Category Archives: Literature

Nice people don’t become Nazis: Dorothy Thompson 1941

Kind, good, happy, gentlemanly, secure people never go Nazi. They may be the gentle philosopher whose name is in the Blue Book, or Bill from City College to whom democracy gave a chance to design airplanes—you’ll never make Nazis out … Continue reading

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Applauding Stalin: Living in a Totalitarian State

This extended quotation from Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s book Gulag Archipelago illustrates the sheer unrelenting terror that citizens in the Soviet Union lived in during the 1930s. …………………………………….. At the conclusion of the conference, a tribute to Comrade Stalin was called for. … Continue reading

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The women of Paris during the battle of Verdun 1916*

As if by the germination of a tiny quantity of yeast, apparently of spontaneous generation, young women now went about all day with tall cylindrical turbans on their heads, as a contemporary of Mme Tallien’s might have done, and from … Continue reading

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Some things never change: Ancient Rome

Promises will cost you nothing. Everyone’s a millionaire where promises are concerned. Hope, if only she is duly fostered, holds out a long time. She’s a deceitful goddess, but a very useful one…. The really great problem, the problem that … Continue reading

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Gradgrind and the problem of legless horses

Gradgrind came to epitomise Victorian school teachers. Victorian school teachers were sharply focused on facts. Facts appeared to offer certainty and, even better, they could be tested. A pupil repeating the facts that they’d learned was a good pupil. There’s … Continue reading

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Oscar Wilde: poet

“As usual I think of Oscar Wilde. It’s the same old story: ‘I was working on the proof of one of my poems all the morning, and took out a comma. In the afternoon I put it back again.’” Laurent … Continue reading

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Two Yeshiva Jews celebrate a goal

“it was only when he heard one mutter to the other, ‘I don’t like it Myer- they’ve scored too soon’ and the other reply, ‘I know, I know’; that he understood the significance of their sitting hunched and quiet amid … Continue reading

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