Spying For The Yanks

The safest, fastest, most convivial operation in the annals of espionage

A little autobiography is needed. I was born a U.S. citizen, in Lenox, Massachusetts, to be precise, and educated in France and England. I therefore speak French with a French accent and English with an English one. Now this is not allowed of Americans. An American can quite legitimately speak with a Latvian, Korean, Irish, German, Italian, or Greek accent and no one cares, you are an okay American. But if you speak with an English one, people ask if you are “really” American.Read more »

The Green Flag In America

For more than a century, Irish-Americans were whipsawed between love for their tormented native land and loyalty to the United States. But no more .

The Honorable Hugh L. Carey, Democratic governor of the state of New York, made a speech in Dublin on April 22, 1977. After declaring himself unalterably part of “that segment of the human family called Irish,” Carey denounced extremists on both sides of Northern Ireland’s guerrilla war as practitioners of the “politics of death.” Read more »

God’s “almost Chosen People”

“We are a religious people.…” The United States Supreme Court likes to quote this dictum by Justice William O. Douglas, who coined the phrase to accompany a decision in 1952. The Court has not been trying to provide America’s pious Little Jack Horners with new reasons to say, “What a good boy am I!” The justices are not supposed to favor particular religions or to discriminate against irreligion. They merely have been explaining why their legal decisions take into account the sentiments of so many citizens on the delicate subject of religion. Read more »

A 1783 Monument To American Independence Makes Sense-but In Yorkshire, England?

It is normally the winners, not the losers, who erect triumphal irches at a war’s end. Yet at Parlington Park in West Yorkshire, some two hundred miles north of London, stands this monument, boldly dedicated to Liberty in North America Triumphant, MDCCLXXXIII . Built in 1783, the year America officially wrested her independence from England, it is the little-known creation of Sir Thomas Gascoigne, the eighth Baronet of Parlington and an aristocrat with distinctly individual views. Read more »

The Children’s Hour

When the daughters of James A. Drake were born, in the 1880’s, Queen Victoria was on the throne of England, and she and her brood of nine were the first family to the world at large. A fond mama who is said to have filled a hundred and ten albums with family photographs, she has survived in our memories as a ruler with very strict ideas about how people should comport themselves.Read more »

SphairistikÉ, Anyone?

Introduced not quite a century ago under a name born for oblivion, the game itself promises to last forever

Miss Mary Ewing Outerbridge was unquestionably one of New York’s most respectable young ladies. Her Staten Island family was socially impeccable and correspondingly well-to-do; she was seen in the best places at the right times. It was therefore a considerable shock when the attractive Miss Outerbridge, returning from a holiday in Bermuda in March, 1874, had trouble getting through customs in New York. Read more »

The Real Little Lord Fauntleroy

The lady author modelled her famous fictional creation after her own wonder boy —and condemned a generation of “manly little chaps” to velvet pants and curls

In the November, 1885, issue of St. Nicholas magazine there appeared the first installment of a romantic novel about a little American boy who inherits a British title and goes to England to live with his rich, grumpy grandfather in a suitably elegant castle.Read more »

Where Ignorant Armies Clashed By Night

In the summer of 1918, with Russia removed from World War I as a result of the Bolshevik Revolution, the United States sent troops into Russia at two points. It did so only after the greatest soul-searching on the part of President Wilson, who had said that “the treatment accorded Russia by her sister nations … will be the acid test of their good will …” Two factors influenced the decision. In the Far East, Japan had made a move to occupy Siberia, apparently threatening America’s “open door” policy for China. In North Russia, English and French leaders had hopes of reviving the eastern front against Germany. In addition, large stores of Allied war supplies had been left at the port of Archangel. The expedition to North Russia resulted in fierce combat between American and Soviet soldiers and throws significant light on the forty years of difficult relations between the United States and the Soviet Union that were to follow.

 

The Writing Of History

An English Authority Compares British and American Viewpoints

As I write this, crowds of sidewalk superintendents are peering down at the foundations of a great new office building to be erected on a bombed site in the heart of the City of London. What has drawn the crowds is the discovery, in the excavations, of a Second Century temple to Mithras, the God of Light so widely worshiped in the Roman army; the discovery not only of a “Mithraeum” but of the fragments of a fine statue. It is safe to say that few Londoners had heard of Mithras a week or two ago, and that what draws them is not any very scientific spirit. But their sudden wave of curiosity, the sudden, possibly a little artificial, indignation at the impending bulldozing of the site, reflect very well the English attitude to history: that is, a deep, reverential sense of unity with a remote past. This was Londinium; this is London.Read more »