Calvin Coolidge and the Rise of Modern Conservatism

By |2020-09-17T00:13:14-05:00September 17th, 2020|Categories: American Republic, Economics, Government, Mark Malvasi, Politics, Presidency, Senior Contributors|

Whatever respite or solace Calvin Coolidge may temporarily have conferred upon the nation, Americans during the 1920s could not keep the world from turning. The system of limited government and economic deregulation that he had cultivated was elegantly false and perilously flawed, carrying within it the seeds of its own dissolution. I. For an [...]

The Politics of “Normalcy:” The American Confrontation with Progressivism

By |2020-07-13T14:32:11-05:00July 14th, 2020|Categories: American Republic, Economics, Mark Malvasi, Politics, Progressivism, Senior Contributors, War, World War I|

The Great War altered relations between the state and its citizens. The Progressives had inspired—or perhaps, more accurately, had revived—fears that regulation was necessary if modern society were to reach its potential and not descend into chaos. They had advocated state intervention to solve a host of social and economic problems and, ultimately, to [...]

The Mighty Nine: Reflections on Beethoven’s Symphonies

By |2020-08-20T15:57:49-05:00May 25th, 2020|Categories: Andrew Balio, Beethoven 250, Joseph Pearce, Ludwig van Beethoven, Mark Malvasi, Michael De Sapio, Music, Stephen M. Klugewicz|Tags: , , , |

Please enjoy this symposium on the nine symphonies of Ludwig van Beethoven, with contributions from our distinguished panel, including composer Michael Kurek and Principal Trumpet of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Andrew Balio. Clicking on the CD cover art next to each symphony will guide you to a listening recommendation on Spotify; at the bottom of [...]

“The Dreaded Blueness:” The Influenza Pandemic of 1918-1919

By |2020-05-10T14:47:33-05:00May 10th, 2020|Categories: Coronavirus, Culture, History, Mark Malvasi, Senior Contributors, War, World War I, World War II|

The Spanish Flu had arisen without warning and was especially virulent. It challenged established knowledge about the nature of such diseases, killing not the young and the old, but instead men and women who were in the prime of life. Not only did doctors struggle to treat it, but they were also at a [...]

Beethoven: The Price of Genius

By |2020-08-20T16:12:52-05:00March 6th, 2020|Categories: Beethoven 250, Ludwig van Beethoven, Mark Malvasi, Music, Senior Contributors|

Beethoven’s eccentricities only enhanced his reputation. They confirmed the divine madness that propelled his creative genius. He was a martyr to his art, a new kind of saint whose agonies and ecstasies brought him neither peace of mind nor purity of soul, but an admixture of public renown and disrepute. Sculpture by Max Klinger [...]

On Teaching, Writing, and Other Discontents

By |2020-02-04T17:16:48-06:00February 4th, 2020|Categories: Civilization, Classical Education, Culture, Education, Liberal Arts, Liberal Learning, Mark Malvasi, Senior Contributors, Western Civilization|

Teaching at a time when civilization is in such obvious disarray and such marked decline imposes even more stringent and pressing obligations on the teacher. I have reached the conclusion that what American teachers must do is really very basic: Teach young men and women how to read and write, how to imagine beyond [...]

The Business of America: The New Economy of the 1920s

By |2019-12-22T22:10:11-06:00December 22nd, 2019|Categories: American Republic, Economic History, Economics, History, Mark Malvasi, Senior Contributors|

The new economy that emerged after 1921 seemed to relegate to the past such painful depressions as the one that troubled the United States during the immediate postwar years.  As the 1920s drew to a close, however, the movement toward a new economy was about to encounter impediments that made a mockery of efforts to [...]

The Business of America: Economy and Society During the 1920s

By |2019-12-22T22:12:18-06:00November 24th, 2019|Categories: American Republic, Economic History, Economics, History, Mark Malvasi, Senior Contributors|

During the 1920s, America made the first excursion into mass affluence in the history of the world. However, the ethic of consumption that reached its apex in the 1920s fomented a subtle transformation not only of the American economy but also of American culture. I Long considered the haven of corrupt public officials and [...]

A Return to Normalcy? George Babbitt’s America

By |2019-09-30T23:47:57-05:00September 29th, 2019|Categories: Books, Civil Society, Imagination, Literature, Mark Malvasi, Senior Contributors|

For Sinclair Lewis, ”Babbitt” was a vehicle through which to explore and critique American society during the 1920s. The eponymous hero of the novel finds himself trapped in a conflict between the man he is and the man he wants to be, between the demands of society and the desires of the heart. Lewis sought [...]

The First World War Economy & the Rise of American Power

By |2019-08-11T23:28:44-05:00August 11th, 2019|Categories: American Republic, Economics, History, Mark Malvasi, Senior Contributors, War, World War I|

The architects of the Great War set the world on the path to self-destruction. Although the worst has not taken place, the world still treads along the same perilous course. For human beings have yet to devise a sure way of imposing rational limits on irrational acts of violence. I. The Progressives could not [...]

World War I: War as Revolution

By |2019-07-07T21:57:22-05:00July 7th, 2019|Categories: Foreign Affairs, Mark Malvasi, Politics, Progressivism, Senior Contributors, War, World War I|

When World War I ended in disillusionment, with much of Europe in chaos and ruin, many Progressives blamed Woodrow Wilson. It was he, in the end, who betrayed the cause of democracy. Only after the war did John Dewey and other Progressives admit that the Allies had never championed democratic values at all, but [...]

American Eden: The Rise and Fall of New World Man

By |2020-04-03T00:07:31-05:00June 30th, 2019|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Federalist Papers, James Madison, Literature, Mark Malvasi, Thomas Jefferson, Timeless Essays|

Americans transcribed the Edenic myth and heralded the supremacy of the New World over the Old. Yet, many could not suppress the fear that they were already losing their sense of purity, innocence, and power, and would in time come face to face with the disappointments of history, the sorrows of the human condition, [...]

Progressives at War: The United States Enters The Great War

By |2019-05-26T22:22:51-05:00May 26th, 2019|Categories: Defining America Series, History, Mark Malvasi, Senior Contributors, War, Western Civilization, World War I|

I. Entry into the First World War revealed the entanglement of interest and idealism that has long characterized American politics and thought. Yet, apart from fears about the disruption of international commerce, few Americans regarded the outbreak of another war in the Balkans as a matter demanding serious attention or concern. Still fewer could [...]

A Connecticut Yankee and the Failure of Progressivism

By |2020-08-21T16:16:34-05:00April 15th, 2019|Categories: Books, History, Literature, Mark Malvasi, Mark Twain, Modernity, Progressivism, Senior Contributors|

No writer so early recognized and so credibly exposed the dangerous inadequacies concealed in the Progressive world view than did Mark Twain in his sardonic novel A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. I. By 1912, the triumph of Progressivism was complete. Both Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt had advertised themselves as Progressive candidates, [...]

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