford, J.P. Morgan) all had the same face—a face, he added, that any decent man would relish rearranging with a fist.
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  • Why the West Has Won
    February 2002

    Why the West Has Won

    One of the important lessons of Victor Davis Hanson’s riveting new book, Carnage and Culture, is that the only civilization or culture that can defeat the West is the West.
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  • Slavery's Inconvenient Facts
    November 2001

    Slavery's Inconvenient Facts

    I learned firsthand how disturbing facts could be when teaching a U.S. history course at UCLA in 1987. One of my teaching assistants, a politically correct young woman, became terribly upset after listening to my lecture on slavery.
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  • Nobody but the People
    October 2001

    Nobody but the People

    In the "Prologue" to his massive biography of Sen. Joe McCarthy, historian Thomas Reeves describes a scene that took place in Milwaukee, in the senator's home state, in November, 1954, only a month before his colleagues voted to condemn him and...
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  • An Aristocracy of Warriors
    October 2001

    An Aristocracy of Warriors

    In his seminal work, Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville noted that the nobility of medieval Europe reckoned martial valor to be the greatest of all the virtues. The feudal aristocracy, he said, "was born of war and for war; it...
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  • Confederate Rainbow
    October 2001

    Confederate Rainbow

    As we all know, during the Civil War, an expansive, democratic, progressive, multiethnic North defeated a bigoted and reactionary South, so that government of the people, by the people, and for the people should not perish from the earth.
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  • It Ain't Me?
    October 2001

    It Ain't Me?

    George W. Bush comes as close as anyone to representing the current American aristocracy. It is not that the Bushes are old family or even old money.
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  • Abe-Worship
    October 2001

    Abe-Worship

    Idolatry of Lincoln—himself often derided as a "gorilla" or "baboon" in the hostile press of his day—began the moment John Wilkes Booth fired his derringer. It was Good Friday, perhaps an unseemly time to be at the theater; but by Easter morning,...
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  • As We Go Marching
    October 2001

    As We Go Marching

    Who has not heard David McCullough pontificate on the "greatness" of Teddy Roosevelt, Harry Truman, and now John Adams, or watched James McPherson bow before the demigod Lincoln?
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  • Obligatory Holocausts
    September 2001

    Obligatory Holocausts

    I feel sorry for Afrocentrists—those weird and wonderful folk who claim that civilization, philosophy, and science were discovered in ancient Africa, before being stolen by the white man.
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  • Missed Opportunities
    September 2001

    Missed Opportunities

    The Defamation of Pius XII recounts the heroic efforts of Pope Pius XII and members of the European Catholic hierarchy, clergy, religious, and laity to save hundreds of thousands of Jews from Hitler's "final solution."
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  • Real Diversity
    September 2001

    Real Diversity

    "By Tre, Pol, or Pen ye may know most Cornishmen." This simple rhyme was known to nearly everyone in the mining camps of the Old West and probably to much of the general population in America during the 19th century.
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  • Empires of Faith
    September 2001

    Empires of Faith

    A story long popular in London tells of a foreign visitor losing his bearings while walking along Whitehall and politely asking a passerby, "Excuse me, sir, which side is the Foreign Office on?"
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  • The Reluctant Candidate
    August 2001

    The Reluctant Candidate

    As a conservative undergraduate student during the early 1960's, I spent many a long night engaged in animated political argument with a close friend whose supercharged IQ was exceeded only by his condescending manner.
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  • History Lite
    August 2001

    History Lite

    Most films have a signature moment, a scene that suggests the whole. Producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Michael Bay have signed their feverishly silly Pearl Harbor with two strategically counterpoised images that surface in the...
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  • Lies, Damned Lies, and Fossils
    July 2001

    Lies, Damned Lies, and Fossils

    Not for the first time in recent years, American history is the subject of a ferocious political controversy, which ultimately grows out of the national obsession with race.
    Read more
  • From the Family of the Lion
    July 2001

    From the Family of the Lion

    There is a popular myth of Abraham Lincoln, our 16th President, that is known to most Americans.
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  • Thirty Years Ago . . .
    June 2001

    Thirty Years Ago . . .

