Month: March 2020

Home 2020 March
Lighting Up History
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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

Singin’ the Publishing Blues
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Singin’ the Publishing Blues

I like a traveling circus. The American Historical Association’s annual conference periodically sets up its tent at the New York Hilton. Since I live nearby, I subject myself to its clown car of characters every half decade. But this year,

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Vestigial Reds

Diana West should be a familiar name to anyone who has studied the operation of the American Communist movement. Two of her books, America Betrayed: The Secret Assault on our Nation’s Character (2013) and The Red Thread (2019) examine the

And a Little Child Shall Mislead Them
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And a Little Child Shall Mislead Them

Swedish activist Greta Thunberg has become a vastly influential force in the discussion of global climate change. Even so, policy makers are reluctant to challenge her because her global reputation verges on the hagiographic. Conservative Italians denounce her fanatical disciples

The Knack of the Non-Deal
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The Knack of the Non-Deal

An Arab-Israeli peace agreement is like a moderate Syrian rebel or rational leftist: It is possible to visualize, but producing one is daunting. Every attempt has failed. President Donald Trump’s “Peace to Prosperity” plan will be no exception.

Hardly the

Meet the Markles
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Meet the Markles

I never thought I’d get back to this silly subject for Chronicles ever again, but the Markles—as I now refer to them—have a way of getting our attention, and embarrassing Al Capone in the process. As the Feds were closing

Dictatorship of the Deranged
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Dictatorship of the Deranged

A long time ago, I happened upon a cartoon in some publication or other. A single frame—in the vein of Gary Larson—depicted thousands of sheep rushing headlong off a cliff. In the middle of this great multitude, one particular sheep

Tariffs Work
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Tariffs Work

For decades, American political discourse has largely operated within the spectrum of opinions voiced by the editorial pages of The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal. Opinions not embraced by one of

White Man’s Soul Music
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White Man’s Soul Music

“Country music is white man’s soul music.”
—Kris Kristofferson

“It doesn’t offend us hillbillies, it’s our music.”
—Dolly Parton on the term “hillbilly music”

“She sounds exactly like where she’s from.”
—Vince Gill on Dolly Parton

“The old ghosts are

Sir Roger Scruton: Britain’s Culture Warrior
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Sir Roger Scruton: Britain’s Culture Warrior

I first heard Roger Scruton speak at the 1993 regional Philadelphia Society meeting in Dearborn, Michigan, organized to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Russell Kirk’s The Conservative Mind. Scruton spoke on the topic of “The Conservative Mind Abroad” in

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Books in Brief

Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center by Tyler O’Neil (Bombardier Books; 240 pp., $16.99). Journalist Tyler O’Neil of PJ Media has been busy. From roughly around the time of the Charlottesville racial conflagration in 2017

First Things First
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First Things First

After people gather into groups they formulate their own founding myths. The veracity of these stories is of secondary importance to their ability to tie people to a sense of noble purpose, shared sacrifice, and confidence that their activities have

What the Editors Are Reading
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What the Editors Are Reading

Perhaps the greatest American autobiography in both the quality of its writing and the import of its content is Whittaker Chambers’ Witness (1952). Sadly, it’s also one of the most neglected by the country’s leftist-dominated intelligentsia.

Witness describes Chambers’ winding

Brexit Got Done, Now Get Over It
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Brexit Got Done, Now Get Over It

The great 2016 vote-undoing project seems at long last to have been abandoned on both sides of the Atlantic. In Washington, President Trump’s impeachment fizzled out—a strange and pathetic affair however you look at it. Everyone is looking past it

The World’s Values
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The World’s Values

1917
Directed by Sam Mendes • Written by Sam Mendes and Krysty Wilson-Cairns • Produced by Amblin Partners, DreamWorks Pictures, Mogambo, Neal Street Productions, and Reliance Entertainment • Distributed by Universal Pictures

La Grande Illusion (1937)
Directed by Jean Renoir

Historical Revisionism on the Right
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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

Remembering H. L. Mencken
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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

The American Muse
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The American Muse

[I]n populous Egypt they fatten up many bookish pedants who quarrel unceasingly in the Muses’ birdcage.”

—Timon of Phlius, 230 B.C.

For almost as long as there have been literary works, there have been literary canons, largely established by bookish