So Why Read (Fiction) Anymore?

Yesterday, in his blog Works and Days at PJ Media, the classical historian Victor Davis Hanson asked why anyone should read anymore. He rehearsed several good reasons (reading is mental exercise, it renews the language that social media zaps into an “instant bland hot cereal,” it reverses the intellectual regress that seems to accompany technological progress) before arriving at what strikes me as the soundest reason of all. “[S]peaking and writing well are not just the DSL lines of modern civilization,” Hanson concluded, “but also the keys to self-mastery. . . .” He hurried on to talk about upholding the standards of culture, saying no more about self-mastery. In passing, though, Hanson put his finger on the reason for what Ben Jonson, four centuries ago, called a “mul­ti­plicity of read­ing.” It “maketh a full man,” Jonson said.

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So Why Read (Fiction) Anymore?

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A New Wave of Terror

The ISIS threat explodes around the globe.

A familiar introspection set in after the horrific terrorist attack on a concert in Manchester, England. True to form, celebrities and provocateurs flew to their corners. Immigration was the topic; both sides argued that it should either be curtailed or that the UK must stay its pluralistic course. Given the nature of the attack, however, an extroverted response seems more justified. The attack in Manchester was a remarkably sophisticated one and likely benefited from foreign assistance. Moreover, it has been accompanied by a wave of global terrorism.

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The Tragic Familiarity of the Manchester Attack

Making a tough job even tougher.

The Manchester bombing, which killed 22 people, appears to have followed a familiar pattern. It’s one that is instantly recognizable from the profiles of other Western terrorists.

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Are Unknown Soldiers Identifiable?

Do we forget soldiers who might still be recovered?

For too many Americans, Memorial Day is a day off from school or work, or the beginning of the summer barbecue season. Of course, it should be much, much more than that. It should be a day to remember, honor, and offer gratitude to those who sacrificed their lives so that the United States, Europe, Australia, and large swaths of Asia might be free.