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June 2015 Volume 33, Number 10

Notes & comments

Freedom at a crossroads
On the reaction to PEN's Freedom of Expression Courage Award announcement.

A note of thanks
A special message to our supporters.

A birthday tribute
First Things turns twenty-five.

Features

Curing American sclerosis by Charles Murray
A lecture delivered by Charles Murray after he received the third Edmund Burke Award for Service to Culture and Society.

A sufferable snob by Bruce Bawer
A new collection of Henry James's letters reveals the early development of the writer.

Harper Lee’s loving-kindness by Anthony Daniels
A few reflections on To Kill a Mockingbird in anticipation of Harper Lee's new book releases.

Hard not to see by James Panero
On the new Whitney Museum, designed by Renzo Piano.

Departments

Poems

Signs by Bill Coyle

Sadie by Bill Coyle

Letter from Estonia

A “normal” Narva by Andrew Stuttaford
Over a third of its population are Russian citizens and it is located at the edge of the isthmus where Russia merges into Estonia; Narva has an interesting position as Putin's ambitions grow.

Washington journal

Too cool in the capital by Bruce Cole
On “Recent Acquisitions” and “Elaine de Kooning: Portraits” at the National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C., and an update on plans for an Eisenhower Memorial in the capital.

Reconsiderations

The heaven-taught ploughman by Neilson MacKay
Though beloved in the nineteenth century by the most famous critics, Robert Burns is now largely overlooked.

Dance

Cathedral of ice by Laura Jacobs
A look back on Balanchine and Le Baiser de la Fée.

Theater

Unholy spirits by Kyle Smith
On Ghosts at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Clinton the Musical at New World Stages, Wolf Hall Parts One and Two at the Winter Garden Theatre.

Art

Jacob Lawrence at MOMA by Karen Wilkin
On “One-Way Ticket: Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series and Other Visions of the Great Movement North" at MOMA and “Struggle . . . From The History of the American People” at the Phillips Collection.

Exhibition note by Mario Naves
On "Trenton Doyle Hancock: Skin and Bones, 20 Years of Drawing” at the Studio Museum, Harlem.

Love bites by Christie Davies
On “Love Bites: Caricatures by James Gillray” at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.

Music

New York chronicle by Jay Nordlinger
On the American Symphony Orchestra's "Music U," the Australian Chamber Orchestra in Zankel Hall, the New York Philharmonic's Senza sangue, and more.

The Media

Cuddlers & cutthroats by James Bowman
On the results of the recent election in England.

Verse Chronicle

Doing as the Romans do by William Logan
On Heaven, by Rowan Ricardo Phillips; Rome, by Dorothea Lasky; Breezeway, John Ashbery; A Woman Without a Country, by Eavan Boland; The Other Mountain, by Rowan Williams; and Nothing to Declare, by Henri Cole.

Letters

Corps and eyes by Stewart White

Corps and eyes: a response by Richard Tillinghast

Books

After the pounding match
on Waterloo: The Aftermath
by Paul O'Keeffe
reviewed by Henrik Bering

Father Neuhaus
on Richard John Neuhaus: A Life in the Public Square
by Randy Boyagoda
reviewed by Mary Ellen Bork

The empire business
on Flood of Fire: A Novel (The Ibis Trilogy)
by Amitav Ghosh
reviewed by Robert D. Kaplan

Dying art
on Notes on the Death of Culture: Essays on Spectacle and Society
by Mario Vargas Llosa,John King
reviewed by Malcolm Forbes

Bellow’s ornithologists
on The Life of Saul Bellow: To Fame and Fortune, 1915-1964
by Zachary Leader
reviewed by Carl Rollyson

Brothers of invention
on The Wright Brothers
by David McCullough
reviewed by Michael Taube