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Suicide of the Liberals

Between 1900 and 1917, waves of unprecedented terror struck Russia. Several parties professing incompatible ideologies competed (and cooperated) in causing havoc. Between 1905 and 1907, nearly 4,500 government officials and about as many private individuals were killed or injured. Between 1908 and . . . . 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 »

The Mirrors and the Smoke

The Mirror and the Light by hilary mantel henry holt, 784 pages, $30 The arrival of this final installment of the Thomas Cromwell trilogy, penned by “one of our most important living writers,” has precipitated an avalanche of adulation for its author and her great work, already decorated with . . . . Continue Reading »

Gelded Critics of Capitalism

Capitalism gets off easy these days. Its loud but underwhelming critics are stuck in the 1960s, repeating slogans that never quite amount to a compelling condemnation of the system. Proposing costly federal programs is all it takes to be considered an ­anti-­capitalist radical. Take, for instance, . . . . Continue Reading »

Under the Rainbow Banner

In June 1970, America’s first gay pride parades hit the streets. Four U.S. cities—New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and San Francisco—hosted crowds ranging from several hundred to a few thousand marching with homemade signs declaring “pride,” “power,” and “liberation.” Like . . . . Continue Reading »

Strategic Long-Term Propaganda

In the opening lines of Cold Warriors, Duncan White notes that “between February and May 1955, a group covertly funded by the Central Intelligence Agency launched a secret weapon into Communist territory”: balloons carrying copies of George Orwell’s Animal Farm. This was perhaps the . . . . Continue Reading »

Reading the Signs

So-and-so slept here, a date, a listof battles fought—whatever they’re about,he reads them all, not just to get the gistbut top to bottom, loudly, calling outexcitedly, listen to this, you guys,to share with them this knowledge on display,this one cool fact. The kids all roll their . . . . Continue Reading »

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