The Wilson Quarterly

Articles from Vol. 19, No. 2, Spring

All the Presidents' Words
On Saturday, November 13, 1993, President William Jefferson Clinton stood in the Memphis pulpit where Martin Luther King, Jr., had preached the night before his assassination. Speaking in Dr. King's very rhythms and cadences, the president exhorted...
America's Verdant Cross
It was Augustus T. Dowd's big joke. On a spring morning in 1852 he had been after a wounded grizzly, meaning to finish the brute off and provide the men of the Union Water Company with fried bear for the rest of the week. That was his job. As he was...
A Missed Connection
When I'm not teaching or writing, I work at the inpatient unit of St. Anthony's Hospice in Amarillo, Texas. It's a serious place. But not only serious: it's a house that contains everything, including laughter, comedy, farce, pettiness, terror, and...
Citizens of the World, Unite?
Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel," Dr. Samuel Johnson famously said, and 20th-century American liberals have been quick to agree. Indeed, liberals of a more utopian cast at times have gone one huge step further: they have tried to shed all...
From the Under-Wood
II A Celebration of Charis in Ten Lyrick Peeces 1. HIS EXCUSE FOR LOVING Let it not your wonder move, Lesse your laughter: that I love. Though I now write fiftie yeares, I have had, and have my Peeres; Poets, though devine are men: Some have lov'd...
Merger Mania Revisited
If you were looking for fighting words during the 1980s, "mergers and acquisitions" would do nicely. This phrase could make the hair on a corporate titan's head stand on end and touch off ideological brawls among people worried about the future of the...
Miscellaneous
IV Hymn to Diana from Cynthias Revells Queene, and Huntresse, chaste, and faire, Now the Sunne is laid to sleepe, Seated, in thy silver chaire, State in wonted manner keepe: Hesperus intreats thy light, Goddesse, excellently bright. Earth, let not...
Music against Gravity
We all derive different, private meanings from the music that delights us, but the recurrence of certain musical patterns in the works of great composers hints at meanings of a more universal character. "Madame X installed a piano in the Alps."--Rimbaud,...
Stranger Than Fiction
During the Cold War, some U.S. journalists worked themselves into a lather over the fact that patriotic colleagues had given assistance of various sorts to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). In a lengthy article in Rolling Stone (Oct. 20, 1977),...
The Fundamentalist Challenge
With the benefit of hindsight, I am ever more astonished by the degree to which, over the course of this century, religion has been reinvented as its own antithesis. At much the same time that one stream within modernism created a straw version of religion...
The Future That Never Came
In August the world will solemnly mark the 50th anniversaries of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Their devastation in 1945 inaugurated an age fraught with doomsday anxieties: the fear of Armageddon, of uncontrolled proliferation, and, more recently, of nuclear...
The Night of the Whales
One January night almost 50 years ago I found myself looking straight into the eye of a large black whale. It had just finished swimming on its back, exposing a gleaming white underbelly, through a dense bed of kelp. The whale's swimming motion was slow,...
Thinking about the Unthinkable, Again
Three forces have come together to increase the danger of proliferation in the 1990s. First, over the decades technological know-how has diffused, putting nuclear potential within the range of a number of states. Second, the collapse of the Soviet Union...
Vichy Francois
Writing in the American Spectator (Feb. 1995), Roger Kaplan, editor of Freedom Review, suggests that in soon-to-retire president Francois Mitterand, "this immensely complex, shrewd man, this man of perverse loyalties as well as the most breathtaking...
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