“Heroism” and the “World Soul” at Jena

(Horace Vernet’s “Battle of Jena-Auerstedt”)

“The flattering portrait Hegel wrote of Napoleon to his friend has subsequently spiraled into mythic legend. Why did Hegel have this seemingly lofty view of Napoleon?”

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Flyover Blues: The Enduring Relevance of F. Scott Fitzgerald 

(AP Photo/File)

“One hundred years after Fitzgerald’s great novels, we are living in the same world as Nick Carraway, Amory Blaine, and Jay Gatsby.”

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Review: Louis Menand’s “The Free World”

In many ways, the book also reads as a eulogy to a liberal, liberalizing, and internationalist America.”

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Sir Roger Scruton’s Wagner

(Ken Howard/Met Opera)

“Scruton loved Wagner. The two were a match made in heaven, or hell, depending on your perspective and appreciation of irony.”

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Virgil’s War and Peace

“The Meeting of Dido and Aeneas” by Sir Nathaniel Dance-Holland (1735–1811)

“Two millennia later, we are still warring over the meaning of Virgil’s Aeneid.”

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Review: Michael Shnayerson’s “Bugsy Siegel”

Jewish Lives

“It is a short and gripping panorama of life in 1920s-1940s America, that defining epoch of struggle and stardom, hardship and grandeur, fortune and bankruptcy—and Bugsy Siegel experienced it all.”

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Review: Jan Swafford’s “Mozart: The Reign of Love”

“The problem is that this story of Mozart that we think we know is not true at all; thankfully, Jan Swafford is here to correct the problem.”

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The Moral Philosophy of Plutarch

While not all of his essays are explicitly moral in orientation, nearly all of Plutarch’s essays have moral instruction and guidance baked into them.”

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Review: Nicholas McDowell’s “Poet of Revolution: The Making of John Milton”

(Stock Montage/Getty Images)

As McDowell suggests, it was the liberating and open environment of humanist education that moved Milton more than any theological or political zeal, and it seized Milton at an early age.”

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Don’t Cancel the Classics—We Need Them More Than Ever

(Francesco Solimena’s “Priam in the Tent of Achilles”)

Those who are adamant that love will trump hate, heal the world, and divinize us are not articulating anything new. The Greeks are still singing to us the songs of humanistic love as the spirit that will heal the world.”

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An Enchanted Christmas with John Wesley

Wesley’s hymns remind us of all that is good in the world and all that is true about the human condition.”

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Review: Clint Margrave’s “Lying Bastard”

Lying Bastard is a work of the zeitgeist. Disgruntled intellectuals. Returning war veterans just beginning their higher education. A school shooting. The fraud of academicians. Societal exploitation.”

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America at the End of History

“The universal end-state society, Kojève argued, was the society in which any individual could attain what he desired with ease and without opposition…”

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“Gone with the Wind” Isn’t Going Anywhere

What is a classic? What is an epic? These two questions loom over any reader of Gone with the Wind (and great literature, more generally).”

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Augustine of Hippo: Patron Saint of Political Criticism

(“The Four Doctors of the Western Church,” Saint Augustine of Hippo (354-430), by Gerard Seghers)

“In a brilliant stroke of irony, Augustine’s reading of Roman history not only reveals the many falsities of the Roman imperial mythology but also points the way to Christ and the Heavenly Jerusalem.”

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