    The "disruptive decade" referred to in the title of this collection of essays is the 1960's, when Eugene Davidson served as editor of Modern Age.
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  • The Avenging Deity as a Rational Projection of the Wounded Ego
    June 2001

    The Avenging Deity as a Rational Projection of the Wounded Ego

    Roll some archival footage of a Nuremberg rally, and you will surely hear them talk of mass hysteria. Zoom in on a giant poster of Mussolini, and their commentary will reverberate with words like "hypnosis."
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  • Fighting the Big War
    May 2001

    Fighting the Big War

    "What did you do in the big war?" his grandchildren asked. Ralph Walker Willis has answered them in My Life as a Jarhead: USMC 1941-45, a valuable book for anyone interested in the subjects of history and heroism.
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  • The Janus Faces of War
    May 2001

    The Janus Faces of War

    A. D. Harvey's study of art and war, while noting the suffering caused by the European wars of the 19th and 20th centuries, highlights the artistic and spiritual creativity released by these struggles.
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  • Rome As You Find It
    May 2001

    Rome As You Find It

    For Englishmen, the Roman Forum was nearly as much a part of their political heritage as the Tower of London or Westminster Abbey. Since Colonial America was a part of British culture, educated American colonists shared in the British reverence...
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  • Faith in the Hour of Trial
    May 2001

    Faith in the Hour of Trial

    Christianity had enjoyed an initial status of religiu licita in the eyes of the Roman government, during the reigns of Tiberius (under which our Lord was crucified), Gaius Caligula, and Claudius.
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  • The Banality of Banal
    March 2001

    The Banality of Banal

    Inevitably, Schlesinger's memoirs get the big publisher and the big hype. Mr. Schlesinger is "the finest historian of our age," according to such dust-jacket celebrities as the erudite Mr. Tom Brokaw and the judicious Mr. Norman Mailer.
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  • The Conspiracy of Conspiracies
    March 2001

    The Conspiracy of Conspiracies

    The scene is Rome, about A.D. 300. The Augustus Maximian has returned to the ancient capital to oversee the construction of the lavish baths that will bear the name of the senior Augustus, Diocletian.
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  • The Western Way of War From Plato to NATO
    February 2001

    The Western Way of War From Plato to NATO

    When I first began reading of the ancient world as a child, I was mystified by the collapse of the Greek city-states and the fall of Rome. How could such a thing come to pass?
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  • Athenian Hegemony and Its Lessons for America
    February 2001

    Athenian Hegemony and Its Lessons for America

    Our common European civilization—of which the old American Republic is an integral part, or else it is nothing —is rooted in "the glory that was Greece." Our spiritual and intellectual mentors are to be found among Greek thinkers, scientists, and...
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  • Free Greeks, Servile Americans
    February 2001

    Free Greeks, Servile Americans

    Conservatives are fond of saying that the United States is a republic, not a democracy, and in their appeals to the national conscience, they invoke the sacred language of republican tradition, citing scriptures from Aristotle and Cicero, from...
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  • Remembering
    January 2001

    Remembering

    Tazwell is a town in Claiborne County, Tennessee, about 45 minutes northeast of Knoxville on Highway 33, just south of the Kentucky border.
    Read more
  • <em>Pietas</em> and the Southern Agrarians
    December 2000

    Pietas and the Southern Agrarians

    Pietas—the ancient virtue of respect for family, country, and God—is becoming increasingly difficult to practice in a nation driven half mad by guilt. Our nation's past, once uncritically revered, is now uncritically condemned.
    Read more
  • <em>Societas</em> Regained: Agrarianism, Faith, and Moral Action
    December 2000

