Twentieth Century

The Cross, the Crescent, or the Swastika?

If the past month has been chaotic in America, it has seen some bloody scenes here in Europe. On the morning of October 29, a 21-year old Tunisian national entered the Basilica of Notre Dame in Nice, France began knifing the three people he found there. He virtually severed the head of an elderly lady, [...]

Listen, and Take Heart: Music that Shines Through the Darkness

Our musical adventures this month will take us through the twenthieth-century to contemporary times.  You need not fear.  Despite the temporary triumph of cacophony for about half a century, beautiful music was written even under the siege of the avant-garde and is still being created today. I begin with the great good news that one of [...]

How the Poles Saved Civilization, Part I

On a June evening in 1979 I was having a drink on a small balcony outside a sixth-floor apartment in downtown Warsaw with a very civilized, elderly Polish intellectual, a retired mathematics professor who had taken a degree at Cambridge between the two world wars and spoke a refined, witty, patrician English. Inside the apartment [...]

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