Year: 2018

Home 2018
Trump’s Saudi Gamble
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Trump’s Saudi Gamble

“America First! The world is a very dangerous place!” President Donald J. Trump’s opening of his statement on “Standing with Saudi Arabia” (November 20) was eccentric; the ensuing 600-odd words—indubitably his own—appeared to give Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (“MbS”) an unqualified and outrageous carte blanche, seven weeks after Jamal Khashoggi’s murder. There may be...

Thankful to Be an American
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Thankful to Be an American

I often hear it said that America isn’t a real country or that there are no such people as Americans. That’s an easy enough case to make from behind a keyboard, but a harder case to make if you’ve ever been to Europe, where Americans are instantly recognizable even if they’re visiting places their families...

Are the Saudi Princes True Friends?
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Are the Saudi Princes True Friends?

The 633-word statement of President Donald Trump on the Saudi royals’ role in the grisly murder of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi is a remarkable document, not only for its ice-cold candor. The president re-raises a question that has roiled the nation since Jimmy Carter: To what degree should we allow idealistic values trump vital...

Come, Ye Thankful People
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Come, Ye Thankful People

A “progressive” rap on “social conservatives”: All they crave is power to tell you whom to sleep with, and how, and what god (if any) to worship. This contrasts, naturally, with broad-minded types of the progressive persuasion, who don’t care what you do, morally speaking, so long as you don’t say or do anything insensitive...

Theresa May’s Impending Exit
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Theresa May’s Impending Exit

The War of the Tory Succession is now entering its terminal phase. The ultra-loyalist Amber Rudd, badly wounded a couple of months ago, has now after convalescence returned to the Front. She is back in the Cabinet after Dominic Raab became the second Brexit Secretary to pull out from that unfulfilling job. Michael Gove avoided...

Will Democratic Rebels Dethrone Nancy?
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Will Democratic Rebels Dethrone Nancy?

After adding at least 37 seats and taking control of the House by running on change, congressional Democrats appear to be about to elect as their future leaders three of the oldest faces in the party. Nancy Pelosi of California and Steny Hoyer of Maryland have led the House Democrats for 16 years. For 12...

Who is Really Responsible for Political Violence?
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Who is Really Responsible for Political Violence?

For the past year or so—and especially since the badly constructed pipe bombs (none of which went off) that were sent to various Democratic Party leaders and to certain national leftist personalities, and then the hate-filled rampage by a crazed anti-Semite at a Jewish synagogue in Pittsburgh—the mainstream media, including many of the supposed conservative...

Trump Raises the Stakes With CNN
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Trump Raises the Stakes With CNN

Last week, the White House revoked the press pass of CNN’s chief White House correspondent, Jim Acosta, and denied him access to the building. CNN responded by filing suit in federal court against the president. Acosta’s First and Fifth Amendment rights had been violated, said CNN. The demand: Acosta’s press pass must be returned immediately...

An Anniversary to Remember
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An Anniversary to Remember

Last Sunday, many of our political leaders, feeling pressured by the anniversary of the Armistice that began at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month exactly one hundred years ago, publicly remembered the generally forgotten dead of the Great War. That war is something any genuine statesman would always keep in...

Define “Imperialism”
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Define “Imperialism”

From the June 1991 issue of Chronicles. Lewis Namier liked to tell the story of an English schoolboy who was asked to define “imperialism” on an examination paper. “Imperialism,” the budding proconsul wrote, “is learning how to get along with one’s social inferiors.” In the Edwardian twilight of the British Empire, that answer might have...

Macron to Trump: ‘You’re No Patriot!’
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Macron to Trump: ‘You’re No Patriot!’

In a rebuke bordering on national insult Sunday, Emmanuel Macron retorted to Donald Trump’s calling himself a nationalist. “Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism; nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism.” As for Trump’s policy of “America first,” Macron trashed such atavistic thinking in this new age: “By saying we put ourselves first and the...