    Societas Regained: Agrarianism, Faith, and Moral Action

    Nourished by daily labors in the fields, the agrarian community not only produced a more stable and wholesome environment for families and workers than industrialism could offer, but an agrarian community was also more conducive to religious and...
    Read more
  • Calvinism and Culture
    December 2000

    Calvinism and Culture

    The most important element in the formation of a culture is the predominant faith of its people. The foundation of Western culture is Christianity; in this country, Reformed Protestant Christianity.
    Read more
  • Our Presidents in Song
    November 2000

    Our Presidents in Song

    Bill Clinton and George Bush, Sr., share something: They are the only presidents since George Washington who were elected without having a campaign song written for them.
    Read more
  • The Italian Counterrevolutions of 1799
    October 2000

    The Italian Counterrevolutions of 1799

    Who says that conservative historians have to be old, hoary-headed men unable to produce anything innovative?
    Read more
  • A Southern Braveheart
    October 2000

    A Southern Braveheart

    It can be argued that the War Between the States began not at Fort Sumter but along the Missouri-Kansas border in the mid-1850's. The passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act in 1854 meant that the future of slavery in the territories would be decided...
    Read more
  • Pope Garry the Great: Bare Ruined Choirs?
    October 2000

    Pope Garry the Great: Bare Ruined Choirs?

    What shall we say of Garry Wills who, with a doctorate in the classics, once purportedly showed promise as a conservative intellectual, only to become the historian-icon of the deconstructionist left?
    Read more
  • Jesse Jackson, Jr., Refights the Civil War
    September 2000

    Jesse Jackson, Jr., Refights the Civil War

    The skirmish at Monocacy, "the battle that saved Washington," stalled Jubal Early's rebel army of 15,000 men just 55 miles from the nation's capital in 1864.
    Read more
  • The Myth of "Red Fascism"
  • Military Messiah
    July 2000

    Military Messiah

    Orde Wingate, the most eccentric and innovative commander in World War II, was remarkably like his distant cousin Lawrence of Arabia. Both came from a guilt-ridden fundamentalist background and grew up in an atmosphere of religious gloom and...
    Read more
  • A Collaborative Effort
    July 2000

    A Collaborative Effort

    Before the War Between the States, the Battle of New Orleans was celebrated nearly on a par with Independence Day, each anniversary commemorating the triumph of American liberty over the British monarchy.
    Read more
  • Tale of a "Seditionist"

    Tale of a "Seditionist"

    Lawrence Dennis was an outsider in a movement of outsiders, a unique and largely solitary figure whose career as a writer embodies the tragedy and bravery of the Old Right, the pre-World War II "America first" generation of conservative...
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  • The Cost of Holocaust
    May 2000

    The Cost of Holocaust

    Almost half of all Americans are unable to locate Mexico on the map, but you do not have to know when the Nazi holocaust occurred to notice that the further that event recedes in time, the more overwhelmingly it looms upon die American scene.
    Read more
  • Every Secret Thing
    May 2000

    Every Secret Thing

    The collapse of the Soviet Union not only ended the Cold War but initiated a revolution in American historiography, if not in American politics and culture.
    Read more
  • The Confederate Pimpernel
    May 2000

    The Confederate Pimpernel

    Fame, even mere celebrity, creates a reality of its own. We are often curious about the reality behind the image, and if sometimes we are disappointed, we have to admit also that sometimes we are not.
    Read more
  • Lies, Damned Lies, and Fossils
    April 2000

    Lies, Damned Lies, and Fossils

    Not for the first time in recent years, American history is the subject of a ferocious political controversy, which ultimately grows out of the national obsession with race.
    Read more
  • On the Shoulders of Giants?
    March 2000

    On the Shoulders of Giants?

