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 [...]

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 [...]

“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 [...]

Tolkien at Exeter College

By |2019-04-18T12:41:41-05:00July 2nd, 2018|Categories: Books, Bradley J. Birzer, Catholicism, Christian Humanism, Education, J.R.R. Tolkien, World War I|

Though J.R.R. Tolkien arrived at Exeter College as a Classics (Great Books) scholar, he found his real passion resided in Germanic and Northern language and myth… Tolkien at Exeter College: How An Oxford Undergraduate Created Middle-earth by John Garth (66 pages, Exeter College, 2015) Never judge a book by its size. This little book is [...]

Frederic Manning’s “Her Privates We”: A Mystery of the Great War

By |2017-12-23T01:05:58-05:00December 22nd, 2017|Categories: History, Literature, Roger Scruton, War, World War I|

Neither a pacifist’s nor a militant’s novel, Her Privates We is praiseworthy both for its unforgettable characters and for its compelling, if necessarily tentative, exploration of this mystery of personhood under extreme pressure… Her Privates We by Frederic Manning (272 pages, Serpent’s Tail, 1999) Almost everyone enjoys a good detective story, and Her Privates We [...]

Tolkien, Lewis, and Weapons of Mass Destruction

By |2017-11-19T21:08:24-05:00November 19th, 2017|Categories: C.S. Lewis, History, Imagination, J.R.R. Tolkien, Joseph Pearce, Literature, World War I|

C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien fought to defend Faith and Family from attacks upon them by modern-day dragons, but they would not wield the power of the Deplorable Word, nor the power of the Ring, to destroy their enemies, simultaneously destroying the lives of innocent victims in the process… In “Litany of the Lost,” [...]

“Disabled”

By |2017-11-11T14:06:14-05:00November 11th, 2017|Categories: Poetry, Veterans Day, War, World War I|

He sat in a wheeled chair, waiting for dark, And shivered in his ghastly suit of grey, Legless, sewn short at elbow. Through the park Voices of boys rang saddening like a hymn, Voices of play and pleasure after day, Till gathering sleep had mothered them from him. […]

Should Religious Symbols Be Banned on Public Lands?

By |2018-06-21T20:37:27-05:00November 7th, 2017|Categories: Christianity, Featured, Freedom of Religion, Politics, Religion, Secularism, Thomas R. Ascik, World War I|

The Supreme Court’s decisions on “public displays” of religion have not been as categorical as its decisions on, for instance, school prayer… Is a long-standing commemorative cross on public land socially divisive and a governmental endorsement of religion? Or, to the contrary, is a constitutional challenge to that cross an act of gratuitous social divisiveness? Recently, [...]

In Memory of The Battle of The Somme

By |2016-10-21T22:31:42-05:00October 21st, 2016|Categories: C.S. Lewis, Hilaire Belloc, History, J.R.R. Tolkien, Joseph Pearce, Poetry, World War I|

This year marks the centenary of the Battle of the Somme, one of the bloodiest conflagrations in human history in which more than a million men were killed or wounded. One of the lucky survivors was J.R.R. Tolkien, who described the battle as being an “animal horror.” Bearing the psychological scars of this horror for [...]

Is “Downton Abbey” a Fairytale?

By |2016-08-13T22:23:43-05:00August 13th, 2016|Categories: Dwight Longenecker, England, J.R.R. Tolkien, Myth, Senior Contributors, Television, World War I|

The roaring success of the English television drama Downton Abbey had little to do with the grand house, the sumptuous costumes, the superb cast and intricately intriguing storyline. Having just finished watching the final season, it occurred to me that the series’s success has everything to do with fairytales. […]

Tolkien’s War

By |2016-02-12T15:27:54-05:00November 3rd, 2015|Categories: Books, Bradley J. Birzer, C.S. Lewis, Christianity, Inklings, J.R.R. Tolkien, World War I|

Since the appearance of John Garth’s excellent Tolkien and the Great War in 2003, a number of scholars and writers have explored the role and influence of war on the fiction of J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and other members of the Inklings. In reviewing Mr. Garth’s book when it came out, I noted that [...]