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Requiem for a Despot

Slavery is what Fidel’s revolution was about. Brooking no dissent, he enslaved a nation in the name of eternal class warfare, creating a new elite dedicated to suppressing their neighbors’ rights. Continue Reading »

The Devil and Whittaker Chambers

One of the intelligent people who seemed to share Scalia’s view of the Devil was Whittaker Chambers, the brilliant writer, ex-Soviet espionage agent, and Time magazine editor, who in February 1948 wrote an essay in Life magazine about a New Year’s Eve conversation between a pessimist and Satan. Continue Reading »

A Cinematic Lesson in Hope

At a moment like this when there doesn’t seem to be a lot going right—ascendant authoritarianisms throughout the world; lethal violence by ideological fanatics; feckless responses to both from the democracies—it’s good to be reminded that things can be different, and in fact were different, . . . . Continue Reading »

Where the Icons Aren't Yet Dry

This monk is not letting us go without a sermon, but he’s earned it. We—a group of scholars brought together for a conference in Romania celebrating the legacy of the historian Peter Brown—have been treated well. We are standing in the Neamț monastery library, where the Philokalia, that . . . . Continue Reading »

The War According to Isaac Babel

Isaac Babel’s Red Cavalry, now granted an afterlife in Boris Dralyuk’s lyrical and fluid translation, consists of thirty-five episodic stories about the Soviet First Cavalry Army.

The Crisis of Our Time

In this issue, David Hart commends Pope Francis as a critic of global capitalism. I’m less enthusiastic. Yes, there’s a great deal about the global economic system to criticize, but the Holy Father tends to use a rhetorical machete rather than an analytical scalpel. He bloodies topics like . . . . Continue Reading »

European Reconciliation

Currently, visitors to the Vatican Museums in Rome have the opportunity to visit an exhibition devoted to Cardinal Bolesław Kominek (1903-1974), aptly titled “Europe’s Forgotten Founding Father.” The author of the “Pastoral Letter of the Polish Bishops to Their German Brothers,” sent . . . . Continue Reading »

John Paul II's “Beloved Krakow”

Several years ago, Father Raymond de Souza, one of my fellow faculty members at an annual Kraków-based summer seminar on Catholic social doctrine, made a trenchant observation about the city John Paul II used to call “my beloved Kraków.” Kraków, Father de Souza observed, was the city where . . . . Continue Reading »

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