Chilton Williamson

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Books in Brief

The Wind from America, 1778-1781, by Claude Manceron (New York: Simon & Schuster; 584 pp.) In this second volume of the Age of the French Revolution series, first published in 1978, Manceron explores the influence on Europe of both

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In This Number

Here at the beginning of the May issue, I am pleased to introduce a new feature, In This Number, which will henceforth introduce each new issue of Chronicles.  And in this inaugural notice, I’m pleased to announce also

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The Crisis in the Anglosphere

Pro-democratic ideological think tanks that evaluate the future of democracy by the extent of its global spread and the fortunes of relatively insignificant countries around the world (the Third one, especially) should be far more concerned with events currently occurring

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The Winds of Time

The wind roared all night, darkness in furious motion that yet held solidly in place.  It was still gusting hard when Harlan Edmonds’ Dodge pickup pulled into the drive beside the house at ten in the morning and stopped behind

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What the Editors Are Reading

Always keen to read travel books about Mexico, I picked up an elderly copy (printed by A. Appleton & Company in 1921) of Viva Mexico! by Charles Macomb Flandrau that I came across in a local bookshop.  The book, originally

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Books In Brief

Twilight of the Elites: Prosperity, the Periphery, and the Future of France, by Christophe Guilluy (New Haven: Yale University Press; 184 pp., $25.00). The French dislike what they call “Anglo-American economics” even more than they dislike English and American cookery;

Bodio’s Country
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Bodio’s Country

Stephen Bodio is a memoirist, journalist, critic, sportswriter, naturalist, outdoorsman, hunter, falconer, bird breeder, dog breeder, and now a novelist.  Born in Boston, he has lived in the dusty roadside hamlet of Magdalena in southwestern New Mexico for more than

The Thousand Faces of “Me”
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The Thousand Faces of “Me”

How can I be Me?  Let Me count the ways . . .

In 1976 New York published a lengthy essay, “The ‘Me’ Decade and the Third Great Awakening,” by the reporter and novelist Tom Wolfe, who died last year,

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What the Editors Are Reading

When I was in my middle teens I read all or most of Sinclair Lewis’s work.  It seems impossible, but it is a fact nevertheless that Main Street will be a century old next year, and Babbitt in 2022.  I

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Books In Brief

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The Case for Trump, by Victor Davis Hanson (New York: Basic Books; 400 pp., $23.99). It is expected of an author that he say something new and big about someone or something new and big, even should it have

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The U.S. and the E.U.

Washington never made any particular secret of its jaundiced view of Brexit as suggested succinctly by President Obama when he warned that Great Britain, if she voted to leave the European Union, would need to go to “the back of

Trump and the Right
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Trump and the Right

It seems that a part of Donald Trump’s base—the part that writes and otherwise comments on him, anyway—is angry with the President for having reopened the portions of the federal government he had shut down for 35 days after failing

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Blackface—and White

Dr. Ralph Northam, the Democratic governor of Virginia, aetat. 59, is under enormous pressure to resign his position after a conservative website revealed the fact that his page in his medical school yearbook from 1984 carries a photograph of

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What the Editors Are Reading

I’m rereading large portions of Ed Abbey’s books (of course) as Chronicles goes to press: Desert Solitaire, Black Sun and The Fool’s Progress (both novels), Abbey’s Road, One Life at a Time, Please, Down the River,

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Books in Brief

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The Life of Saul Bellow: Love and Strife, 1965-2005, by Zachary Leader (New York: Alfred A. Knopf; 784 pp., $40.00).  This is the second volume of the author’s biography of Saul Bellow, a massive and no doubt definitive work,

The Iceberg Cometh
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The Iceberg Cometh

Throughout the Introduction and into the first chapter of Ship of Fools you seem to be seated before a television screen listening to, and watching, Tucker Carlson in his nightly broadcast.  The voice is the same, the tone is the

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Books in Brief

De Gaulle, by Julian Jackson (Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press, Harvard; 928 pp., $39.95).  Here is no doubt the best, most comprehensive, most politically balanced and appropriately distanced of the now four notable biographies of Charles de Gaulle.  Previously, those

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What the Editors Are Reading

In its issue for December 20, 2018, the New York Review of Books published an essay by Mark Lilla, a professor at Columbia University, titled “Two Roads for the New French Right.”  The piece caught the attention of many American

Designer Asylum
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Designer Asylum

Because of the Internet, old-fashioned travel agents are nearly as obsolete as ocean-going passenger liners.  In their place a new sort of agent is arising: the migrant or asylum agent, formerly known as the people smuggler.  The phenomenon has

What Is Populism?
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What Is Populism?

Dining out with my wife in a restaurant in Paris recently, I became aware of the well-dressed Frenchman seated with his wife two tables away from us listening in on our conversation.  The table for two between us was unoccupied.

