Author Archives: A. Graham

A. Graham

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Longfellow’s Scandinavian Influences

2,289 words

For a long time, the tales of Norse voyages to North America described in the Saga of Erik the Red and the Saga of the Greenlanders were thought to be legends. It was not until the nineteenth century that historians and archaeologists began to investigate the subject of Pre-Columbian Norse exploration in earnest. The first to do so was the Danish historian Carl Christian Rafn, whose Antiquitates Americanæ (published in 1837) sought to ascertain the location of Vinland. Read more …

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Hamilton & White Centrist Delusions

1,541 words

Three years after its premiere, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton is still running and is currently on its second national tour. The hip-hop, racially diverse reimagining of the life of Alexander Hamilton has been the object of nauseatingly fulsome praise since its premiere and has been zealously promoted by the mainstream media. Read more …

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Tolkien’s Last Book: The Fall of Gondolin

1,085 words

J. R. R. Tolkien (Christopher Tolkien, ed.)
The Fall of Gondolin
New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2018

The Fall of Gondolin is Tolkien’s final posthumous publication and the third of his “Great Tales,” alongside The Children of Húrin and Beren and Lúthien. It was compiled and edited by his son and literary executor, Christopher Tolkien, and contains multiple versions of the story, Read more …

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Hitler & Film

2,002 words

Bill Niven
Hitler and Film: The Führer’s Hidden Passion
New Haven: Yale University Press, 2018

This book is a great companion to Frederic Spotts’ Hitler and the Power of Aesthetics. The only shortcoming of Spotts’ book was that it did not discuss Hitler’s interest in film and his involvement in the German film industry. This book does just that. Read more …

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Arctic Exploration & the German Nation, 1868–1870

Illustration from the 1875 account of the expedition, Die zweite deutsche Nordpolarfahrt in den Jahren 1869 und 1870 unter Führung des Kapitän Koldewey.

1,973 words

Germany undertook two Arctic expeditions from 1868 to 1870. The prospects of heroic adventure, national glory, and scientific advancement were all motivating factors. Polar exploration was hailed as a demonstration of Germanic courage and fortitude, as well as of the strength of German science and technology. Read more …

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Profiles of Early Conservationists

Madison Grant

1,579 words

The early conservation movement in America was closely intertwined with support for scientific racism, eugenics, and restrictions on immigration. Both environmental conservation and eugenics were part and parcel of Progressivism. This article will provide brief biographies of five notable conservationists who were also race realists and eugenicists. Theodore Roosevelt is the most obvious example, but there were several others, including Madison Grant, Henry Fairfield Osborn, Charles M. Goethe, Joseph Le Conte, and David Starr Jordan.  Read more …

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The Christian Destruction of the Classical World

6,261 words

Catherine Nixey
The Darkening Age: The Christian Destruction of the Classical World
Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2018

Catherine Nixey’s The Darkening Age is a powerful and highly readable account of the Christian destruction of classical antiquity. It is certainly not without flaws, but it offers hard-hitting and concise rebuttals to widespread myths surrounding the history of early Christianity. Read more …

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Hitler as Artist & Patron

3,042 words

Frederic Spotts
Hitler and the Power of Aesthetics
New York: The Overlook Press, 2003

Leaders throughout history have frequently deployed the arts as a means by which to display their power. Hitler is unusual, however, in that art was central to his political vision. He was intensely interested in the arts (painting, sculpture, music, and architecture) and dreamed of forging a state whose artistic and cultural achievements would rival those of ancient Greece and Rome. Read more …

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Tolkien & the Kalevala

1,550 words

Among the vast array of sources that influenced Tolkien in the creation of his legendarium was the Kalevala, a collection of Finnish folk poetry compiled and edited by the Finnish physician and philologist Elias Lönnrot. Much scholarship exists on Tolkien’s Norse, Germanic, and Anglo-Saxon influences, but his interest in the Kalevala is not as often discussed.  Read more …

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Thomas Jefferson & the Declaration of Independence

2,258 words

Thomas Jefferson

The first sentence of Preamble to the Declaration of Independence reads: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” The Declaration of Independence is not a legal document or even a formal declaration of independence. By the time of its adoption, twelve of the thirteen colonies had already declared independence with the passage of the Lee Resolution.  Read more …