A Melancholy Centennial
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A Melancholy Centennial

After four years and three months of unprecedented carnage, the Great War—the most catastrophic event in all of history—ended one hundred years ago, on November 11, 1918. That war destroyed an effervescent civilization, unmatched in its fruits and vigor. A decent and on the whole well-ordered world was wrecked for ever, thrown into the abyss...

The War for the Soul of America
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The War for the Soul of America

The war in Washington will not end until the presidency of Donald Trump ends. Everyone seems to sense that now. This is a fight to the finish. A postelection truce that began with Trump congratulating House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi—”I give her a great deal of credit for what she’s done and what she’s accomplished”—was...

The Dictatorship of Victims Strikes Back
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The Dictatorship of Victims Strikes Back

One can almost hear an audible sigh of relief from the rogues’ gallery of criminal conspirators behind the phony Russiagate collusion story cooked up in the bowels of the US-UK Deep State with the aim of overturning the 2016 election. Now, after two years of the GOP’s dithering in the area of investigations and hearings...

Special for Veterans Day: The Conservative Novel of the Year
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Special for Veterans Day: The Conservative Novel of the Year

Armstrong is a rollicking work of alternate history that doesn’t sacrifice accurate details or historical nuance for the sake of your entertainment. Have you ever wondered what might have happened if General Custer survived the Battle of the Little Bighorn? Wonder no more, for this is the premise of Armstrong. H.W. Crocker III immerses you...

More Than an Inkling
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More Than an Inkling

From the October 2015 issue of Chronicles. “Every great man nowadays has his disciples,” wrote Oscar Wilde, “and it is always Judas who writes the biography.”  Even conceding that Wilde was writing for effect, it is nonetheless true that biographers often betray their subjects with either a kiss or a curse, and that the kiss...

Has Bloomberg Begun the Battle for 2020?
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Has Bloomberg Begun the Battle for 2020?

Did former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg just take a page out of the playbook of Sen. Ed Muskie from half a century ago? In his first off-year election in 1970, President Richard Nixon ran a tough attack campaign to hold the 52 House seats the GOP had added in ’66 and ’68, and to...

Merkel’s Flawed Legacy
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Merkel’s Flawed Legacy

Angela Merkel announced on October 29 that she would make a two-stage exit from the political scene. She is first giving up her chairmanship of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), which will select a new leader at its party congress on December 7-8. She is to step down as chancellor next, but not before the...

Imagining the West
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Imagining the West

“The curious have observed that the progress of humane literature (like the sun) is from the East to the West. . .” —Nathaniel Ames As both a reality and an interpretive problem, the American West has retained its long-established hold on the attention of our scholars. And the same is true of Western American literature:...

An American Statesman Turns 80
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An American Statesman Turns 80

Eight years ago, I made the case in this magazine that Pat Buchanan has been a “visionary.” That case is even clearer today, with the White House occupied by a man who got there by running on the issues Buchanan had championed for decades and who is now remaking the GOP along populist and nationalist...

Mass Migration: Mortal Threat to Red State America
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Mass Migration: Mortal Threat to Red State America

Among the reasons Donald Trump is president is that his natural political instincts are superior to those of any other current figure. As campaign 2018 entered its final week, Trump seized upon and elevated the single issue that most energizes his populist base and most convulses our media elite. Warning of an “invasion,” he pointed...

Thanks, Christine
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Thanks, Christine

The ugliness displayed by the media and Democrats during the fight over Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court is yet another indicator of how far we have come from Hamilton’s conception of the federal judiciary as “the least dangerous branch.” Kavanaugh was nominated to replace Anthony Kennedy, who used his perch on the...

Age of the F-Bomb
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Age of the F-Bomb

The suppression of manners and the power of the halfwit elite Sometime during the 1920’s, at an exclusive party at Count Boni de Castellane’s, a great French lady felt herself beginning to die at the dinner table.  “Quick, bring the dessert,” she whispered to the waiter. She was not overcome by greed.  She simply wished...

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Books in Brief

Not only is Father Rutler one of the most brilliant priests in the country; he is also one of the finest writers of the English language today.  In this collection of predominantly short essays, many or most of them reprinted or adapted from Crisis Magazine, he shows to his absolute best.  His elegant and rather...