    The Arts and Entertainment (A&F) television network, best known for its Biography series, has produced a list of the 100 most important figures of the millennium and devoted four hours of airtime to explain its picks.
    Read more
  • The Past as Prologue
    November 1999

    The Past as Prologue

    David Vital describes his work as a political history, whose subject is the exercise of legitimate violence. He recounts how the Jews of Europe addressed the political crisis that overtook them between the end of the ancien regime in 1789 and the...
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  • The Militia of Love
    November 1999

    The Militia of Love

    Snow Man follows Robert Drummond, a hairy and occasionally abominable patriot, a Maine militiaman who is between assassinations, as it were.
    Read more
  • Right Answer, Wrong Label
    November 1999

    Right Answer, Wrong Label

    A good historian ought to make it clear where he is coming horn rather than assume an impossible Olympian objectivity.
    Read more
  • The Vanishing Anglo-Saxon Minority
    July 1999

    The Vanishing Anglo-Saxon Minority

    For almost exactly 30 years, Kevin P. Phillips has been cranking out some of the most interesting and provocative works of political analysis written since World War II.
    Read more
  • Christianity and Slavery in the Old South
    July 1999

    Christianity and Slavery in the Old South

    Americans, with their strong tendency to externalize the evil within them and to project it onto others, have been waging crusades to extirpate or crush one kind of evil or another for almost 200 years now.
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  • The Only Game in Town
    June 1999

    The Only Game in Town

    My father often told me the story of how he, as a small boy, had sat on the knee of Wyatt Earp. The former marshal] of Dodge and Tombstone, as an old man, came to Chicago to give a lecture.
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  • Print the Legend
    June 1999

    Print the Legend

    At the Alamo, Davy Crockett either: A. Died while swinging old Betsy; B. Came radically disconnected when he torched the powder magazine; C. Surrendered to the Mexicans, who tortured, then killed him, along with six other Anglo survivors of the...
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  • Tom and Sally and Joe and Fawn
    March 1999

    Tom and Sally and Joe and Fawn

    The timing of Nature magazine's "expose" of Thomas Jefferson's alleged affair with his slave Sally Hemings received a great deal of press attention, coming as it did just before elections which were expected to determine a modern philandering...
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  • Hollywood Does History
    March 1999

    Hollywood Does History

    At 0825 on 20 November 1943, the first of six waves of Marines left the line of departure and headed for the beach on Betio Island, the principal objective for the United States in the Tarawa Atoll.
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  • On <em>Saving Private Ryan</em>

    On Saving Private Ryan

    Wayne Allensworth, in his poignant and beautifully written review of Saving Private Ryan, focuses on what is right with the film. However, I find much that is wrong, and, for me, the wrong outweighs the right.
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  • Two Vastly Different Men
    February 1999

    Two Vastly Different Men

    John F. Kennedy, C.S. Lewis: November 1998 mingled recollections of two vastly different men who died the same day of the same year. Pomp and poignance, on the day of the Kennedy funeral, left indelible memories of muffled drums, a young boy's...
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  • The Face of Battle
    January 1999

    The Face of Battle

    If you visit the American cemeteries near the beaches at Normandy—there are two of them—you may pick up a booklet describing the landings of June 6, 1944, as I did over 15 years ago.
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  • Two Centuries of Resolve
    December 1998

    Two Centuries of Resolve

    This year is the bicentennial of the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions of 1798, the foremost formulations of the compact theory of the United States Constitution. By 1798, the Republicans faced an 11-year losing streak.
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  • The British Were Coming!
    December 1998

    The British Were Coming!

    In the midst of his battle to save our old Republic and keep the United States out of World War II, John T. Flynn wondered about the true identity of his enemies. As a leader of the anti-interventionist America First Committee and its outstanding...
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  • A Theory of Fairness
    December 1998

    A Theory of Fairness

    Tom Bethell, here as often before, uses sturdy common sense to challenge experts in their own field. In a controversial article many years ago, he dared to suggest that evolutionary biologists have exaggerated the evidence for Darwinism.
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  • Dorothy Day and the American Right
    November 1998

    Dorothy Day and the American Right

    The title "Dorothy Day and the American Right" promises a merciful brevity, along the lines of "Commandments We Have Kept" by the Kennedy Brothers.
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  • The Lion of Idaho
    November 1998

    The Lion of Idaho

    The latest fad among leftist historians, according to the New York Times, is the study of the conservative movement. "By marrying social and political history," the Times announced, "this new wave of scholarship is revising the history of...
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  • An Honorable Defeat
    October 1998

    An Honorable Defeat

    Imagine America invaded by a foreign power, one that has quadruple the population and industrial base. Imagine that this enemy has free access to the world's goods as well as an inexhaustible supply of cannon fodder from the proletariat of other...
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  • Greatheart!
    September 1998

    Greatheart!