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Stravinsky

4,460 words

Igor Stravinsky is justly regarded as one of the giants of twentieth-century music. His influence upon contemporary music has been enormous; composers influenced by him include Carl Orff, John Tavener, Aaron Copland, Edgard Varèse, Frank Zappa, and others. He is best known for his three ballets: The Firebird, Petrushka, and The Rite of Spring, Read more …

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Leo Carew’s The Wolf

1,031 words

Leo Carew
The Wolf
New York: Hachette Book Group, 2018

Fans of medieval fantasy and epic poems like Beowulf will enjoy The Wolf, Leo Carew’s debut novel and the first book in his Under the Northern Sky series. Read more …

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Earth Day Special 
Jorian Jenks: Farmer & Fascist

1,605 words

Philip M. Coupland
Farming, Fascism and Ecology: A Life of Jorian Jenks
London and New York: Routledge, 2017 (Routledge Studies in Fascism and the Far Right)

The connections between the organic movement and the radical Right are often overlooked. To the chagrin of liberal environmentalists, the early organic movement had close links to both fascism and National Socialism. Read more …

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Kingdom Come: Deliverance – A Review

2,027 words

Last month marked the much-anticipated release of Kingdom Come: Deliverance, an open-world action role-playing game (RPG) set in fifteenth-century Bohemia. The game sold five hundred thousand copies across all platforms (PC, PS4, and Xbox One) within two days of its release and surpassed the one million mark after two weeks, an impressive feat for a crowd-funded game developed by an indie studio. Read more …

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Hans Pfitzner’s Palestrina

Christopher Ventris as Palestrina in the 2009 Bavarian State Opera production of the opera.

1,693 words

Hans Pfitzner
Palestrina
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, conducted by Rafael Kubelík
Deutsche Grammophon, 1989

Hans Pfitzner’s Palestrina is one of the unsung masterpieces of twentieth-century opera. Read more …

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The Legend of Suram Fortress

1,075 words

The Legend of Suram Fortress is a Georgian-language film directed by Sergei Parajanov and Dodo Abashidze based on a Georgian folk legend involving a young man whose sacrificial immurement within the walls of Suram Fortress enables the fortress to stand erect and protect the nation against foreign invaders. Read more …

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Padmaavat

1,025 words

Bollywood’s latest blockbuster release, Padmaavat, is based on the epic poem Padmavat, a fictionalized account of Alauddin Khalji’s conquest of Chittorgarh in 1303 written by a Sufi poet in the sixteenth century. Read more …

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Fascism, Futurism, & Aviation

1,663 words

Fernando Esposito
Fascism, Aviation and Mythical Modernity
Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015

The British political theorist Roger Griffin has argued that the defining characteristic of fascist movements is a central myth of national rebirth, or palingenetic ultranationalism. His study of fascism (The Nature of Fascism) sparked controversy upon its publication because it diverged from the consensus at the time that fascist movements were purely reactionary and conservative in character; Read more …

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Fernando Pessoa

4,439 words

Fernando Pessoa was the greatest Portuguese poet of the modern era and arguably one of the most interesting and protean literary figures of the twentieth century. His vast body of work, some of which remains unpublished, includes hundreds of poems as well as essays on philosophy, religion, literature, and politics. His verse combines avant-garde modernism with pagan mysticism and a vision of national rebirth. Read more …

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The Evolution of Commentary

2,688 words

Benjamin Balint
Running Commentary: The Contentious Magazine that Transformed the Jewish Left into the Neoconservative Right
New York: PublicAffairs, 2010

Running Commentary is a lively and well-researched work of intellectual history that is of interest both as an account of how a group of alienated dissidents came to revolutionize American politics and as a history of neoconservatism that details the movement’s Jewish origins. Read more …

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The Architecture of Imre Makovecz

1,626 words

Imre Makovecz was one of the great architects of the late twentieth century and the most notable proponent of organic architecture in Hungary. His works are characterized by an idiosyncratic style that melds modern influences with motifs inspired by Hungarian folklore. He designed nearly five hundred buildings over the course of his life, about half of which were built.

