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Deep History

As I read the announcement and noted with admirationnthose receiving The Ingersoll Prizes, I can say in allnhumility that it never entered my head during the pastnseveral years that I might someday be so honored, and fornthat I thank you. I thank you also for the opportunity tonmake the following brief remarks to an important...

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Taking the King’s Shilling

Taking the King’s ShillingnHistorically, the primary function of schooling has beennto teach the young how to live responsibly andnproductively in their own society. In our day, the notions ofncivic, familial, and vocational obligations have been virtuallynbanished from pedagogy. Today’s ethically and morallynbarren system of education has not only failed to fortify itsnstudents against perverse conduct...

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Writers’ Unions

^^”DEN international is working for your release,” myn± lawyer told me. In the bare, mean interview room ofnthe Belgrade District Prison he smiled at me, and I smilednback, because the mikes could not pick that up. There werenno TV cameras there, yet, to monitor our winks andnnods — the language of slaves, as Karl Marx...

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An Obsolete Congress

20 / CHRONICLESnAN OBSOLETE CONGRESSnby Stan Langland and Fred Westn^ ^ T T ere, sir, the people govern,” said Alexander Hamil-nJL JL ton in 1788, as he argued for the direct election ofnmembers to the proposed U.S. House of Representatives.n”Here they act by their immediate representatives.” Anworking democratic republic was not a new idea, but...

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On Clarity

12 / CHRONICLESnON CLARITY by Josef PiepernThe following is the text of Dr. Pieper’s address atnthe 1987 Ingersoll Prizes Awards Banquet.nIt seems to be rather easy to translate “Scholarly Letters”nadequately into German. Every year the German Academynfor Language and Poetry awards a prize forn”wissenschaftliche prosa,” and what this phrase means isnprecisely identical with the meaning...

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Thoughts on Mikhail Bulgakov

8/ CHRONICLESnVIEWSnTHOUGHTS ON MIKHAIL BULGAKOVnby Leon SteinmetznIalways think of Mikhail Afanasyevich Bulgakov with tenderness,nas if he were my relative, and a very close and dear onenat that. Mikhail Afanasyevich Bulgakov was not my relative. Inwas not even fortunate to know him personally — he died a fewnyears before I was born.nOnce, in a conversation with...

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The New Freedom of Rhyme

re / CHRONICLESn”unconscious,” such poetic testimony certainly would notngenerate the excitement that Milosz’s poetry offers. And thisnis yet another proof that a poet has to deal with crucialnmoments in history, with what determines the “pulse” of ancertain age. The value of his testimony and the value of thenpoetic work itself depend on that.nTherefore it seems...

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Visionary Fiction

VISIONARY FICTION by Fred ChappellnSusan had set up the ironing board in the kitchen andnupended the iron there while she sprinkled her blouse. Incould not detect the heat waves rising from the face of theniron, but the morning sun showed them clearly on thenrefrigerator door, curling and uncurling in hypnotic arabesque.nThat became my image for...

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The Novel and the Imperial Self

instruct us in the possibilities of freedom, adventure, ornindividual integrity. Except for the two or three mostlynthird-rate novelists whose talent for self-caricature andnbitchery has endeared them to talk-show audiences thatnknow nothing of their books, the best of our writers todaynare ignored by the popular media unless and until they arenarrested for disturbing the peace or...

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Let Me Count the Ways: What to Make of Survey Research

24 / CHRONICLESnLET ME COUNT THE WAYS: WHAT TOnMAKE OF SURVEY RESEARCH by John Shelton Reedn”Things and actions are what they are, and thenconsequences of them will he what they will he:nwhy then should we desire to be deceived?”n—Joseph Butler, Fifteen SermonsnNo doubt many of us could think of an answer or two tonHis Grace’s...

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The Mind of a Manichean

ary” for obtusely assuming that farmersnare invariably “yokels and provincialnboors.” Later he asserts that he has “nondesire to be one of the elect draggingnthe masses by force to Utopia”; and hensuggests—quite daringly, given hisnresidence in Berkeley and the tempernof those times—that “youth broughtnup in affluence, masquerading in beggars’nclothing and revolutionary ideas,ncommands less of my respect...

