Category History

Fish in Water

Rod Dreher is raving over a new book called Dominion: How the Christian Revolution Remade the World by classicist Tom Holland. Holland’s thesis is that modernity started with the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. He points out that we are so immersed in Christian culture that we find it impossible to recognize the fact: “Every sensible […]

Our Miseducated Elites

A twitter person points out: We all love our American cousins but anyone who works professionally with the sort of Americans who put their university in their twitter bio is also aware of just how limited even the American “elite” knowledge of history and geography is. Battista for most under 50? A cocktail? — Gray […]

Repeal Day!!!

Today is the 85th Anniversary of the 21st Amendment which made it legal to sell booze again. You know what to do. Here is how I like to mix my Martinis: Drop four or five ice cubes into a shaker along with 4 parts Beefeater to 1 part dry vermouth. Stirred, not shaken, unless you […]

Joan of Arc

The last book I read this summer was a biography of Joan of Arc by French medievalist Regine Pernoud. Rather than write a narrative Pernoud takes excerpts from original documents and arranges them according to the timeline of Joan’s life, along with commentary. Joan of Arc’s short life and career is in fact very well […]

Truer every day

An old post from two years ago. Gets truer every day. A quote from Bernard Lonergan, SJ: A civilization in decline digs its own grave with relentless consistency. It cannot be argued out of its self-destructive ways, for argument has a major theoretical premise, theoretical premises are asked to conform to matters of fact, and […]

Still River (Repost)

This is an old post from 2014, and one of my favorites. If I were not so lazy I’d post things like this all the time.   The village of Still River, Massachusetts, is named for the oxbow of the Nashua River at the bottom of the hill on which it sits. It is one […]

Its 21st Admendment Day!

Today is the 83rd anniversary of the 21st Amendment, which repealed the 18th Amendment, which prohibited the sale of alcohol in the United States of America, land of the free and all that. Progress, Protestantism, and Women’s Suffrage – ideologies which are all strongly influenced by Gnosticism and deeply opposed to the corporeal nature of man – […]

Different Takes on the Reformation

Eamon Duffy scans contemporary historical takes on the Reformation. Duffy’s own work changed how we look at the Reformation by pointing out that though national governments and the elites turned Protestant fairly quickly, a deep study of archaeology, letters, and folk practices shows that the common people held onto Catholic religious practices for decades after […]

ISIS: Nothing New

An interesting article by John Grey argues that there is nothing new or shocking about ISIS. The use of large scale terror to transform society started with the French Revolution, was perfected by the Soviets, and brought to the Middle East by the PLO**, a nationalist and socialist movement. ISIS destroying pre-Islamic art has precedents again […]

Scopes Monkey Trial

Rod Dreher has an interesting post on eugenics today. We don’t like to think about it much today, but eugenics was an accepted part of the American Progressive movement up until World War II, when Hitler gave it a bad name. It was supported by such Progressive icons as W.E.B. DuBois, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and […]