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Johann Gottfried Herder on Music & Nationalism

2,495 words

Johann Gottfried Herder
Song Loves the Masses: Herder on Music and Nationalism
Translated and edited by Philip V. Bohlman
Oakland: University of California Press, 2017

Johann Gottfried Herder was an 18th-century German philosopher, theologian, translator, and critic. He wrote on many subjects: political philosophy, philosophy of mind, philosophy of history, metaphysics, linguistics, philology, art, religion, mythology, and music. Read more …

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The Lost City of Z

1,127 words

The Lost City of Z is based on a recent book of the same name by David Grann about the British explorer Percy Fawcett’s quest for a legendary ancient lost city in the Amazon rainforest. Its premise brings to mind epic films like Lawrence of Arabia or Apocalypse Now (indeed several scenes are uncannily reminiscent of Coppola). However ultimately The Lost City of Z lacks the grandeur of the former and the hallucinatory intensity of the latter. It is also burdened by the clutter of several secondary themes (romance/family, war, colonialism/racism, classism, sexism) and the ham-fisted insertion of modern liberal talking points into the plot.  Read more …

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Percy Grainger:
Artist of the Right

Percy Grainger, 1882–1961

2,413 words

Percy Grainger was a polymath: a pianist, composer, conductor, ethnomusicologist, inventor, artist, polyglot, and man of letters. He was one of the most celebrated pianist-composers of the early twentieth century. His work and writings reflect a worldview marked by both racial consciousness and an opposition to modernity that coexisted alongside radical artistic modernism.  Read more …

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Yukio Mishima’s The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea

1,416 words

The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea remains imprinted upon the mind long after one has read it. It is one of Mishima’s shorter novels, but its tightly-woven narration heightens the intensity of the atmosphere, simulating a taut bowstring upon readying an arrow.

The novel takes place in Yokohama, Japan’s leading port city, during the American occupation, and unfolds mainly from the perspective of a 13-year-old boy by the name of Noboru Kuroda. Read more …

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Darkest Hour

1,062 words

Darkest Hour is the second film released this year on Churchill and the latest in an ever-growing list of Churchill-related films and television shows (around two dozen over the past decade). Like its predecessors, Darkest Hour rehashes treacly warmed-over clichés about its subject and glosses over the sordid truth about this murderous psychopath.

Jews in the film industry love Churchill because he serves as a real-life example of the “superhero who saves the world from Nazi villains” trope Read more …

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Beauty & Destruction in Yukio Mishima’s The Temple of the Golden Pavilion

2,042 words

In 1950, the Temple of the Golden Pavilion (Kinkaku-ji) in Kyoto was burned to the ground by a young monk. The temple had been built in the fourteenth century and was the finest example of the architecture of the Muromachi period. Covered in gold leaf and crowned with a copper-gold phoenix, it projected an image of majesty and serene beauty. It had been designated a National Treasure in 1897 and was considered a national symbol in Japan. Read more …

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Friedrich Ludwig Jahn & German Nationalism

3,285 words

The discipline of gymnastics has its roots in ancient Greek physical exercises, but the father of modern gymnastics is widely acknowledged to be the nineteenth-century German gymnastics educator Friedrich Ludwig Jahn. Jahn is credited with the invention of number of gymnastic apparatuses (the vaulting horse, parallel bars, balance beam, and rings), the founding of the first open-air gymnasium in Germany, and the popularization of gymnastics as a competitive sport. Read more …

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Jonathan Bowden’s Extremists

1,932 words

Jonathan Bowden
Extremists: Studies in Metapolitics
Edited by Greg Johnson
San Francisco: Counter-Currents Publishing, 2016

Extremists: Studies in Metapolitics is a highly original book that contains the transcripts of nine of Jonathan Bowden’s orations: one on vanguardism followed by profiles of Thomas Carlyle, Gabriele D’Annunzio, Charles Maurras, Martin Heidegger, Savitri Devi, Julius Evola, Yukio Mishima, and Maurice Cowling. Read more …

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John Powell & the Soul of American Classical Music

John Powell

3,292 words

The history of American classical music has been shaped by the quest to define the nature of American identity. Lacking the rootedness and history of Europe, we have been forced to mold a new identity as a nation. Likewise American composers have been faced with the task of creating an authentically American sound.

A number of American composers during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries held the view that American music must necessarily reflect America’s racial and cultural inheritance. Read more …

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