Wednesday, April 29, 2020

The Great Shame

Dear M,

When I was a small boy I was told about a coming judgment.  Mom said that God was the judge, but what stuck with me more forcefully was the idea of how He would do it.  There would be a great TV in the sky with all our deeds on view -- all of them, large and small -- and everyone would see what kind of life we lived.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Can a leftist write great history?

Dear Hannah,

Richard White says he wrote The Republic for Which it Stands for the money, and because he said it he deserves our praise.  He could have written anything else in the preface and saved face*; anything like he did it for minorities (which is likely), or for his children (which is unlikely), or for the plain fact that what he wrote about was interesting.  For his own sake he could have even just kept his mouth shut and avoided a preface.  But Richard White didn't; and what we got is a history book, concerning Reconstruction and the Gilded Age, that not only fails to appear politically impartial, but which in its partiality is also extremely interesting.