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World War I

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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...

The 11th hour of the 11th day of this November marks the centennial of the end of World War I, the end of European ascendancy on the world stage, and the rise of American global power. For some...
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Though C.S. Lewis had certainly been a patriot in the First World War, he was determined to be a prophet in the Second. In his speeches and his writings, he spoke directly to a people roused by the heat of battle and war, when morality and norms...
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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) [caption...
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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)
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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,...

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...
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Last month, I was fortunate enough to once again work at the Kansas City Catholic Homeschool Conference.  As I was setting up my table, a couple sat down at the table next to mine and began...
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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,...
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Years ago, as an angry young man, I was a leading member of a white supremacist organization in my native England. I am no longer young, nor am I angry, and in my book Race...
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When the United States entered World War I in 1917, President Woodrow Wilson breathed a sigh of relief. A passionate progressive and Presbyterian elder committed to using the United States to change the world, Wilson confidently told...