    In the foreword to Brother to Dragons , Robert Penn Warren writes "historical sense and poetic sense should not, in the end, be contradictory, for if poetry is the little myth we make, history is the big myth we live, and in our living,...
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  • Dixie Redux
    September 1998

    Dixie Redux

    In Maryland, one naturally associates historical reenactment with the Civil War. Yet the only reenactor I know eschews the Civil for the Revolutionary War because, he says, "I don't reenact events where the people are still fighting the war.
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  • The Kennedy Legacy
    May 1998

    The Kennedy Legacy

    More than three decades after his assassination, John Fitzgerald Kennedy's reputation continues to preserve its saintly luster, resisting the tarnish of time and truth. Those of us alive in 1963 will carry to our graves the shock of a young...
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  • To Hell and Back
    May 1998

    To Hell and Back

    "Will no one tell me what she sings? Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow / For old, unhappy far-off things. And Battles long ago." Wordsworth, perhaps, was prompted by recollections of an age before warfare meant the mechanized destruction of all...
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  • The Last Gentlemen
    April 1998

    The Last Gentlemen

    Walker Percy was born in Birmingham, Alabama, on May 7, 1916, the eldest son of a prosperous lawyer and a Georgia socialite. In addition to patrician lineage, Percy enjoyed a birthright of wealth and privilege.
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  • The Crime of History
    March 1998

    The Crime of History

    He who writes a nation's history also controls its future—so wrote George Orwell. During the Soviet reign over Eastern Europe, every citizen knew who was in charge of writing history, especially that dealing with the victims of World War II.
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  • A Democratic Politician
    March 1998

    A Democratic Politician

    Wir sind mit Hitler noch lange nicht fertig ("We are nowhere near done with Hitler"): the warning by two contemporary German historians provides an apt opening line to John Lukacs's delightful book.
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  • The Censored History of Internment
    February 1998

    The Censored History of Internment

    In March 1997, Japanese-Peruvians who had been interned in the United States during World War II called upon President Clinton to issue an executive order awarding them financial compensation similar to that awarded in 1988 to Japanese-American...
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  • Switzerland and Its Armed Citizenry
    January 1998

    Switzerland and Its Armed Citizenry

    Since the origins of the Swiss Confederation in 1291, it has been the duty of every male Swiss citizen to be armed and to serve in the militia. Today, that arm is an "assault rifle," which is issued to every Swiss male and which must be kept in...
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  • Beyond All the Shouting
    January 1998

    Beyond All the Shouting

    While Cold Mountain, the admittedly well-wrought novel about a Confederate deserter, has achieved bestseller status, a story of a quite different sort has gained a modest but devoted readership and demonstrated anew the gifts of one of America's...
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  • Mr. Lincoln's War An Irrepressible Conflict?
    October 1997

    Mr. Lincoln's War An Irrepressible Conflict?

