A Bracing Dose of Mencken

HL MENCKENHenry Louis Mencken (1880-1956) was one of our most brilliant and penetrating journalists. He was also one of our most acerbic. Independent, fearless, and iconoclastic, he spared no one. He made a career out of turning sacred cows into hamburger.

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Lincoln Shows His Steel

LincolnAbraham Lincoln is arguably the greatest man that this country ever produced. He is also one of the most complex; a man “both steel and velvet.” We like to remember Lincoln’s softer side, but if he hadn’t had the steel as well, we might not be one nation today.
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The Man No One Would Be

1024px-Zone_urbaine_(VICHY,FR03)Consider the dramatic fate of François Darlan. He was Vichy’s likely successor to the reviled Marshal Pétain, and heir to France’s naval tradition owing to the death of a great-grandfather at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. Whence Darlan’s loathing of the British. Continue reading The Man No One Would Be

An Appreciation of Pat Nixon

Pat_Nixon_1973Pat Nixon, stuck in the hell of public attachment to this American monster, carried herself with style and candor throughout. We now know that Pat Nixon trailed along her repellent husband even while discreetly maintaining separate living arrangements at the “Winter White House” in Key Biscayne. Continue reading An Appreciation of Pat Nixon

Finding Churchill’s Faith

God & Churchill“King and country, in that order, that’s about the only religion Winston has.”

So wrote Lord Moran, Sir Winston Churchill’s friend and physician. Most historians would agree. After all, did not Churchill himself quip that he was “not a pillar of the church, but a flying buttress”?

Yet if Churchill had no religion beyond king and country, how do we account for the references to “God” and “Providence” that appear so prominently again and again in his speeches? Were they no more than a politician’s cynical nod to the religious sensibilities of his countrymen? Continue reading Finding Churchill’s Faith