Lord Acton and the American Civil War

By |2019-02-07T12:32:08-05:00February 7th, 2019|Categories: American Republic, Civil War, Classical Liberalism, History, John C. Calhoun, South|

Lord Acton believed that the wrong side won the American Civil War. Such a judgment could hardly be said to be a minor detail of someone’s historical worldview, yet this judgment has somehow been obscured… “Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Among Catholic students of political thought, few figures are more liable [...]

Robert E. Lee Reconsidered

By |2019-02-06T23:14:15-05:00February 6th, 2019|Categories: Robert E. Lee|

Clearly, Robert E. Lee’s reputation has plummeted from the lofty height it once occupied. It is time to clear a path through the rubble of toppled statues and discarded plaques to examine the qualities of the authentic Lee, as well as the turn of mind that would relegate him to historical ignominy... I. “What excellence is [...]

Did John Paul II Change the Course of Irish History?

By |2019-03-17T00:11:03-05:00January 26th, 2019|Categories: Catholicism, Film, Government, Ireland, Politics, Pope John Paul II, War|

Did the speech made by Pope John Paul II at Drogheda during his visit to Ireland in 1979 change the course of Irish history? This is the contention of a new documentary John Paul II in Ireland: A Plea for Peace, written and directed by David Naglieri. The originality of the film’s premise lies [...]

Versailles at 100

By |2018-12-31T12:59:10-05:00January 1st, 2019|Categories: Civilization, Democracy, Europe, History, Mark Malvasi, Nationalism, Senior Contributors, War, Western Civilization, Woodrow Wilson, World War I, World War II|

The Great War, in Woodrow Wilson’s view, had to become precisely what the delegates to the Congress of Vienna feared: a moral crusade, an instrument of social and political revolution… For American president Woodrow Wilson, the First World War was the “war to end all wars” by making “the world safe for democracy,” not [...]

On War: Homer’s Advice to Us

By |2018-12-27T13:54:39-05:00December 17th, 2018|Categories: Civilization, Homer, Imagination, Letters From Dante Series, Louis Markos, War|

Author's Introduction: Imagine if Homer, Virgil, Dante, Chaucer, and the other great poets of ancient Greece, Rome, and the Middle Ages had been given the gift, not only to peer into the twenty-first century, but to correspond with we who live in that most confusing and rudderless of centuries. Had it been in their power [...]

An Annunciation on the Battlefield

By |2018-12-01T00:26:51-05:00December 1st, 2018|Categories: Beauty, Books, Christianity, Classics, Fiction, Literature, Paul Krause, Senior Contributors, War|

It is the encounter with beauty, all-consuming beauty, the infinite, which directs the human soul back to God. The sky calls us up; the earth drags us down... On December 2, 1805, the French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte achieved his most spectacular victory at the Battle of Austerlitz against an allied army of Russians and Austrians. [...]

Warfare in Epic Poetry

By |2018-11-27T07:26:12-05:00November 26th, 2018|Categories: Beauty, Civilization, Culture, Heroism, Homer, Iliad, Literature, Poetry, War|

A culture that fails to represent, or that misrepresents its wars in all their glory, gravity, and tragedy, is a weaker polity. Epic poetry, with its stark recording of the facts and feelings of war, can give cultures and communities access to the reality of warfare and inscribe its memory on the collective consciousness [...]

“The End of the Cold War”

By |2018-11-21T16:06:28-05:00November 20th, 2018|Categories: Cold War, Culture, Fiction, George Stanciu, Science|

“Why can’t we eat normal food?” Frank moved the fried tempeh, steamed broccoli, and brown rice around on his plate with his dinner fork, much like the eight-year-old boy he was forty years ago. His wife’s jaw stiffened, and she said, “This is normal food.” “Yeah, if we lived in Jakarta or Calcutta.” Alice refused [...]

The First Shots of the Civil War: The Star of the West

By |2018-11-14T23:30:37-05:00November 13th, 2018|Categories: American Republic, Bradley Birzer Fort Sumter Series, Bradley J. Birzer, Civil War, Constitution, History, Senior Contributors, War|

The Union soldiers defending Forts Sumter and Moultrie in Charleston Harbor had come to believe that their honor, as well as the honor of the Constitution and the federal government, was at stake... Star of the West Shortly after dawn, around 6 am, on January 9, 1861, Captain Abner Doubleday spotted a steamer [...]

“Ode to Death”

By |2018-11-11T22:47:29-05:00November 11th, 2018|Categories: Gustav Holst, Memorial Day, Music, Veterans Day, War, World War I|

Editor's Note: Gustav Holst wrote his "Ode to Death" in 1918-1919 in the wake of World War I. Though he received a medical exemption from military service, Holst had composer-friends who served (Ralph Vaughan Williams) and died (George Butterworth) in the horrific combat on the Western Front. The text of "Ode to Death" sets a section [...]

The Death of Europe: Two Classic Films and the Great War

By |2018-12-13T23:45:16-05:00November 10th, 2018|Categories: Ethics, Europe, Film, Friendship, Mark Malvasi, Nationalism, Senior Contributors, War, Western Civilization, World War II|

So incisive and troubling did the Nazis find Jean Renoir’s indictment of war and his embrace of the shared culture of Europe, that when the Wehrmacht invaded France and occupied Paris in the spring of 1940, Renoir’s film La Grande Illusion was among the first cultural artifacts Nazi officials confiscated… The Great War was a catastrophe for Europe. [...]

Alfred Hitchcock’s “The 39 Steps”: A Coded Message?

By |2019-02-21T12:31:31-05:00October 4th, 2018|Categories: Film, History, Mystery, World War II|

The 39 Steps is one of five films that Alfred Hitchcock made in England about espionage in the mid-to-late 1930s. These films capture the growing threat felt in Britain from foreign powers. In their scenarios the nation's security was nowhere more threatened than by spies hiding in plain sight... The Thirty-Nine Steps. A novel. Then a film: The 39 Steps. In the end, that [...]