From The Editors of the Intercollegiate Review: The turn of the century is a time to take stock of the path we have followed, the better to discern where we ought to be going. Historical discernment requires coming to judgment about what has been noble, good, and beneficial in our time, but also about what has been base, bad, and harmful. In the life of the mind, what has our century produced that deserves admiration? What has it produced that deserves only contempt?
Earlier this year, the Modern Library published a list styled The Hundred Best Nonfiction Books of the Twentieth Century. A list of significant books can make a compelling statement about how we are to understand an age. In judging the quality of a book, one necessarily judges the perception and the profundity which the book displays, as well as the character of the book’s influence.
Yet many were dissatisfied with the several “Best” lists published in the past year, finding them biased, too contemporary, or simply careless…
Prominent on the “Best” list, on the other hand, are many volumes of extraordinary reflection and creativity in a traditional form, which heartens us with the knowledge that fine writing and clear-mindedness are perennially possible….(read the full list here)
This list was edited by Mark C. Henrie, Winfield J. C. Myers, and Jeffrey O. Nelson.
1. Henry Adams, The Education of Henry Adams (1907)
Pessimism and nostalgia at the bright dawn of the twentieth century must have seemed bizarre to contemporaries. After a century of war, mass murder, and fanaticism, we know that Adams’s insight was keen indeed.
2. C. S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man (1947)
Preferable to Lewis’s other remarkable books simply because of the title, which reveals the true intent of liberalism.
3. Whittaker Chambers, Witness (1952)
The haunting, lyrical testament to truth and humanity in a century of lies (and worse). Chambers achieves immortality recounting his spiritual journey from the dark side (Soviet Communism) to the—in his eyes—doomed West. One of the great autobiographies of the millennium. Read the rest of this entry »
An entire generation has passed since the end of the Cold War. It was an era of jingoism and paranoia, and while there wasn’t actual conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union except through proxy, each side took the other very seriously. Even civilians were part of it, thanks to the indiscriminate killing potential of nuclear weapons. These vintage home front posters are from a time where America was ostensibly at peace, but was but a hair’s breadth away from total annihilation.
Disclaimer: The images on this page are not owned by UPrinting or punditfromanotherplanet.com and are used solely as design examples. Please click on the images here to see their original sources.
The atomic age had brought with it the idea that anyone in the United States could be immolated within a matter of minutes of an attack from the Soviet Union. The United States had already been preparing civilians for air raid since World War 2, but after the USSR developed its own nuclear bomb in 1949, its preparation efforts went into overdrive.
Compared to some posters produced during World War 2, and certainly by today’s standards, a few of these posters are actually surprisingly fatalistic. It was actually assumed that some people would die in the event of an attack and the focus became more on flimsy attempts at damage control than anything else. It might be hard to imagine for many young people today to understand the mindset of people back then. Take a trip back in time and have a look at these:
STANDING UP TO OPPRESSIVE GOVERNMENT: You’ll love the ‘trophy’ World War II vets took home from the government shutdown blockade.
Victims. Helpless. Downtrodden.That’s the narrative that’s been spread about Jews for the last 70 years since the Holocaust. We’ve embraced it to our detriment. We can’t seem to address antisemitism without running to the world and screaming that we’re being persecuted, rather than standing up strongly in defiance, aware of our own inner strength.
The Holocaust has scarred us, a yetzer hara sneaky bastard of a voice in our heads, that keeps trying to tell us how we are defined by our past, controlled by events that happened to us, instead of using those moments as points of growth.
And, in a weird way, that’s why all those images of us looking so helpless, so gaunt, in heaps of nameless bodies, have become a morbid fascination for us. We, and by extension the rest of the world, have chosen to define the Holocaust with these images.But there are other images. Images that show a more subtle, more true, story. A story that shows our inner power, our inner turmoil in dealing with a situation we cannot comprehend, our attempts to gain justice, and our final steps into moving above and beyond our past and into a new future.
These are the images you will see below. Some of them may be disturbing to you. Some of them may inspire you.But in the end, they do one thing that we desperately need as a people: they tell the real story of the Holocaust. A story that goes beyond victimhood and into our present-day lives. And today, on Yom HaShoa, 2013, it’s about time that story got told.