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Basking in the Afterglow

Mayne’s liberal slant is also apparent innhis analysis of the cause of WesternnEtirope’s brilliant postwar economicnachievement. He attributes this successnto go-ernment planning and welfarenpolicies, i-idh’ contrasting theneconomic stagnation of the allegedlynlaissez-faire interwar economics s’ithnthe prosperit}- of the postwar plannednwelfare states. This comparison, however,nis specious since the interwarnEuropean economies were tar from free.nThe cartelized economies of...

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A Tender, Unitarian Christmas

A Tender, Unitarian Christmasrnby Aaron D. WolfrnYankees Touching Harps of GoldrnAppropriately, it was 1984. The Reagan-Bush ticket hadrnwon reelection. The U.S. Olympic team had destroyedrneveryone else at tlie Summer Games in Los Angeles. ‘I’he HIVrnvirus had heen identified, and a cure for AIDS would surely follow.rnHezhollah terrorists had bombed tlie U.S. embassy northeastrnof Beniit, and...

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Rome As You Find It

VIEWSrnRome As You Find ItrnAmerican and British Writers in the Eternal Cityrnby Chilton Williamson, Jr.rnFor Englishmen, the Roman Forum was nearly as much arnpart of their polihcal heritage as the Tower of London orrnWestminster Abbey. Since Colonial America was a part ofrnBritish culture, educated American colonists shared in thernBritish reverence for antiquity. Eighteenth-century EngHshnienrn(and those...

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Restore the Constitution!

VIEWSrnRestore the Constitution!rnFree Association and Public Moralityrnby Joseph SobranrnIn recent years, American politics has been preoccupied withrnmoral questions, or what are now called “social issues”: sexualrnimmorality, sodomy, abortion, pornography, and recreationalrndrugs. Some conservatives want the federal government tornplay a role in opposing these evils. Many libertarians, on thernother hand, want the government, state and federal...

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No More Perpetual War

VIEWSrnNo More Perpetual WarrnA Foreign Policy for a Republic, Not an Empirernby Doug BandowrnWith Republicans increasing social spending and Democratsrnupping military outlays, Washington is devoid ofrnserious debate over any important issue. Despite the President’srnattacks on GOP “isolationism,” both parties largely favor foreignrnintervention. As a result, America finds itself entangled inrnalmost every international conflict and potential...

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Welcome to Dodge City

Welcome to Dodge CityrnThe Gun on the Frontierrnby Dave KopelrnOn the American frontier of previous centuries, the possessionrnof a firearm was often a key to survival. In this regard,rnthe frontier of 20th-century America, although difiFerentrngeographically, is very much like earlier frontiers.rnAs different waves of Europeans arrived in North America,rneach took a distinct approach to trading...

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Dwight Macdonald

VIEWSrnDwight Macdonaldrnby John LukacsrnARebel in Defense of Tradition is the title of MichaelrnWreszin’s 1994 biography of Dwight Macdonald (1906-rn1982). It is a very good title, by which I mean something morernthan a “handle”; it is a precise phrase, a summary properly affixedrnto the memory of an extraordinary man. The emphasis ofrnWreszin’s biography is on Maedonald’s...

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Rasputins at Home and Abroad

Rasputins at Home and Abroadrnby Denis PetrovrnBefore his trip to Rome in February, Boris Yeltsin promisedrneveryone who would listen that he would personally inviternthe Pope to visit Russia. Yeltsin frequently rattled on in front ofrnreporters, like a football player still sprinting after he is out ofrnbounds. For example, he claimed that the youngster Clintonrnwas pushing...

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If God Ran the State Department

VIEWSrnIf God Ran the State Departmentrnby D. George LeechrnI n the Name of the most Holy & undivided Trinity.”rnA Thus begins the Treaty of Paris (1783) by which GreatrnBritain formally conceded the existence of the independentrnUnited States of America. This matter-of-fact invocation of thernTriune God of Ghristianity stands in sharp contrast to the stirringrntributes to...

