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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What “The Merchant of Venice” Has to Say about Justice

(From the Jewish Chronicle Archive/Heritage-Images)

“Just as it was in Shakespeare’s time, the questions of justice, mercy, and society remain as relevant as ever before, and we have much to learn from the great bard of Anglodom.”

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Herodotus and the Human Quest for Justice

“Herodotus, as we can begin to see, is a theorist of human action—and a theorist of justice. Justice, according to Herodotus, is the chief force of human action.”

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Lessons from Antiquity for Our Current Pandemic

(Plague in an Ancient City, Michiel Sweerts)

“Thucydides subsequently goes on to say, ‘In other respects also Athens owed to the plague the beginnings of a state of unprecedented lawlessness.’”

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Achilles, Priam, and the Redemptive Power of Forgiveness

(Gavin Hamilton’s Priam Pleading with Achilles for the Body of Hector)

For all the battle scenes, violent sex, and rage that fills the poem, the most memorable scenes in the poem are moments of love—especially loving moments of embrace.”

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The Human Impulse for Tyranny

(Neil Beer/Getty Images)

“Reading Pericles’ Funeral Oration as a standalone speech—independent of the whole work to which it belongs—makes us prone to falling for the seduction of tyranny which Thucydides so subtly investigates and rebukes in his work.”

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