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A Royalist and Whig Revolution?

It was appropriate that I read Eric Nelson’s The Royalist Revolution this summer while on a research trip to Great Britain, since the book is a study of political ideas that bounced between England and her colonies and the effects they had on the shape of the new American nation. Continue Reading »

National Cathedral & Confederate Windows

The Dean of the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., which is an Episcopal Church institution but serves as a place for national religious pageantry, wants to remove two over sixty-year-old stained glass windows honoring Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.  “There is . . . . Continue Reading »

Statesmanship by Committee

Two questions underlie this study of the months leading up to the American Civil War: 1) At what point, if any, was Abraham Lincoln morally justified in fighting the Confederacy? and 2) Could an agreement have been reached that would have prevented the Civil War? Continue Reading »

Against Edenism

The future will look very different from the past. The Garden of Paradise will culminate in the City of God—“the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. . . . The wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass. . . . The city does not need the sun or moon . . . . Continue Reading »

“Wolf Hall” and Upmarket Anti-Catholicism

Wolf Hall, the BBC adaptation of Hillary Mantel’s novel about early Tudor England, began airing on PBS’s “Masterpiece Theater” Easter Sunday night. It’s brilliant television. It’s also a serious distortion of history. And it proves, yet again, that anti-Catholicism is the last acceptable bigotry in elite circles in the Anglosphere.The distortions and bias are not surprising, considering the source. Hillary Mantel is a very talented, very bitter ex-Catholic who’s said that the Church today is “not an institution for respectable people” (so much for the English hierarchy’s decades-long wheedling for social acceptance). As she freely concedes, Mantel’s aim in her novel was to take down the Thomas More of A Man for All Seasons—the Thomas More the Catholic Church canonized—and her instrument for doing so is More’s rival in the court of Henry VIII, Thomas Cromwell. Continue Reading »

Sir Martin Gilbert, Historian of Hope

When British historian Martin Gilbert died earlier this year at the age of seventy-eight, the world lost one of its leading scholars and a man of exceptional integrity. Best known as the official biographer of Sir Winston Churchill, Gilbert wrote almost ninety books and became a renowned authority on the Second World War and the Holocaust. Beyond his extensive writings, he also found time to teach, lecture, advise governments, and champion human rights. Continue Reading »

The Decline and Rise
of Secular Judaism

In his 1782 book Letters from an American Farmer, John de Crèvecœur asked the most famous and important question in American history: “What then is the American, this new man?” The authentic American leaves behind him “all his ancient prejudices and manners, receives new ones from the new . . . . Continue Reading »

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