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A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
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Henry R. Luce, Time, and the American Crusade in Asia, by Robert E. Herzstein
I am not sure that the United States can claim full credit for having invented the weekly newsmagazine, but certainly that staple of modern middlebrow world culture was brought to full maturity by two Americans, Henry R. Luce and Briton Hadden, co-founders of Time magazine, the first issue of which they produced in March 1923.... Read More
The Edwardians, by Roy Hattersley
I am not sure how much the title of this book means to an American reader, or what connotations the word "Edwardian" has over here. Edward VII, eldest son of Queen Victoria, ruled Britain and her empire from 1901 to 1910. In the common usage of British people, though, the Edwardian age is always taken... Read More
Pol Pot: Anatomy of a Nightmare, by Philip Short
"I have lived 78 years without hearing of bloody places like Cambodia," Winston Churchill was once heard to remark. Now, of course, we have all heard of Cambodia. It was there, in the 1970s, that one of the most drastic programs of social engineering in all of history was carried out. The Khmer Rouge, a... Read More
A Bitter Revolution: China's Struggle With the Modern World, by Rana Mitter
Until very recently Chinese intellectual life had a peculiar frozen-in-time quality. Intellectual fads that, in the West, had come and gone in the early or middle years of the twentieth century, were regarded as exciting and new. I can recall, around 1982-3, being eagerly quizzed by Chinese acquaintances about topics like existentialism, Esperanto, and psychoanalysis.... Read More
Europe's Last Summer: Who Started the Great War in 1914?, by David Fromkin
The First World War — "the war that was called Great," as the poet Vernon Scannell said — was the most tremendous event of the modern age, a jagged gaping fault line right across Western history. Even at a distance of ninety years it overwhelms the imagination. Sixty-two million men were mobilized; eight million of... Read More
Before Mao, by Patrick Lescot
One of the photographs collected at the center of this book has a great deal to tell us about Communism. Dated March 29, 1980, the photograph shows the late Chinese despot Deng Xiaoping face to face with an elderly European woman. Deng is seen in profile. He is wearing a Mao suit with some kind... Read More
To Begin the World Anew, by Bernard Bailyn
There are three color plates in this book, the central one, spread across two pages, a reproduction of Ralph Earl's 1792 portrait of Oliver Ellsworth and his wife. Ellsworth was a jurist and politician with an estate in Windsor, Connecticut. He was an important figure at the Constitutional Convention in 1787. The federal court system... Read More
The Dawn of Universal History, by Raymond Aron
Raymond Aron is probably known in this country mainly as the one important French intellectual of the last half-century who was not anti-American. This is not a bad starting-point from which to approach the man's writings. Born in 1905, he was a member of that "witness generation" well-placed to observe the entire astonishing spectacle of... Read More
At the End of an Age, by John Lukacs
Historian John Lukacs has a bee in his bonnet. He believes we are living at the end of an age. When I first encountered this particular bee, in Lukacs's peculiar 1998 not-novel A Thread of Years, I put it down to the sympathetic fallacy (Lukacs was born in 1924) and to what the author himself... Read More
Category Classics
The major media overlooked Communist spies and Madoff’s fraud. What are they missing today?
The “war hero” candidate buried information about POWs left behind in Vietnam.
What Was John McCain's True Wartime Record in Vietnam?
The evidence is clear — but often ignored
Confederate Flag Day, State Capitol, Raleigh, N.C. -- March 3, 2007