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Our Inner Mason-Dixon

About a hundred years before the Civil War, two British surveyors, Jeremiah Mason and Charles Dixon, with a crew of ax-men, marked out 270 miles of wilderness.  They set a stone at every mile, and another grander one embossed with the arms of the Penn and Calvert clans every five miles.  The resulting map pacified...

Lilliputian Fantasies
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Lilliputian Fantasies

Downsizing Produced and distributed by Paramount Pictures  Directed by Alexander Payne  Screenplay by Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor  I’m late commenting on Alexander Payne’s Downsizing for the simple reason that the film became all but unavailable within what seemed a couple of weeks of its opening in December 2017.  It had disappeared from theaters and...

Kavanaugh in Retrospect
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Kavanaugh in Retrospect

Hours after the U.S. Senate voted to confirm Judge Kavanaugh as the 114th Supreme Court Justice, a commentator on FOX News remarked that no winners had emerged from the legislative ordeal.  He was wrong, of course.  Kavanaugh himself was the primary winner, having survived the fury of Hell itself to prevail over the persons and...

Obsession!
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Obsession!

Reading Ann Coulter’s newest polemical masterpiece brings to mind one of her previous ones.  I don’t mean her sparkling In Trump We Trust, published just before the 2016 election (and reviewed in this magazine), in which she predicted that the unthinkable would happen.  Rather I refer to her 2011 book, Demonic: How the Liberal Mob...

What Leads to What
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What Leads to What

Last fall, when they stopped in New York on their way to vacation in Europe, Chronicles editor Chilton Williamson and his wife invited Taki and me to dinner.  Before the wine started flowing and Taki’s raconteurial skills became the primary entertainment, Chilton mentioned his desire for more reviews of books of economic history in the...

Campaigning for Narcissists
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Campaigning for Narcissists

On even-numbered years, particularly the ones coinciding with a presidential midterm, my Deep South home county undergoes the grotesque onslaught of local elections.  For a few months in the spring and summer (and also in the fall, although this is tempered somewhat by Alabama being a “Red State,” which usually means the winner of the...

A Tour of Overtures
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A Tour of Overtures

We somehow owe it to ourselves to contemplate the useful word sinfonia, one that once denoted the overture to an opera and suggested a pleasing combination of sounds.  So yes—the term that denotes the tradition of symphony is derived from another musical convention which we think of as not symphonic, but rather related to opera. ...

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Defying the Determinists

President Donald Trump is unique among post-NAFTA presidents for rejecting the economic determinism that has dominated U.S. economic policy since 1993.  His predecessors took it for granted that, given the exigencies of “free trade,” domestic manufacturing job losses were inevitable.  Then they crafted trade policies that fulfilled their own prophecies. During the signing ceremony for...

From Silent Sam to Screaming Selfies
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From Silent Sam to Screaming Selfies

In the wake of the August 20 toppling of Silent Sam, a monument to North Carolina students who volunteered to become Confederate soldiers in 1861-65, our television screens were filled with images of scraggly, rough-bearded Millennial men and unkempt women screaming profanities and shouting imprecations about racism, white supremacy, and the dangers of “fascism.”  Which...

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Cradle of Empire

As of October, the U.S. has been fighting a war in Afghanistan for fully 17 years.  Young men who were not even born when the war started are now almost of an age to serve and be deployed.  And if that’s the case with our forces, you can just imagine how many of today’s Taliban...

A Generation in Need of Editing
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A Generation in Need of Editing

Many years ago, as the luncheon speaker at a meeting of the John Randolph Club in Rockford, Illinois, Tom Sheeley gave a thought-provoking lecture interspersed with a splendid performance of classical guitar.  His main theme was the need for form in art; and all these years later, one line stands out in my memory: “What...

A Moment of Anticipation
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A Moment of Anticipation

Are we tired of winning yet? This is the question Donald Trump kept telling us we’d be asking ourselves if he succeeded in taking the White House—and I have to confess the answer is an emphatic “No!” Join me on a journey through the past, when the editors of Chronicles and the friends and followers...

