Chronicles Magazine, September 2008

The theme of the issue is the importance of historianship; interesting pieces praise the historical works of David Hume, Edward Gibbon, and Ray Allen Billington. 

Elsewhere in the magazine, William Watkins reports a case in Stoke-on-Trent, England, in which non-Muslim boys attending a state school were punished for refusing a teacher’s instruction to pray to Allah as part of a diversity lesson.  Watkins is most disturbed that these boys must seek redress, not by appeal to the traditional rights of Englishmen, by under the European Convention on Human Rights.  Here is a news story about the case; here is a news story about a deadly encounter between a Muslim man and his anti-Muslim neighbor in Stoke-on-Trent, suggesting why the school there may have been nervous about diversity issues. 

Lefalcon’s idol Srdja Trifkovic takes the arrest of Radovan Karadzic as an opportunity to relate the recent history of the Balkans, demonstrating the plain falsity of much of the anti-Serb mythology Westerners have been fed since 1991.  Read a slightly different version of Trifkovic’s article here.

Chilton Williamson, whose contributions lately have tended to be barely readable stories about preposterously stereotypical characters in Mexico, writes an 11 paragraph column, the first 10 of which are surprisingly cogent.  He analyzes the notion of an “American Dream,” arguing that such a dream is “inherently inflationary, and therefore ultimately destructive.”   Destructive not only of prosperity, but of the bonds of family, faith, and tradition.  Just when it seems Williamson has abandoned his creepy racism and found a genuinely humanistic topic to explore, he concludes with a paragraph beginning “Barack Obama, the mulatto presidential nominee sprung from the loins of a white Kansas woman and a black man from Kenya, embodies the American Dream as it has been understood at least since James Truslow Adams’ day.”

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