    The Civil War was the greatest tragedy ever to befall the nation. Brother slew brother. Six hundred thousand of America's best and bravest died of shot, shell, and disease. The South was bled to death, invaded, ravaged by Union armies, occupied...
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  • The Shooting of George Wallace
    August 1997

    The Shooting of George Wallace

    On May 15, 1972, I was a nine-year-old Little Leaguer determined to become the next Johnny Bench. As I headed home from the playground after baseball practice, our neighbor, Willie Kines, waved me over to his car.
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  • Ted Turner Fights the War
    August 1997

    Ted Turner Fights the War

    The news that Jeff Shaara, author of Gods and Generals, will turn his novel of Stonewall Jackson at Chancellorsville into a made-for-TV movie should give pause hereabouts. A lot of folks who live within a rebel yell of Malvern Hill recall what...
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  • Why They Hate Jefferson
    August 1997

    Why They Hate Jefferson

    What a marathon of Jefferson-bashing we have had in the last few years. This book by the "global statesman" O'Brien follows several other critical biographies, all of which have been highlighted in the fashionable reviews.
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  • The Character of Stonewall Jackson
    July 1997

    The Character of Stonewall Jackson

    The era of the War for Southern Independence illuminates the present time for what it is, and is not. As J.O. Tate has said, "Everything in American history went into the Civil War, and everything since has come out of it."
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  • In Hoc Signo Vinces
    July 1997

    In Hoc Signo Vinces

    Tactical strengths and strategic weaknesses mark John D. McKenzie's reassessment of Robert E. Lee's generalship. The strengths of this book are many. The weaknesses, however, undercut the very point that the author attempts to make; namely, that...
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  • Reflections in Miniature
    July 1997

    Reflections in Miniature

    Philip Jenkins' book is a gold mine of information on pro-fascist and pro- Nazi groups in Pennsylvania during the 1930's. Jenkins makes informative distinctions among the various bearers of Camicie fasciste, differentiating silver, khaki, black,...
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  • The Lincoln Legacy
    June 1997

    The Lincoln Legacy

    On balance, Jeffrey Rogers Hummel has written a provocative and much-needed book on what Southerners prefer to call the War for Southern Independence or simply Mr. Lincoln's War.
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  • Clip Clop, Bang Bang
    April 1997

    Clip Clop, Bang Bang

    What a shame that our effort to remember our own history should itself be so contentious. But then again, the Civil War was a shame itself, and there is something perversely appropriate in having the national memory supervised by replicants of...
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  • Slouching Toward Empire
    February 1997

    Slouching Toward Empire

    The tragic fate of the Cherokee tribe is well documented. What is less widely known, and probably less researched, is the fairly rapid destruction of the Creeks, and the role played by Andrew Jackson in their demise.
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  • Germans in the Dock
    December 1996

    Germans in the Dock

    The cataclysm came—in the form of the diabolical Reichstag fire and the rigged elections of early March 1933. But by then it was too late to do anything but flee. For those, at least, who had the means to do so.
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  • A King for France?
    July 1996

    A King for France?

    Kings and dynasties seemed to be buried and forgotten when two recent events revived interest in them. On a frivolous but historically significant level, it was the series of scandals of the House of Windsor that brought Europe's ruling families...
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  • Jungle Excursions
    May 1996

    Jungle Excursions

    Certain frontline soldiers in Vietnam, Michael Herr has written, went off to battle in the jungle whistling the themes to the television shows Combat and The Mickey Mouse Club, making Vietnam the first television war in more ways than one.
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  • Ancient Greek Religion
    April 1996

    Ancient Greek Religion

    The religion of the ancient Greeks is startlingly different from Christianity. It has been misinterpreted by people who think that since it is a religion it must be like Christianity, and also by people who think that because it is not like...
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  • Black Confederates
    April 1996

    Black Confederates

    Black Confederates! Remember, you heard it here first. You will be hearing more if you have any interest at all in the Great Unpleasantness of the last century that is the focal point of American history.
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  • Campaign Finance Reform
    March 1996

    Campaign Finance Reform

    In accepting the Democratic nomination for the presidency in 1908, this century's greatest populist warned: "How can the people hope to rule if they are not able to learn, until after the election, what the predatory interests are doing?"
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  • Farmers and Thinkers
    March 1996

    Farmers and Thinkers

    Between the eighth and sixth centuries B.C. there appeared the polis, the Greek city-state, an elusive entity which nurtured and defined ideals still central to Western European views of all that is "civilized."
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  • Coleridge and the Battle of Waterloo
    January 1996

