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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 »

Prince of Diplomats

In the midst of a Haydn concert in London in June 1794, the young Clemens von Metternich spotted his one-time teacher, Andreas Hofmann, in the audience. Rather than renewing old acquaintance, the future Prince of Diplomats immediately denounced Hofmann to the authorities as a dangerous subversive. . . . . 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 »

Epicurus Today

Oenoanda was an ancient town of modest size and middling prosperity, perched on the rugged hills above the River Xanthus in Lycia, now southwestern Turkey. It was here, sometime around the reign of Hadrian (a.d. 117–38), that a citizen named Diogenes erected a portico destined to bear one of the . . . . Continue Reading »

The Great Saracen

In 1187, Pope Urban III received news so startling that he died from hearing it. Across the Mediterranean, in the Crusader-­controlled Kingdom of Jerusalem, a great battle had been fought between Christian knights and the forces of the Muslim leader, Saladin. On a rocky plain formed by an extinct . . . . Continue Reading »

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