• Fascism, Real and Imagined

    Fascism, Real and Imagined

    Twenty years ago I somehow managed to get my act together and get out of Paris, where I had haunted a cheap hotel for a year in the wake of the death of Princess Diana like the ghost of the Marlon Brando character in Last Tango in Paris.

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Society & Culture


  • Ask Jeeves

    Ask Jeeves

    Some of the best-loved characters in English literature are observed only dimly through the eyes of an unreliable first-person narrator; like fish seen through the glass of a tank, they swim toward us, momentarily dazzling in their colors, before receding again into the murk.

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

    What the Editors Are Reading

    Every morning I go through the New York Times (faster and more selectively with each week that passes), the (London) Daily Telegraph, and Le Figaro (it has some strong conservative writers, like Luc Ferry, and interesting essays and well-done interviews in the Sélection Premium department), and look into Il Messaggero.

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  • A View From Across the Pond

    A View From Across the Pond

    If ever there was a democratic election in a giant modern nation-state, it was Donald J. Trump’s victory in 2016. And I’ve closely watched every presidential election since I was nine in 1964, when Lyndon Johnson lied his way to a landslide against Barry Goldwater.

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In Our Time

  • I Hate

    I Hate

    A book faces me across the room from a bookcase in my office. It has a blood-red and black cover. The author’s name is printed in black down the upper part of the spine and the title in white below that.

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In Memoriam



  • The Ethnic Partitioning of England

    The Ethnic Partitioning of England

    Londonistan: The content is in the book’s title. Melanie Phillips, the author, had great difficulty in finding a publisher; no main house would take it, even though she is a distinguished and successful writer, and in the end it came out in 2006 with a minor publisher, Gibson Square.

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  • Foregone Conclusions

    Foregone Conclusions

    Here’s a question for you: Could the “monster” of the #MeToo movement get a fair trial anywhere in these United States? Is there a potential jury member that has not made up his mind that Harvey Weinstein raped, mistreated, and oppressed women?

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  • An Unsatisfying Quexit

    An Unsatisfying Quexit

    The first problem with Brexit is the word Brexit—one of those stupid portmanteau words, like motel or brunch. It is a joined-up abbreviation of “Britain’s” and “exit from the European Union.”

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  • Schizophrenic Citizens

    Schizophrenic Citizens

    The very idea of dual citizenship is downright absurd. It’s a contradiction that cannot be resolved. The concept of citizenship is based on the expectation of loyalty to the country, and this, in turn, means that citizens owe their exclusive allegiance to the community in which they live.

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  • The Last of the Royals

    The Last of the Royals

    When historians survey Europe’s 20th century, rarely do they question the fundamental evil of the old irrelevant monarchies and aristocratic regimes, and the obvious necessity of replacing them with progressive socialist and nationalist substitutes.

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  • The Pavarotti Effect

    The Pavarotti Effect

    I have been told that there is something called the “Pavarotti Effect,” and that this phenomenon is observable and definable. Perhaps sometimes the Pavarotti Effect was an affect, or perhaps it was subsumed by the “Superstar Effect,” as Sherwin Rosen called it in a paper published in The American Economic Review in 1981.

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  • Desperate Fatties

    Desperate Fatties

    This month we have two—you’ll excuse the expression—art-house films: You Were Really Never Here and Tully. Both feature actors—Joaquin Phoenix and Charlize Theron—who heroically gained 50 pounds to play their roles.

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