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Walter Laqueur

New York Times — Washington Post The possibility that Europe will become a museum or a cultural amusement park for the nouveau riche of globalization is not completely out of the question. HistoryHolocaustIsraelJewsterrorismWalter LaqueurZionism

John Gray on Desert Island Disks

And his first choice, Bowie’s “My Way” — i.e. Life on Mars. Though he came to self-awareness in the ’60s he preferred the harder-edged and more poetic ’70s. His one item: a lifetime’s supply of Marmite. Sound chap. ConservatismDavid BowieHistoryIsaiah Berlinjohn grayKirsty YoungLiberalismLibertarianismmarmitePolitical philosophyprogressstoicism

New Orleans: The first 300 years

Here are details of the programme that accompanies the book of the same title with a foreword by none other than the very excellent Lawrence Powell whose masterful history was reviewed here. Historyirma thomasjohn goodmanlawrence PowellMichael Whitenew orleansWalter Isaacson

Forgetfulness: Making the Modern Culture of Amnesia

John Gray very warmly reviews Francis O’Gorman’s Forgetfulness: Making the Modern Culture of Amnesia. Trying to control culture from a rationalistic perspective is bound to frustrate: the upshot is that cultural marxists have to double down, manifest as even more authoritarian. Their whole project is akin to “pissing in the wind” but we pay a grim price…

The Jewish Confederates

I picked up this unusual book in a wonderful book store, Buxton Books, in Charleston. If ever you are in Charleston, it’s well worth popping in and supporting them and maybe even get chatting to the charming and knowledgeable owners. Civil WarconfederateHistoryJewishJews

Hume’s Call to Action

A review article of James Harris’ Hume: An Intellectual Biography Hume reconceived the task of philosophy. It ought not to be championed, as the ancient schools had done, as a “medicine for the mind.” Nor was it a source of rules for action that would guarantee righteousness. Its role was critical reflection rather than exhortation…

Peter Viereck

Born on this day What keeps earth air breathable? Not oxygen alone. The earth is a freer place to breathe in, every time you love without calculating a return — every time you make your drudgeries and routines still more inefficient by stopping to experience the shock of beauty wherever it unpredictably flickers. All creeds…

Bernard Williams: Why Philosophy Needs History

Bernard Williams’ piece originally from the LRB and reprinted in Essays and Reviews: 1959-2002 along with Colin Koopman’s commentary. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ‘Lack of a historical sense is the hereditary defect of philosophers . . . So what is needed from now on is historical philosophising, and with it the virtue of modesty.’ Nietzsche wrote this in 1878, but it…