Versailles at 100

By |2018-12-31T12:59:10-05:00January 1st, 2019|

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 [...]

The Long Shadows Cast by “Nightmare Alley”

By |2018-11-30T18:08:22-05:00November 23rd, 2018|

Just as the Second World War ended, the 1946 novel Nightmare Alley by William Lindsay Gresham became a bestseller. Perhaps more than any other, the noir genre fitted the mood of Post–war America. It was a nation that had not yet emerged blinking into the Technicolor 1950s of Eisenhower and later prosperity. It was [...]

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

By |2018-12-13T23:45:16-05:00November 10th, 2018|

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|

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 [...]

“The Human Condition”: A Tale of the Suffering Servant

By |2018-08-24T20:58:30-05:00August 24th, 2018|

The Human Condition, directed by Masaki Kobayashi, is more than a mere movie. It is certainly not entertainment. It is an experience in which the viewer participates. It is not an easy movie to watch. The suffering Christ is encountered at every turn… In one of the most ambitious cinematic projects ever undertaken, Japanese [...]

C.S. Lewis in Wartime: Patriot & Prophet

By |2018-07-18T16:24:12-05:00July 18th, 2018|

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 traditionally fail, even in the best societies… [...]

A Soldier’s Grandson

By |2018-04-08T00:36:19-05:00April 9th, 2018|

Those soldiers gave my grandfather’s graveside service a gravity and dignity it would have lacked otherwise. They shared a bond with him that I can never understand, for I am a soldier’s grandson but not a soldier… Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords our readers the opportunity to join John Barnes as [...]

Reminiscences of a Christian Girl in Wartime Holland

By |2017-11-21T23:18:16-05:00November 21st, 2017|

Those of my Dutch neighbor’s generation knew exactly what they were doing in the Passion Play that was Europe during World War II. It was her Christian faith that sustained her through the hardships of those years… Stien van Egmond In honor of Thanksgiving and in anticipation of the Christmas season, I [...]

The Catholic Church & the Jews: What is the True Story?

By |2017-08-12T11:51:23-05:00August 12th, 2017|

Though history has shown Catholics sometimes acting ignobly towards Jews, much more often Catholics have acted as protectors of them… Few episodes in recent Church history arouse as much attention as the alleged silence of Pope Pius XII regarding the Holocaust. Despite the fact that many respected scholars—including Jewish ones—have demonstrated that the pope [...]

An Amateur’s Week With Beethoven’s “Harp” Quartet

By |2018-12-15T02:25:18-05:00August 9th, 2017|

What a treat is it for a group of amateur string players, busy in their everyday lives, to spend a week in a far-off place and inundate themselves in practice and education concerning a single piece of music and its composer—the sort of exercise usually reserved for professionals. […]

A Polite Warning to the French President

By |2017-06-10T07:33:16-05:00June 9th, 2017|

Real Europeans see history as a battle: first, to organize human life in accordance with national and popular principles, with traditions and habits; and second, not to be ruled by even the most perfect ideas thought up by foreigners… Author’s Note: French President Macron had harsh words for Poland, threatening the country with sanctions. [...]

Omaha Beach: America’s Finest Hour

By |2017-06-05T21:54:49-05:00June 5th, 2017|

Because of the extraordinary valor shown by so many young men on that distant beach, America stood singular and tall in the saddle. It was her finest hour and for that at least we must be grateful… General Mark W. Clark, whose Fifth Army led the capture of Rome in June of 1944, was [...]

Remembering The Road to Serfdom

By |2019-02-14T12:44:55-05:00May 11th, 2017|

Friedrich Hayek believed that the very institutions of liberalism and republicanism, when misused, can foster the totalitarianism of democracy… The Road to Serfdom by F.A. Hayek (University of Chicago Press, 1944) Professor Friedrich August von Hayek (1899-1992) wrote The Road to Serfdom while a professor at the London School of Economics as the allied [...]