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One frontier: two different worlds

One frontier: two different worlds

The comparison between the two approaches to American life and values represented by the books of Laura Ingalls Wilder (Little House on the Prairie series) and Bess Streeter Aldrich (A Lantern in Her Hand and its sequel White Bird Flying) opens some significant, and possibly uncomfortable, differences that lay at the root of the contrast of the families’ fortunes, despite living in the same…

"A Lantern in Her Hand": an alternative view of the American frontier

"A Lantern in Her Hand": an alternative view of the American frontier

For the last few weeks, I have catalogued the flaws of the American “spirit” as represented in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie series and the unsuitability of the family as role models. Recognizing the inadequacy of the Ingalls-Wilder family as representative of an ideal American way of life and society is important because, due to a long-running TV show and…

Burrowing into Books - "The Man in the White Linen Suit" by David Handler

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Burrowing into Books - "The Man in the White Linen Suit" by David Handler

“It was 1993 now. No one makes a witty remark unless they’re getting paid to, preferably on  their own nationally syndicated TV talk show. And nine times out of ten, they’re not even witty.”…

Some further thoughts on the Little House on the Prairie series

Some further thoughts on the Little House on the Prairie series

In the US, especially among those who see themselves as promoting family values and independent spirit, there is a tendency to lionize the Little House on the Prairie series, a sequence of children’s books written by a woman, Laura Ingalls Wilder, who lived on the American frontier and witnessed its transition into the modern era. The truth of the matter is that there was little to admire…

Book Review: The Ethics of Voting

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Book Review: The Ethics of Voting

The Ethics of Voting By Jason Brennan Princeton University Press, 2012. 229 pages, $16.44 Voting in local, national, or supranational elections is in general seen as an act of good citizenship. Even though participation rates vary from country to country, a large percentage of the population in advanced democracies go to the polls quasi-religiously in every election. Yet few people reflect…

Burrowing into Books - "The Golden Hour," by Beatriz Williams

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Burrowing into Books - "The Golden Hour," by Beatriz Williams

“‘The golden hour,’ Wilfred waves his hand at the sun, “…that’s when everything looks  the most beautiful, just before the sun sets. This luminous air turning everything to gold.’”…

Burrowing into Books -"Uncle Dynamite" by P.G. Wodehouse

Burrowing into Books -"Uncle Dynamite" by P.G. Wodehouse

“He looked pleased with himself, and who shall blame him? A man whose  mission is to spread sweetness and light and to bring the young folk together may  surely be forgiven a touch of complacency when happy endings start going off like  crackers all around him and he sees the young folk coming together in droves.”…

Burrowing into Books - "My Twenty-Five Years in Provence" by Peter Mayle

Burrowing into Books - "My Twenty-Five Years in Provence" by Peter Mayle

  “After several months our luck finally changed. We found a house on a hillside, with several thousand acres of the Luberon Natural Regional Park at the end of the back garden, a modest vineyard and the fine old village of Ménerbes two minutes away.”…

Linguistic inclusion or social mobility?: A dilemma

Linguistic inclusion or social mobility?: A dilemma

Language and accents are a veritable passion for anglophones. Upon landing in the UK for the first time, my new comrades at university asked me to explain President Trump, but their curiosity was focused on his accent, not his policies. The power of linguistic tonality and musicality has long been a sore topic with those of a social justice inclination, who have long waged war on British Received…

Book Review: The Clash of Economic Ideas

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Book Review: The Clash of Economic Ideas

The Clash of Economic Ideas: The Great Policy Debates and Experiments of the Last Hundred Years By Lawrence H. White Cambridge University Press; 1st edition (April 9, 2012) 438 pages, $39.77   “I’m rather good at it”, said a young John Maynard Keynes to a friend shortly after starting the only economics course he would take in his life; a course that would turn a…

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