Tag Archives: politics

Happy Birthday, Niccolò Machiavelli: “Fear and the absence of hatred may go well together.”

Prologue, The Jew of Malta, by Christopher Marlowe, written in 1589. Machiavelli died in 1527. You can see his posthumous reputation had ballooned, just 60 years after his death. Enter MACHIAVEL. MACHIAVEL. Albeit the world think Machiavel is dead, Yet … Continue reading

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“Here’s to better times ahead and saying goodbye to bombs and bullets once and for all.” — Lyra McKee

Born on this day, investigative journalist Lyra McKee was shot and killed in Derry in 2019, during a standoff between police officers and dissident republicans. She was there as a journalist, covering the events. A masked person fired a shot … Continue reading

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“Art indeed is long, but life is short.” — Metaphysical poet Andrew Marvell

“Andrew Marvell spans three ages like a delicate but serviceable bridge. The first length spans Charles I’s reign and fall, the second spans the Commonwealth, the third the Restoration.” — Michael Schmidt, Lives of the Poets It’s his birthday today. … Continue reading

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Dynamic Duo #39

Mandy Rice-Davies and Christine Keeler, 1963

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“Sometimes, in describing what I do, I resort to the Latin phrase ‘silva rerum’: the forest of things. That’s my subject: the forest of things.” — Ryszard Kapuściński

One of my favorite writers. His death in 2007 was devastating to me. I went to the memorial tribute at the New York Public Library, hosted by his close personal friend Salman Rushdie. I am not sure I can sufficiently … Continue reading

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Eleanor Roosevelt, the D.A.R., and Marian Andersen

85 years ago today, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt publicly resigned from the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) after the organization barred famous contralto Marian Anderson from singing at Constitution Hall. Howard University had invited Anderson to sing in Washington … Continue reading

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“And the world Is gonna know your name. What’s your name, man?” “Alexander Hamilton.”

Except for the opening paragraph, this post was (mostly – there are some updates) written in 2008, years before “Hamilton” mania overtook the world. I almost can’t believe it’s happened. Thank you Lin-Manuel Miranda. Your musical is so important. I … Continue reading

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2023 Books Read

I think I might have read more books by non-American authors than American this year. Countries represented below: Austria, Hungary, Poland, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Croatia, Ireland, France, Russia, Colombia. I revisited some old favorites, which I will continue to do in … Continue reading

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“I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat or a prostitute.” Happy Birthday, Rebecca West

It is hard to talk about her without referencing the generations of writers she inspired, all of whom admit their debt to her. Robert Kaplan is the most open about it (his Balkan Ghosts, which launched his career, has him … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, Ida Tarbell, Mother of Muckraking

“Rockefeller and his associates did not build the Standard Oil Co. in the board rooms of Wall Street banks. They fought their way to control by rebate and drawback, bribe and blackmail, espionage and price cutting, by ruthless efficiency of … Continue reading

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