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Euthanasia for Excellence

Euthanasia for Excellencernby Allan CarlsonrnOn April 10 of last year, the European Patent Office quietlyrnawarded a patent to Michigan State University (MSU)rnfor “euthanasia solutions which use the anesthetic gammahydroxy-rnbutramide (embutramide) as a basis for formulatingrnthe composition.” On the surface, the event was not out of thernordinary. In the abstract of the public document, the newrncompound...

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The Muswell Hillbilly

The Muswell Hillbillyrnby Jesse Walkerrn”There was a time when it was hip to write about Route 66; I was writingrnabout a suburban street in London. I didn ‘t envisage my music ever beingrnheard anywhere else.”rn—Ray DaviesrnIt begins, as most rock songs do, with a riff. There is an organrnin the background, and a rapidly strumming...

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A House Without Doors

A House Without DoorsrnVote Fraud in Americarnby James J. Condit, Jr.rnor decades now CBS, ABC, and NBC have pretended on Computerized FraudrnJ- election night to be in hot competition to project thern”winner” and “loser.” We know the act well: Dan, Peter, orrnTom comes on the air and solemnly intones, “We can now projectrnthat President X...

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Conservation and Animal Welfare

VIEWSrnConservation and Animal Welfarernby Stephen R.L. ClarkrnNot so long ago, nor all that far away, we knew our place.rnThe old could command the young, parents commandrnchildren, the well-born command the lowly-born, men commandrnwomen, and the High King over all. No one need havernany doubts about his duty. We all owed duties of deference tornthose above...

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The Matter of Money

VIEWSrnThe Matter of MoneyrnMedia Empires and the Shaping of Democracyrnby Philip JenkinsrnOver the last year, the doings of the media have occupiedrncenter stage in the media themselves, an obsession thatrnseems harmless if somewhat incestuous. There has been arntournament atmosphere surrounding the issue of whether therndamsels CBS or ABC would fall to one or another suitor,...

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Our Blessed Plot

Our Blessed PlotrnThe Case for the Bricker Amendmentrnby Theodore PappasrnAs if we needed more proof of the threat to nationalrnsovereignty, there comes John Gardner’s latest “JamesrnBond novel,” SeaFire. Gone is Ian Fleming’s wonderful cast ofrncharacters. The drab but lovable Q has been replaced by arnwoman nicknamed Q’ute; the admiral M has been replaced byrna committee...

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Frederick Turner and the Rebirth of Literature

Frederick Turner and the Rebirth of Literaturernby Paul LakernThe breach that opened between the serious and popularrnarts during the earh’ ears of tliis century has so widenedrno’er subsequent decades that the current “postmodern” era isrncliaracterized by a kind of cultural schizophrenia. While visualrnimages bombard us through the media, the graphic arts havernincreasingly evaporated in performance...

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The Inner Darkness

VIEWSrnThe Inner DarknessrnSerial Murder and the Nature of Evilrnby Philip JenkinsrnEvery society has its mythology, its particular set of heroesrnand monsters. In North America over the last decade, thernfigure of the demon or monster has come to be represented byrnthe serial killer, an image that is now quite ubiquitous in popularrnculture. In a typical chain...

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All Such Filthy Cheats

All Such Filthy Cheatsrnby Theodore PappasrnWhen Vice Admiral Bobby Ray Inman announced onrnJanuary 18 his decision not to pursue confirmation asrnSecretary of Defense, he repeated Robert Massie’s old chargernthat William Safire is a plagiarist, saying this “does not, in myrnjudgment, put [Safire] in a position to frame moral judgmentrnon any of us, in or out...

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Andrew Lytle and the Cultivation of American Letters

Andrew Lytle and the Cultivationrnof American Lettersrnby William PrattrnThe name of Andrew Lytle should be better known than itrnis: he has been a distinguished novelist and author ofrnsome widely anthologized short stories; an essayist, historian,rnand memoirist; an editor of the Sewanee Review for manyrnyears; and a teacher of creative writing at the University of Floridarnand...

