Category: Feature


Wednesday’s Child: Letter from Rome

I had planned to be late with this week’s post to recount something of Rome, but our visit here developed in ways so spectacularly unforeseen – such as five hours on the train from Naples to Milan to meet one friend for a saffron risotto and then another three hours to make it to Rome in time for a spaghetti amatriciana with another – that I decided to throw in the towel and just write what’s on my mind. And what’s on my mind is the reading I’ve done during those eight hours on the Freccia Rossa.


Donald Rumsfeld, R.I.P.

Some conservatives are already ridiculing an Atlantic Monthly hit job on the late Donald Rumsfeld. Apparently, they don’t realize that a magazine staff writer is an expert on war and management. (This guy brags about how astonished DOD aides were, when he outlined his critique of the Iraq War.)
Journalists are like doctors: They know everything, especially in fields they have no experience in.


The Blondes of Wisconsin–Bukoski’s Best

In recent decades Anthony Bukoski has emerged as one of the best writers of short fiction, not just in America but in the English language.  He has turned the ugly streets of his native Superior, Wisconsin,  into a literary landscape as mythical as Faulkner’s Mississippi and Tolkiens Middle Earth and populated it with unforgettable characters whose failures and follies are redeemed by their self-respect and their capacity for love.   Of his earlier collections, I wrote previously:   Anthony Bukoski is one of the finest fiction writers in America. Stolidly remaining in the grim ruins of Superior, Wisconsin, he has...


World’s Worst Generals

“People say the Pentagon does not have a strategy They are wrong. The Pentagon does have a strategy; it is: ‘Don’t interrupt the money flow, add to it.’”
– Col. John R. Boyd (U.S. Air Force, ret.) 


From Abraham to Napoleon: Revival

The empire of the Babylonians was not fated to last, and Cyrus the Persian, after entering the city in triumph in 539, promulgated an edict authorizing the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem.  It has been conjectured that the Persians were rewarding Babylonian Jews for their covert assistance in the defeat of Nabonidus, the last Babylonian king, but, there is no need to posit such a special relationship.   Cyrus’s general policy was to reverse the forced resettlement of inflicted on subject nations by Babylonian and Assyrian rulers, whose strategy of divide et impera would be emulated by later tyrants.