Seize No Day
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Seize No Day

When one is tired of London, said Dr. Johnson, one is tired of life.  I spent a week in London last November, a city I have visited many times and know well having lived a year there with my

May, Macron—TRUMP
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May, Macron—TRUMP

Immediately after Emmanuel Macron was elected president of France in May 2017, progressive Americans fairly swooned with envy.  If only they could have a president like M. Macron: young, handsome, progressive, cosmopolitan, polished, globally minded and dedicated to the European

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Reform Now!

The left can nearly always be relied upon to recognize a new and unprecedented situation when it arises, and to propose that it be met resolutely and “creatively,” as it likes to say.  The exceptions come when holding fast to

Lost Generations
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Lost Generations

“You are all a lost generation,” Gertrude Stein is said to have told Ernest Hemingway when he and his first wife were living in Paris after the Great War.  Since then, the generation that was born in the 1890’s and

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Books in Brief

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A Mad Love: An Introduction to Opera, by Vivien Schweit-zer (New York: Basic Books; 288 pp., $27.00).  I need to be fair to this book, because the author, a concert pianist and writer who worked for a decade as

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What the Editors Are Reading

Seeking relief from the midterm madness, I’ve been rereading H.L. Mencken’s political reportage and commentary, selections from which have been published in most Mencken anthologies.  Up to Franklin Roosevelt’s bid for a second presidential term, American politics was still enjoyable—bitter

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

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

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Books in Brief

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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

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What the Editors Are Reading

Ortega y Gasset (1883-1955) was one of the most important philosophers and authors of the 20th century.  Camus called him, “after Nietzsche, . . . perhaps the greatest ‘European writer.’”  Yet he is virtually unknown today, and scarcely ever read,

Books in Brief
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Books in Brief

The author is chief executive of Humanists UK, president of the International Humanist and Ethical Union, and a former director of the European Humanist Foundation.  He describes his book as “not intended as an argument for secularism but as an

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The Enemy of the People

Of all the epithets Donald Trump has delivered over the last 24 months (“Mexican immigrant thieves and rapists,” “shithole countries,” the “Mueller Witch Hunt,” etc.), none has provoked greater outrage on the part of liberals than his characterization of

Capitol Obsequies
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Capitol Obsequies

It used to be said of the Anglican Church that it was “the Tory Party at prayer.”  On the occasion of Sen. John McCain’s funeral service in Washington National Cathedral last September 1, the United States and the world were

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The Church Afire

As of the start of September, it seemed no week was complete without another scandal breaking within the Church of Rome, considered by Her members to be the Mystical Body of Christ.  These scandals, as even the Congolese pygmies

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Books in Brief

In 1935, as president of France, Pierre Laval banned “weapons of war” and decreed that all firearms should be registered with the government.  In 1945 he was tried and found guilty of treason for his collaboration with the German

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What the Editors Are Reading

It’s easy in this business to read too much journalism at the expense of books.  Every morning I go through the New York Times (faster and more selectively with each week that passes), the (London) Daily Telegraph, and Le

I Hate
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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

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Teddy Rebel in Portland

The political establishment in California has become self-admittedly secessionist in recent months, rebelling specifically against federal immigration policy and more broadly by raising the possibility of leaving a backward and reactionary country that does not share its culture and its

Claude Polin: A Remembrance
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Claude Polin: A Remembrance

My wife and I shall visit Paris again this fall, as we have done for years, but the city will be an empty place for us following the death of our dear friend and my revered colleague, Claude Polin, on

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John McCain RIP

“The conscience of the Senate”: Senator Jeff Flake (R-Az) on Senator John (“Bomb-bomb-bomb-bomb bomb-bomb Iran”) McCain.

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The Presidential Style

“Never lose your temper except on purpose” was a firm maxim of Dwight Eisenhower’s.  Donald Trump seems generally to observe the same rule, though certainly not always.

His critics failed to understand this during the primaries in 2016, and they

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The Partisans Are Coming!

The Referendum that took Great Britain out of the European Union by a large popular majority occurred two years ago.  President Trump was elected two years ago this coming November in something like a landslide in the Electoral College.  Marine

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Claude Polin, R.I.P.

polinChronicles and The Rockford Institute have sustained a dreadful personal and institutional loss with the death of our dear friend and irreplaceable contributor Claude Polin, who died early on the morning of July 23 at his flat in Paris in

The Trump Abroad (with apologies to Mark Twain)
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The Trump Abroad (with apologies to Mark Twain)

With the sole exception of his unfortunate misstep during his joint news conference with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki when he seemed to take Putin’s word over American intelligence regarding the Kremlin’s interference in the American elections two years ago, President