The Wilson Quarterly

Articles from Vol. 21, No. 2, Spring

Buddhism Comes to Main Street
Buddhism is big news in America these days. Whether through a New York Times article carrying the Dalai Lama's latest remarks or a CNN spot on a political fund-raising scandal at a Taiwanese branch temple in Los Angeles, whether by seeing Bernardo Bertolucci's...
Enduring Fictions
Although the Victorian period officially ended with the queen's death in 1901, its political and artistic cultures continue to have an unrivaled immediacy for us. In recent years, conservative moralists have praised the Victorian orphanage and recommended...
Has Jazz Gone Classical?
After years of seeking respectability, jazz is finally winning recognition as "America's classical music." But the transition to the concert hall - and musical adulthood - has not been all to the good, our author writes. One unmistakable symptom of...
How the Chair Conquered the World
The chair is one of those everyday objects whose function seems at once so obvious and necessary that we rarely, if ever, pause to consider its existence. But, as our author explains, the chair's creation and popularity were anything but preordained....
Signs of the Times
When Queen Victoria and her husband, Prince Albert, commissioned Franz Xaver Winterhalter to paint The First of May, 1851, they wanted a family portrait that would also be an allegory of national pride and achievement. The aged duke of Wellington - known...
The Age Demanded
Attitude: a fleeting affectation of style or manner suggesting a purposive relation to the world and one's fellows; a contemporary alternative to belief, conviction, and, possibly, character; occasionally pejorative, but more often a term of high approbation,...
The Age of Philanthropy
Civil society" has become the rallying cry of liberals and conservatives alike, especially in the wake of the recent reform of the welfare system. The devolution of welfare to the states suggests a further devolution to local authorities, and a still...
The Ends of Empire
Until the last quarter of the 19th century, the ruler of the world's largest empire possessed no imperial title. Russia and Austria-Hungary had been ruled by emperors for centuries; Germany, recently united under Prussia, had just acquired its first,...
The Worldliness of Buddhism
Despite Buddhism's growing presence in the West, most Americans still badly misunderstand this ancient world religion. The leaders of Philadelphia's Thai community were rudely reminded of this unpleasant fact during the 1980s when they set out to buy...
Wislawa Szymborska
The Polish poet Wislawa Szymborska, who won the 1996 Nobel Prize in literature, is a canny ironist and rapturous skeptic. She writes a poetry of sardonic individualism, and comes at common experiences from her own angle, with her own perspective. "Four...