Toward a Politics of Reconciliation: John Sayles’s “Lone Star,” after 25 Years

“Sayles’s 1996 film, Lone Star, is arguably his greatest work to date. And after 25 years, given the tensions that continue to circle around issues of race and immigration, it certainly has not lost any of its original force and relevance.”

Read more

On the Eve of His Comeback, James Bond Resonates for a Reason

(Nicola Dove—© 2020 DANJAQ, LLC AND MGM. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.)

“Young Americans, myself included, need to resist the impulses of the day and keep striving. We may never be Bond types, but the quest for self-improvement is the point. To strive is to live.”

Read more

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.”

Read more

Review: Louis Menand’s “The Free World”

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

Read more

The Two-faces of Classical Music: Criticism Good, Bad, and Ugly

(Wikipedia Commons)

Why, after all, should it be ‘pro-test,’ and not ‘de-test’? Protest once meant to give testimony in pro of something good, over and against something corrupt.”

Read more

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.”

Read more

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.”

Read more

Odysseus: the First Western Man

J. M. W. Turner’s “Ulysses Deriding Polyphemus”

“Odysseus is the first recognizably Western man.”

Read more

In Every Time and Every Place: the Political Nuance of “Legend of Galactic Heroes”

“This is not a clear-cut struggle between good and evil, especially when enemies could come from within as well as without. Rather…it is a war between one good and another.”

Read more

How “Ms .45” and Zoë Lund Paved Abel Ferrara’s Way

Ferrara and Lund (“Ms .45” / 1981)

“In the end, these are movies about redemption and what it means to be redeemed, whatever the struggle in getting there.”

Read more

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.”

Read more

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.”

Read more

Review: “The Klondike Bake-Oven Deaths”

“In a novel to be released later this month, Hornblum—perhaps best known for his 1998 non-fiction book Acres of Skin, which centers on different events at Holmesburg Prison—retells the calamitous events of August, 1938.”

Read more

What Ortega y Gasset and Orwell Both Foresaw

(Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

“Both Ortega and Orwell concluded that the Left was in trouble as a result of these developments, and their analyses and diagnoses pointed the way forward to the situation we have today in the West.”

Read more

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.”

Read more