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Notes from the Immigration Front

president of Wake Forest University.rnTennille told Hearn of the similaritiesrnand Angelou’s failure to respond.rn”Would you make sure m letter reaehesrnProfessor Angclou and relay my requestrnfor a response?” asked Tennille.rnBy the middle of July, Angelou, RandomrnHouse, and Hearn had all failed tornrespond to Tennille, except for a shortrnnote he receiyed from a lower-leyel WakernForest administrator who...

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Pain Without Purpose

Pain Without PurposernThe Modern Dilemmarnby Patrick ReillyrnWe must remain absolutely silent on what we cannotrntalk about.” Wittgenstein’s interdict would surelyrnapply to the mystery of human suffering; at certain intensities,rnpain becomes literally as well as idiomatically unspeakable.rnEven to allude to the educative value of pain is to risk an inhumanrnglibness, a cold-blooded reduction of the specificity...

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Believe the Children?

Believe the Children?rnChild Abuse and the American Legal Systemrnby Philip JenkinsrnWc may begin with a nightmare, hnagine that ou arernthe parent of a preschool child aird that one da- policernand child-protection officials appear at your door. Thcv informrnyou that a teacher or daycare worker suspects that vour childrnhas been abused and that subscc[ucnt interviews with...

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Nationalism, Old and New

Nationalism, Old and NewnIn the course of American history, nationahsm and republicanismnhave usually been enemies, not allies. From the daysnof Alexander Hamilton, nationalism has meant unification ofnthe country under a centralized government, the supremacy ofnthe executive over the legislative branch, the reduction ofnstates’ rights and local and sectional parochialism, governmentalnregulation of the economy and engineering...

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What Might Have Been

WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEENnby Wayne S. ColenThe America First Committee was part of democracy innaction during one of the most terrifying times innhuman history. It was the leading pressure group appealingnfor mass support in opposition to involvement in World WarnII before Pearl Harbor.nWhen America First saw the light of day in Septembern1940, Poland, Denmark, Norway,...

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Willing Belief

William James was much concerned about “faithtendencies,”nwhich he defined as “extremely activenpsychological forces, constantly outstripping evidence.” ThenGorbachev era fully confirms his apprehensions. Theneminent psychologist even constructed a seven-rung “faithladder”:n1. There is nothing absurd in a certain view of thenworid being true, nothing self-contradictory;n2. It might have been true under certain conditions;n3. It may be true,...

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Freedom and Morality

/n-f i ‘1.’. 0^nFA. Hayek, in The Fatal Conceit: The Errors ofnSocialism, offers us one insight into the nature ofnfreedom and morality. Hayek argues that the major woddnreligions have succeeded and endured because they reinforcenthe weak and imperfect points of human nature.nHayek believes that civilization is based on the family and onnprivate property, institutions that...

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Inch by Inch

Atext, or an epigraph, for what I am going to say: somenlines from John Ciardi’s poem about the Birdman ofnAlcatraz who was, among other things, a trickster of sorts.nThese words are from Ciardi’s poem “Snickering in Solitary”:nIn every life sentencensome days are better thannothers; even, sometimes,nbetter than being free.nAnd one other, the basic ethical and...

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The Bull’s-Eye of Disaster

”^.yfy^-WnnVIEWSnI^fe^ •:;•-©^^^,n’timii^^BI^^^^^^^^^ ! r r) ‘ <* ‘ » rlifn.’J^Hi^^HBHMI^^^^^^^nThe BuU’s-Eye of DisasternFor over a decade now, it’s been commonplace for ournleaders to urge us to put Vietnam behind us. My wife,nSybil, and I were face to face with our good friend GeorgenBush when he said it again at his Inauguration in January.nThe Congressional Medal...