    Coleridge and the Battle of Waterloo

    There is a story told about the late Roland Barthes. Once, in his Paris seminar on critical theory, a British visitor bravely remarked that something he had just said sounded rather like a point made by Coleridge in the Biographia Literaria. An...
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  • Whig History and Lost Causes
    January 1996

    Whig History and Lost Causes

    It is totally misleading to present history as if its course was inevitable. The past cannot be understood if the elements of chance and contingency are ignored. To assume that what happened was bound to happen—the teleological interpretation of...
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  • A Free-Minded
    November 1995

    A Free-Minded

    Douglas Young was a tall man, six feet six inches; with his beard he looked like a Calvinist Jehovah. At St. Andrews, he acquired the nickname "God" by eavesdropping on a political discussion about the Balkans.
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  • Contingency and Chance in Scottish and American History
    November 1995

    Contingency and Chance in Scottish and American History

    Why did the Americans win and the Jacobites lose? The classic answer is that the Americans represented the future, a future of liberty, freedom, secularism, and individualism.
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  • The Future Belongs To Us
    October 1995

    The Future Belongs To Us

    We used to talk, in those days, about Regis Debray, the young Frenchman who went from school in Paris to Cuba and fought with Che Guevara in Bolivia. He was captured when Che was killed in 1967, and French President Charles de Gaulle telegraphed...
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  • Not Out of Africa
    September 1995

    Not Out of Africa

    If radical Afrocentrists have their way, soon all schoolchildren will learn—as some are now learning—a version of ancient Mediterranean history that gives credit for the Greek achievement to the ancient Egyptians.
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  • The Significance of the Region in American History
    August 1995

    The Significance of the Region in American History

    During the early 1920's, 30 years after he had written his famous essay on the significance of the frontier in the nation's history, the great American historian Frederick Jackson Turner published two other works on the democratizing role of what...
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  • Listen My Children
    January 1995

    Listen My Children

    Sometimes you wonder. Having been told by a Democrat that if we had "screwed up" at Saratoga we would today have national health insurance, I suppressed a number of reactions that came to mind by deciding to start smoking again.
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  • The Russian Frontier
    October 1994

    The Russian Frontier

    America, the historian Frederick Jackson Turner had it, is a land defined by its frontiers, once inexorably westward- lending, led by Manifest Destiny. The cultural geographer Carl Ortwin Sauer gave Turner's "frontier thesis" a twist that...
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  • Father Abraham
    September 1994

    Father Abraham

    It now appears that the safest way for scholars to treat Abraham Lincoln is in discrete segments of his life, leaving it to other, perhaps braver, souls to draw the appropriate conclusions.
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  • The Other Black History
    August 1994

    The Other Black History

    On May 13, Florida Governor Lawton Chiles signed into law a measure requiring public schools to teach black history. The black history law requires lessons on slavery, the passage of slaves to America, abolition, and the contributions of blacks...
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  • Dead White Male Beyond the Pale
    June 1994

    Dead White Male Beyond the Pale

    This book is a powerful example of Faulkner's wisdom that the past isn't dead—it isn't even past. Mortar shells falling on Heathrow's runways, even when they fail to detonate, effectively remind us of the Troubles they are designed to remind us...
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  • Showdown at Gettysburg
    May 1994

    Showdown at Gettysburg

    Sitting through a showing of the recent film "Gettysburg" in a multiplex theater amid the abstract sprawl of suburban Yankeedom was somehow an unnerving experience. I don't mean to say that the movie itself was off-putting or unsuccessful, though...
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  • Flags as Symbols
    May 1994

    Flags as Symbols

    Men of the North and Men of the South both fought and gave blood and life for their flags as symbols of all that they stood for. It is not meet or proper that abolitionists, old or modern, or Klansmen, black or white, should attempt to belittle...
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  • Southern Supplements
    May 1994

