Cary Grant was a complicated, brilliant creation

Cary Grant was a complicated, brilliant creationScott Eyman’s new biography of Cary Grant starts at the end. On Nov. 29, 1986, Grant – the personification of Hollywood’s Golden Age – died in Davenport, Iowa, just over seven weeks shy of his 83rd birthday. The death certificate ascribed his passing to a “massive intracerebral hemorrhage.” If Davenport seemed like an unusual place…

A revisionist history of who won the U.S. Civil War

A controversial new book maintains that the North may have won the war, but the South won the battle of ideas

A revisionist history of who won the U.S. Civil WarThis month’s holiday celebration, much like the year in general, is one that the annals of history will always remember. For my last column of 2020, let’s explore some historical analysis that few would ever recall. Who won the American Civil War? The correct response would be: the North, Union, Union Army and/or Army of…

A guide to looking beyond the COVID-19 crisis

A guide to looking beyond the COVID-19 crisisThe world is going through difficult times. COVID-19 is not only testing us physically, it has created an economic crisis for many. And it’s taking a psychological toll on all of us. When facing challenging times, I’ve found that certain resources always provide hope and a way forward. Viktor Frankl wrote his classic Man’s Search …

A KGB guide to subverting the press to your agenda

The methods of a former KGB operative remain applicable in the modern era, leading to disinformation and outright lies

A KGB guide to subverting the press to your agenda“I cannot but wonder why are people pushing for socialism and communism?” an elderly friend wrote on Facebook. “Are they that misinformed and believing it?” If we concede the answer is “Yes,” the next question is “Why?” The late Yuri Bezmenov, a former KGB operative with the RIA Novosti press agency, had some answers. One…

Adolf Hitler’s fateful mistake

If Hitler had declared war on Japan in support of the U.S., he might have kept the U.S. out of the European war. And that would have changed history

Adolf Hitler’s fateful mistakeAdolf Hitler began 1941 in a commanding position. He had 10 European conquests under his belt and just one active foe – beleaguered Britain and the members of the Commonwealth, like Canada. But by year-end, he’d added the Soviet Union and the United States to his slate of antagonists. And the declaration of war against…

Diving into man’s complicated relationship with war

Diving into man’s complicated relationship with warOn Remembrance Day, as chance would have it, I was reading Margaret MacMillan’s latest book, War: How Conflict Shaped Us. MacMillan is a Canadian historian most famous for two works connected to the First World War – Paris 1919 and The War That Ended Peace. Her new book builds on a series of lectures she…

The perpetual fascination with Robin Hood

The bawdy, brutal outlaw of the original ballads doesn’t fit with the noble figure of popular mid-20th-century presentations

The perpetual fascination with Robin HoodAs historical figures go, Robin Hood is a source of perpetual fascination. Mind you, I use the term “historical figure” very loosely because there’s no convincing evidence that he ever existed. Or at least not in anything resembling the legend we’re familiar with. While the earliest written stories date back to ballads printed in the…

The past isn’t a script set down in stone

Vandalizing public spaces under the delusion that such acts make yesterday a better today is sad-sack politics that fosters democratic weakness

The past isn’t a script set down in stoneFor her book Talking Stones: The Politics of Memorialization in Post-Conflict Northern Ireland, Elisabetta Viggiani mapped 157 publicly visible sites of Troubles commemoration in Belfast. Broken down, the city’s memorials alone offer a ratio of one wall plaque, garden, public tableau or statue for every 25 of the 4,000 or so people killed by the…

At 90, Thomas Sowell remains one of a kind

As a libertarian conservative, he’s a minority in the economics profession. Stir in the fact that he’s Black and you get a rare bird indeed

At 90, Thomas Sowell remains one of a kindThomas Sowell celebrated his 90th birthday this summer by publishing his 56th book. Entitled Charter Schools and Their Enemies, the book returns to one of his recurrent themes. He believes that the American public school system fails children from impoverished backgrounds by prioritizing the interests of teacher unions and their political sponsors. In Sowell’s reckoning,…

The Congo’s great liberation turned into abject failure

How great plans quickly descended into decades of dictatorship, corruption, kleptocracy and violence

The Congo’s great liberation turned into abject failureThe year 1960 was auspicious for European decolonization of Africa. In rapid succession, no fewer than 17 countries became independent. One of them was the Central African territory previously known as the Belgian Congo. June 30 was its magic date. And given its vast natural resources, some people had high hopes. Alas, things quickly turned…
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