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  • The Unbearable Burden of Being

    The Unbearable Burden of Being

    What has brought upon us the madness of the “transgender,” with all its sad denial of the beauty and particularity of male and female? To see the cause, we must diagnose the malady. It is boredom: an irritable impatience with the things that are. Having lost a strong sense of creation and of nature as a gift from the Creator, we reduce the natural world to a fetish-object, or to inert and meaningless stuff to be manipulated for our pleasure. That stuff includes our own bodies. It was inevitable that it should be so.

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Society & Culture

  • Trail Life: A Christian Answer to the Boy Scouts

    Trail Life: A Christian Answer to the Boy Scouts

    When Boy Scouts of America (BSA) announced their decision to welcome and validate openly homosexual boys six years ago, Cub Scout mom Theresa Waning saw the writing on the wall. Shortly after BSA’s announcement, the church chartering her son’s troop, like many other churches across the country, revoked their BSA charter, leaving Waning’s son and other scouts without a troop.

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Reviews

  • <em>What the Editors Are Reading</em>

    What the Editors Are Reading

    The Diary of a Country Priest (1936) by Georges Bernanos is as timely now as ever. It can be appreciated for its powerful Christian vision, its pertinence to today’s social illnesses, and its literary excellence, as shown in narrative technique, style, character portraits, and subtle plot development. I’ve taught it repeatedly.

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  • <em>Books in Brief</em>

    Books in Brief

    Debunking Howard Zinn: Exposing the Fake History That Turned a Generation Against America, by Mary Grabar (Regnery; 327 pp., $29.99). Mary Grabar has performed an invaluable service by taking the time to dissect Howard Zinn’s polemical attack on America, A People’s History of the United States (1980). Christus Vincit: Christ’s Triumph Over the Darkness of the Age, by Bishop Athanasius Schneider and Diane Montagna (Angelico Press; 338 pp., $30.00). How are the Vatican’s Amazon Synod, a board meeting of GlaxoSmithKline, and a hearing before the House Intelligence Committee different?

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  • An Austrian Frame of Mind

    An Austrian Frame of Mind

    Professor Janek Wasserman, to his credit, is not a polemicist. His new book is indeed a leftist critique of the broad school of economic thought now colloquially referred to as “Austrian,” but it is not only that. It is also a lively and well-paced history of the astonishing influence pre-war Viennese intellectuals had on the greater world, and continue to have in areas far beyond economics. The author’s ideology intrudes at times, but never quite so obtrusively as to derail the book’s mission. The Marginal Revolutionaries first and foremost is a worthwhile historical account of major figures from the Austrian school, and not primarily an attempt at academic or ideological refutation.

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  • The Making of the Midwest

    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 the first thrust of Westward expansion that would characterize the United States during the rest of the 19th century. McCullough’s chronicle considers the period 1787-1863, using journals, letters, and the histories told by the original pioneers of the Ohio Territory.

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Remembering the Right

  • Remembering Robert Nisbet

    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, along with his friend Russell Kirk and a few others, of postwar intellectual American conservatism. Nisbet greatly admired Edmund Burke and Alexis de Tocqueville. Like them, he combined liberal sympathies with deep respect for tradition and the varied local communities in which it finds its natural home. The combination, together with his intellectual acumen, made him a favorite of the early neoconservatives, who were a group of leftist intellectuals shocked out of complacency by the ’60s and looking for ways to limit the excesses of what was called progress.

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Polemics & Exchanges

  • Was Civil Rights Right?

    Was Civil Rights Right?

    By

    I read the editorial “What’s Paleo, and What’s Not” by Paul Gottfried (December 2019) with appreciation. It did raise some questions for me. He mentioned the controversial view of seeing continuity between the civil rights legislation of the 1960s and the current situation we are in. Given the obvious injustice that existed in both the North and South, was there a better plan than the legislation passed? Can conservatives allow change in areas that obviously need it? Does conservatism mean ossification or [being] hermetically sealed, so no change is possible? The particular application of Jim Crow in the South was an Achilles’ heel. It was not defensible, but change can go beyond correction and create new problems. Does he think it best to have left things as they were?

