Tag Archives: Margot Metroland

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Special Pleading for Fascist Daddy

2,183 words

Francis Beckett
Fascist in the Family: The Tragedy of John Beckett MP
London & New York: Routledge, 2017 (Routledge Studies in Fascism and the Far Right)

Here is a book of deep political scholarship and heartbreaking family history. It misses being great because the author lost the plot during the many years he worked on it, and he wound up hanging his father’s story on a lurid promotional “hook,” which I’ll get into below. Read more …

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The Weaponized Nonsense of George Lakoff

1,446 words

Sometimes you read a newspaper column that starts off so pointlessly and insipidly you can’t tell whether it’s supposed to be a parody of bad writing, or the writer just wants to introduce a humorous idea but can’t find the right hook to hang it on. This happened a few days ago (April 10) in The Washington Post, with a column by one Steven Petrow. Read more …

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The Enigma of Whittaker Chambers

Whittaker Chambers, underground man.

2,070 words

(Written in the style, if not quite the spirit, of senior TIMEditor Chambers’ weekly newsmagazine.)

Rumpled, paunchy Whittaker Chambers (April 1, 1901-July 9, 1961) has long merited haughty sneers and raised eyebrows on America’s nationalist Right. Reasons: his shifting ideologies, his inscrutable motives.

Among the most compelling critiques of Chambers we may count those of Classics professor Revilo P. Oliver. Read more …

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Robert Brasillach & Notre avant-guerre:
Remembering Robert Brasillach, March 31, 1909-February 6, 1945

Robert Brasillach at his trial in 1945.

3,570 words

Today is the birthday of Robert Brasillach, French journalist, novelist, and film historian (The History of Motion Pictures, co-written with Maurice Bardéche).

It is Brasillach’s fate mainly to be remembered for being the only collaborateur sentenced to death (by firing squad) for “intellectual crimes.” Read more …

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Whose Jane Austen is It, Anyway?

Mock ad by Michael O’Donoghue & George W. S. Trow, 1971 National Lampoon

2,215 words

For the past couple of weeks there’s been a lot of media blather about how the novelist Jane Austen is an icon of the Alt Right. The distress this causes Leftist critics has been a thing of high comedy and low hysteria.

If you haven’t been keeping up, I review some articles immediately below. Otherwise, feel free to skip about halfway down, where I get into matters of cultural appropriation and Austen sex roles. Read more …

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What Would the Dulles Brothers Do?

Allen Welsh Dulles & John Foster Dulles

2,236 words

After decades of blessed obscurity, the Dulles brothers have splashed back into the news of late. There are big books, little books, forthcoming books: all leading to a flurry of newspaper and online articles (notably Alex Beam’s March 8 essay in The Wall Street Journal). 

The two major volumes that have led the way are The Brothers: John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles, and Their Secret World (2013) by onetime New York Times reporter Stephen Kinzer; and The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America’s Secret Government (2015) by David Talbot Read more …

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Your Publisher, Cmdr. Rockwell
Remembering George Lincoln Rockwell: March 9, 1918-August 25, 1967

1,520 words

Nearly fifty years after his assassination, the image of George Lincoln Rockwell (March 9, 1918-August 25, 1967) is more iconic than ever. You can drop his amiable face into a Twitter avi or Website header, and feel pretty certain that most of your audience will know who it is. At Amazon, publications by and about Rockwell run on for pages: new, used, rare first editions; hardbound, paperback, Kindle; memoirs, speeches, political tracts; cartoon pamphlets and dank satires. Read more …

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Cashing in on Emmett Till

1,745 words

Emmett Till was killed more than sixty years ago, but he’s a hotter property than ever. Scarcely a year goes by without yet another book or documentary recounting the tale of the hefty black youth from Chicago who got beaten and shot in Mississippi in 1955, for the mild transgression of “whistling at”—and physically molesting—a young white woman in a country store. Read more …

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The Metapolitics of Swift & Trump

2,247 words

Future historians will be endlessly fascinated by the intertwined media phenomena of Taylor Swift and Donald Trump during 2015-2016. The parallels and symbiosis of the two have been noted by many, particularly in the precincts of Twitter and the Alt Right, although no one’s ever studied the thing in depth.

Read more …

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Henry Williamson, George Orwell, & the Pigs

2,007 words

Henry Williamson

Henry Williamson

Today is the birthday of Henry Williamson (Dec. 1, 1895 – Aug. 13, 1977)—ruralist author, war historian, journalist, farmer, and visionary of British fascism.

Two rather incongruous points of Williamson’s life stand out. One is that he achieved fame with what is usually regarded as a children’s book, Tarka the Otter (originally published 1927, with a movie version in 1979).

The other is that he was a friend of Lawrence of Arabia; and that it was on his way back from posting a letter to Williamson that T. E. Lawrence was mysteriously killed in a motorcycle accident. Read more …

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