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Don’t Quit Your Job to Raise a Litmag

Don’t Quit Your Job to Raise a Litmagnby Jane Greern”Poetry is the most overproduced commodity on the market, next to zucchini.”n— Judson Jerome, Writer’s Digestnpoetry columnist since 1960nfLJn^^^^^SnfflM^glnfin^^=^^^^11^;^—–^nKm^Mif^mnll^KM^IrftltM^C^nr^j^oâ„¢nAccording to a 1985 study cited by Writer’s DigestnBooks, 23.3 percent of all people who think ofnthemselves as writers — or “more than two million people”n— write poetry...

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Racial Integrity

22 / CHRONICLESnwell as policies have consequences.nBut how well have we learned? After 200 years we mightndo well to remind ourselves that we still are engaged in thengreat democratic experiment and that there is no guaranteenof success. Our present perception of domestic disarray andnforeign policy confusion can lead to loss of public faith andnthen failure...

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The Scandal in T.S. Eliot’s Life

‘X onlif /^^sii3Sf ,nf f,^Z^ £>/^ UlCn”^^’^^nTHE SCANDAL IN T.S. ELIOT’S LIFEnby James W. TuttletonnTS. Eliot (1888-1965), dead now for more than 20n, years, continues to vex those for whom his poetry isnnot complete — or is not completely to be understood—nwithout an intimate knowledge of his biography. At the timenof his death, of course,...

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Stopping the Long March Through the University

STOPPING THE LONG MARCHnTHROUGH THE UNIVERSITY by Arnold Beichmann”A Leninist cannot simply be a specialist in hisnfavorite branch of science. . . . He must be annactive participant in the political leadership of hisncountry.”n— Slogan of Moscow UniversitynSubstitute “professor” for “Leninist” and the quotationnwould appear almost a cliche to many American academicians.nYet such corollary Leninist...

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Name That Tune

20 I CHRONICLESnetc. Whatever they may be, it doesn’t always work out innPoirier’s equations. He will say rather haughtily, for example,nthat Emersonians have little or no interest in the novelsnof Catholic violence by Francois Mauriac, GrahamnGreene, and Flannery O’Connor. Moreover, he calls thisn”theatrical spirituality,” without for a moment acknowledgingnEmerson’s pathetic incapacity to recognize the presencenof...

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Having Opinions

VIEWSnHAVING OPINIONS by Stephen R.L. Clarkn”The pubhc buys its opinions as it buys its meat,nor takes in its milk, on the principle that it isncheaper to do this than to keep a cow. “n—Samuel ButlernWhen opinion polls are conducted on some urgentnmatter of the day (the character of Colonel Qaddafi,nor the compatibility of some soon-to-be-married...

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The Doors of Deception

THE DOORS OF DECEPTION by. John P. SisknOne of the many sociological uses of Hollywood is itsndramatic availability when things go wrong in America.nMichael Satchell, for instance, has raised the questionnin Parade of whether the movies by too often glamorizingndrugs and alcohol encourage their use among youngnpeople. He cites Goldie Hawn, Jane Fonda, Dolly Parton,nLily...

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The Doctors and the Bomb

26 / CHRONICLESnevaluating survey research, but, to repeat, it is important tonrecognize that no one is more aware of these issues, or hasndone more to deal with them, than professional surveynresearchers. After all, usually no one has a greater interestnin getting it right. Caution is appropriate in dealing withnsurvey data, but it should be an...

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Genes & Jingo

Ardrey or Desmond Morris. A fewnyears back a prominent conservativenorganization held a discussion of “thennew synthesis.” Few people in thenaudience seemed to understand thensocial and political relevance of thendebate.nTwo recent books illustrate bothnwhat sociobiology is and why it makesnso many academics see red: The ExtendednPhenotype by Oxford zoologistnRichard Dawkins; and Not in OurnGenes by geneticist...

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Small is Significant

the Gulf Coast of Florida with drugs innthe holds of their ships. That is wherenthe similarities cease. Walker, through angritty story, proves himself to be sensitivenand sensible, aware of the little thingsnthat make up quotidian existence and ofnthe values that help give that existencenspirit and reason. Norman, for all that henoflfers in prose that is...