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The Claims of Memory

I write in defense of memory. Not Memory in her gaudy mythological form, the Titan goddess Mnemosyne, mother of the nine Muses—but memory as the glue that holds our lives together and imposes order and continuity amid the blooming buzzing confusion of sensations, thoughts, and activities that . . . . Continue Reading »

History Never Ended

Is liberalism giving way to something new? The most notable contemporary case for postliberalism, Patrick Deneen’s Why Liberalism Failed, has four tacit assumptions: First, America is in decline. Second, liberalism is responsible for this decline. Third, liberalism is collapsing under the . . . . Continue Reading »

The Real Sherman

If William Tecumseh Sherman is known for one thing, it is the scorching of Atlanta in November 1864 as he and his army set off on their March to the Sea. Like so much else that is associated with Sherman, the popular image of ruined Atlanta is an exaggeration. (About 70 percent of the city’s . . . . Continue Reading »

Monumental Contrast

In the annals of monumental sculpture, James Earle Fraser’s equestrian statue of Theodore Roosevelt hardly ranks as a masterpiece. The Rough Rider is portrayed in frontiersman’s garb and flanked by two figures on foot: a Plains Indian and an African tribesman. Prominently sited before the august . . . . Continue Reading »

Witch Ways

In 1768, John Wesley expressed concern about the decline of popular belief in witchcraft and the supernatural: “The English in general, and indeed most of the men of learning in Europe, have given up all accounts of witches and apparitions as mere old wives’ fables. I am sorry for it. . . . They . . . . Continue Reading »

The True Con

In June, an announcer on CBS observed, “George Will is essentially unchanged from the way he looked forty years ago.” He still wears Brooks Brothers. He still parts his hair on the left. And in politics, while lesser men have compromised with the ascendancy of ­Donald Trump, Will has stayed . . . . Continue Reading »

The Fusionism That Failed

Understanding the upheavals of American conservatism requires the study of its ­history—in particular, the fortunes of Frank Meyer, inventor of the Cold War synthesis that reigned for decades as conservative orthodoxy and has only recently met with serious challenge. Like many other figures . . . . Continue Reading »

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