Latest Posts

How the Most Influential Novel Ever Written Has Been Misunderstood

“You have no real appreciation of Newspeak, Winston.” —Syme to Smith, Nineteen Eighty-Four For 75 years, the number “1984” has represented a numerical nightmare. Those four digits have been brandished in screaming headlines, blaring soundbites, a BBC teleplay that resulted in heart attacks and even deaths of viewers (in December 1954), and the Washington hotline of the John Birch Society, the far-right American advocacy group. Continue Reading...

Should Christians Be Afraid of Christian Nationalism?

Controversy erupted late last month when the New York Times reported that Supreme Court justice Samuel Alito once flew an “Appeal to Heaven” flag at his New Jersey vacation home. The paper alleged it was a symbol “for a push to remake American government in Christian terms.” Continue Reading...

The Waning of the Modern Age

Happy centennial, Johan Huizinga! He wrote his famous history book, The Waning of the Middle Ages, in 1919, but an English translation came out in 1924 and changed the way many thought about writing history. Continue Reading...

Liz Truss: A Short but Vital Tenure

Liz Truss’ tenure as the United Kingdom’s prime minister will almost certainly be reduced to two footnotes. First, she was invited to form a government by Queen Elizabeth II during Her Late Majesty’s last public engagement. Continue Reading...

The Genius of Franklin

The United States’ Office of the Historian “Milestones” webpage “1776–1783: Diplomacy and the American Revolution” devotes one of its eight sections to Benjamin Franklin, “the most distinguished scientific and literary American of the colonial era” and “the first American diplomat.” Continue Reading...

Hidden in Kafka’s Castle

Should we blame Max Brod? Brod was almost certainly the nearest thing Franz Kafka ever had to a friend, and in time Kafka appointed him his literary executor. The instructions he gave were unequivocal: all the work that remained unpublished on his death, which came on June 3, 1924, including three novels and a large number of stories, was to be promptly destroyed. Continue Reading...