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  • A Louisiana Lesson

    A Louisiana Lesson

    By

    If an admiring reviewer’s main purpose is to inspire his reader to run out and buy the book he praises, Professor Randall Ivey has done that for me with his review of Louisiana Poets: A Literary Guide (“Chansons by the Bayou,” December 2019). Drs. Brosman and Pass could not have asked for a more justly sympathetic or skillfully detailed description of what must be a delightful introduction to the Pelican State’s best poets. I cannot wait to read it.

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Editorials

  • Britain

    Britain's New Reality

    At 10 p.m. on Dec. 12, the TV screen flashes up a summary of British voting exit polls, showing a landslide victory for the Conservatives. The spectre of a Marxist government under Jeremy Corbyn vanishes, and Boris Johnson now rules the land. He has what no other Western leader has: a guarantee of nearly five years in power. Boris has a majority with a surplus of 80 seats and can do what he likes, within reason.

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  • The Truth About Afghanistan

    The Truth About Afghanistan

    If anyone hasn’t heard about it by now, “our” government has been lying about the lack of progress being made in the seemingly eternal war being fought in Afghanistan. In the 18 years of the longest war in U.S. history, more than $1 trillion has gone down the drain, along with thousands of lives, in a bloody mess that was and is going nowhere.

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  • A Gutless Persuasion

    A Gutless Persuasion

    On Nov. 18, the Rupert Murdoch-financed New York Post ran an opinion-piece by its star columnist, Karol Markowicz, on left-wing anti-Semitism. Like the rest of the Post editorial staff, Markowicz is upset that at least part of the Jewish left has turned emphatically against the Israeli Likud government and is demanding the return of the West Bank to Palestinian control. Without getting into this complicated dispute (about whether the Jewish left is really anti-Jewish) let us turn to a statement in Markowicz’s broadside that would especially interest readers of Chronicles.

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Correspondence

  • Is Seattle Dying?

    Is Seattle Dying?

    Not long ago, I found myself sitting one sunny Friday afternoon in the Unity Museum in Seattle, notebook in hand, as a group of fresh-faced college undergraduates participated in a debate over whether or not their city is dying. The general conclusion of the affair and the grim message of the students was that it is indeed.

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Columns

  • Outrage and Censorship

    Outrage and Censorship

    I began my journalistic career under strict censorship. It was imposed on the press and media by the Greek colonels who had seized power in a bloodless coup in Athens on April 21, 1967. Censorship, however, suited me fine. That’s because I was an ardent backer of the coup, the democratic process having been torn to shreds by the socialists and extreme left-wingers in Parliament. Now, 52 years later, I am once again writing under censorship, but this time run by the politically correct leftist gestapo. One wrong word and one’s career is kaput!

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  • Remembering the Twenty-Teens

    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 memories. Whatever we call the decade we have just completed—the twenty-teens?—it is one with landmarks arguably as important as any in our history.

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  • Purging the Bureaucrats

    Purging the Bureaucrats

    In his 1968 essay “Bureaucracy and Policy Making,” Dr. Henry Kissinger argued that there was no rationality or consistency in American foreign policymaking. “[A]s the bureaucracy becomes large and complex,” he wrote, “more time is devoted to running its internal management than in divining the purpose which it is supposed to serve.” There is only so much that even the President can do against the wishes of the bureaucracy, Kissinger warned. Unless he can get the willing support of his subordinates, simply giving an order does not get very far.

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  • Racing for Dominance

    Racing for Dominance

    Jojo Rabbit • Ford v Ferrari • A Simple Plan

    Jojo Rabbit, written, directed, and produced by Taika Waititi, is a strange movie. It breaks the 74-year-old rule that Hitler must never be portrayed as playful, prankish, or in any other way amusing. Yet that’s precisely what Waititi has done. What’s more, he’s taken on the acting challenge of portraying the monster.

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