The Patriot
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The Patriot

Italian journalists are forbidden these days from using the Italian word for foreign migrants who have stolen their way by subterfuge into Italy. By controlling which words people can use you can control their thought.  It is a thoroughly fascist idea and therefore much adored by the liberal left. You use the law to criminalize...

How Theresa May Survived—For Now
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How Theresa May Survived—For Now

“Our expectation hath this day an end.” The dolorous admission of the citizens of Harfleur, that Henry V’s siege cannot be withstood, is the judgment on last Thursday’s meeting of the 1922 Committee, which consists only of backbenchers. Over the previous weekend a very strong campaign had been mounted in the Daily Telegraph stable to...

Vengeance Is Mine, Saith Ms. Jeong
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Vengeance Is Mine, Saith Ms. Jeong

In Europe some time during the 17th and 18th centuries the class of people who were known after 1789 as “the left” made the shocking discovery that the world is not perfect: not even all it might be but should be and, indeed, can be.  To the leftist mind, this imperfection was unnatural, and therefore...

Trump’s Doctrinal Problem
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Trump’s Doctrinal Problem

President Donald Trump’s speech to the U.N. General Assembly on September 25 was met with audible disrespect from some of the assembled globalist cognoscenti (representatives of many barbarous regimes included), and with blind hostility from the media and commentariat.  This was unsurprising, because the opening segment of his half-hour address sounded like the summary of...

Existential Threat
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Existential Threat

At present, two themes dominate British political news.  One is Brexit, which never ends.  The other is antisemitism in the Labour Party, which sucks up enormous amounts of media oxygen.  It is not clear how much the public cares that much about either.  Journalists talk of little else. Over the summer, many an otherwise dull...

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Tears for Fears

“A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches,” said wise King Solomon.  In the fall of 2018, Democrats pressed with all their might to take Brett Kavanaugh’s good name away, in an effort to retake control of Congress.  This was, to say the least, unjust, as the nominee himself—by all reasonable accounts...

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American Babel

Back in June, a belligerent New York City attorney briefly became a symbol of “xenophobia” for those who make it their business to deconstruct what’s left of American identity.  Viral video of his tirade in a restaurant over staff speaking to customers in Spanish served as but the latest example of what the media portray...

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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 (in England, the sexes share the name “Cecil,” as they do “Evelyn”) that tells the background story of the famous...

A Matter of Necessity
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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. Plymouth Plantation was founded in 1620 by English Separatists.  The plantation system had first been employed in Ireland to subjugate the...

Bob Mathias
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Bob Mathias

From the August 2013 issue of Chronicles. One of the greatest Olympians of all time, Bob Mathias, is all but forgotten today.  He was born in 1930 in Tulare, in the heart of California’s San Joaquin Valley.  Robert Bruce Mathias was his name, but everyone called him Bob. Bob had extraordinary coordination from infancy onward. ...

Is This Worse Than ’68?
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Is This Worse Than ’68?

Saturday, in Pittsburgh, a Sabbath celebration at the Tree of Life synagogue became the site of the largest mass murder of Jews in U.S. history. Eleven worshippers were killed by a racist gunman. Friday, we learned the identity of the crazed criminal who mailed pipe bombs to a dozen leaders of the Democratic Party, including...

Different Women
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Different Women

From the December 1991 issue of Chronicles. In 1920, when Rose Wilder Lane met Dorothy Thompson, Lane was 33 and working in Paris, writing publicity stories for the American Red Cross. She had started out in California at the San Francisco Bulletin; written biographies of Herbert Hoover, Henry Ford, and Jack London; and she would...

Did Trump Goad and Guide the Pipe Bomber?
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Did Trump Goad and Guide the Pipe Bomber?

By Thursday, the targets of the mailed pipe bombs had risen to nine: George Soros, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Maxine Waters, John Brennan, Eric Holder, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Joe Biden and Robert De Niro. That list contains four of the highest-ranking officials of Barack Obama’s administration: the president himself, his vice president, his secretary of...