    Southern Supplements

    The great classicist and poet A.E. Housman once wrote that the work of a scholar in the humanities is not like that of a scientist examining specimens under a microscope—it is more like the work of a dog searching for fleas.
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  • Standard Fare
    February 1994

    Standard Fare

    Canada's role in World War II was relived last year on Canadian national television via a mini-series entitled The Valour and the Horror. The second part of the series, Death by Moonlight: Bomber Command, was met by protests so widespread as to...
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  • The Pit—And the Pendulum
    February 1994

    The Pit—And the Pendulum

    Our Founding Fathers understood that they had inaugurated a republican federal union unique in its balance and distribution of powers.
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  • Virtually Unnoticed
    November 1993

    Virtually Unnoticed

    Thomas Jefferson's birthday went virtually unnoticed earlier this year, the 250th anniversary of his birth. Nothing is more indicative of how badly we Americans have squandered our moral capital and betrayed the substance of our history.
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  • Sixteen Hundred Years
    September 1993

    Sixteen Hundred Years

    When a civilization nearly two millennia in the building comes to an end, common decency requires that the world take note of its passing. For if ordinary people, born only to die in much less than a century, deserve a proper burial, what...
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  • Roots of a New World Order
    August 1993

    Roots of a New World Order

    Though Thomas Knock draws no explicit comparisons between Woodrow Wilson's plans for a post- Great War world and the policies George Bush tried to fashion for a post-Cold War world, his use of the term "New World Order" in the title of his book...
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  • Cold Comfort
    February 1993

    Cold Comfort

    Ambling through the Museum of the History of the City of Helsinki I find myself in a small projection room where a film about the history of Helsinki during the last 70 years is shown.
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  • The Recovery of the West
    February 1993

    The Recovery of the West

    There are dangers in a daughter writing her father's biography: the danger that she will be too uncritical if her relationship with him were close and affectionate; or, as is more common these days, that she will be too critical if it were not.
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  • Reinventing America
    January 1993

    Reinventing America

    No public figure in American history is more inscrutable than Abraham Lincoln. While this is in some measure due to his extraordinary deftness as a politician, it is primarily the result of his astounding success in refounding the Republic in his...
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  • Acts of Life
    January 1993

    Acts of Life

    The nearly lifelong friendship of Henry Adams and Henry James, both now accepted as writers of towening stature, was one of the most engaging yet contrary relationships in our literary history.
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  • Clap & Trap
    December 1992

    Clap & Trap

    I had heard about, but not read, "The End of History?" Francis Fukuyama's star-burst essay published in 1989; but I felt a twinge of sympathy for him as his critics chortled and pointed at history rumbling anew: people dancing atop the Berlin...
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  • Lastest With the Leastest
    December 1992

    Lastest With the Leastest

    Since Professor Wills has a way of relating episodes that transforms the dramatic into the soporific and turns the concrete into the abstract, this first biography of Forrest to be written since 1944 is probably the last that anyone should read.
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  • War and the Social Life
    November 1992

    War and the Social Life

    British Major-General John Frederick Charles Fuller is remembered today as one of the great strategists and military historians of this century.
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  • A Houdini of Time
    November 1992

    A Houdini of Time

    After seven years on public and private payrolls as senior editor of the King Papers Project, Clayborne Carson has finally produced the first volume of MLK's papers. The project began in 1984, and since 1986 has received a half-million dollars of...
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  • Wild About Harry—Again
    November 1992

    Wild About Harry—Again

    I was born in 1946, right in the middle of Harry Truman's accidental and tumultuous first term as President. I have no memory of the man until one early November morning in 1952, when my mother and grandmother were discussing the election of...
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  • Go East, Young Man
    October 1992

    Go East, Young Man

    We shall soon be celebrating the cardinal date of the second Christian millennium, the fall of New Rome, otherwise known as Constantinople in 1453. For a thousand years after the collapse of the Western empire.
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  • A New European Identity