Recent links of note:


“The Smear Of Roger Scruton”

Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review

On Wednesday, Roger Scruton was removed from the British “Building Better, Building Beautiful” commission over comments he made in an interview with George Eaton of the New Statesman. Eaton suggested that Scruton made racist statements about Hungarian Jews, George Soros, and Chinese people, and that he expressed Islamophobia in his thoughts about European immigrants. But Michael Brendan Dougherty at National Review and Dominic Green  at Spectator USA  argue that Eaton took Scruton’s responses out of context, especially in quoting him on Twitter, and that this is just another attack in an ongoing war against the conservative philosopher for dissenting from liberal orthodoxies.

“ ‘I Have Let Whitman Alone’ ”

Brenda Wineapple, The New York Review of Books

The literary world is gearing up for Walt Whitman’s bicentennial on May 31, so it’s time to brush off your Leaves of Grass and get ready for an abundant crop of reconsiderations of our country’s most expansive, and perhaps most quintessentially American, poet. Brenda Wineapple, the editor of the forthcoming Library of America collection Walt Whitman Speaks: His Final Thoughts on Life, Writing, Spirituality, and the Promise of America, writes in this week’s New York Review of Books about Whitman’s biographer, Horace Traubel. Whitman, the self-declared “garrulous old man,” began collaborating with his Boswell in 1888, saying, “I want you to speak for me when I am dead.” By the time Whitman died in 1892, Traubel’s journals contained multitudes: he had around five thousand pages of conversations with that great “American, one of the roughs,” that “kosmos.”

“Nathan Glazer—Merit Before Meritocracy”

Peter Skerry, The American Interest

When Nathan Glazer died in January, he was remembered in many publications, including our own, as an influential sociologist, a successful editor, and a thoughtful, pragmatic thinker who was always open to altering his opinions based on new arguments or evidence. Peter Skerry gives us another full depiction of Glazer: one of the last New York intellectuals, who came from a poor immigrant family to become the editor of Commentary and later The Public Interest, as well as one of the country’s leading sociologists. Through Glazer, Skerry also tells the story of American academia in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries: the transition from a community with enough intellectual and economic freedom to allow a working-class Jew with more burning questions than academic credentials to make his name as a leading professor to a more stultified, bureaucratic “discipline.”

“A Faulty Air Conditioning Unit Sparked the Brazil National Museum Fire”

Meilan Solly, Smithsonian

Last September, I wrote in these pages of the fire that destroyed 90 percent of the Brazil National Museum’s collection. This week, it was announced that a faulty air conditioning unit sparked the fire and that “inadequate safety measures” allowed it to spread throughout the two-century-old building. Meilan Solly reports for Smithsonian online.


From our pages

“Trotsky on ice”

James Panero

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