One might think that a reasonable knowledge of the history of human barbarity would leave little room for further disillusionment.

A similar knowledge of human experience also tells us that such a statement as that holds no place either at the dinner tables of young families, the town halls of…


The Dark History of White Reaction to Black Protest

As we observe what I will call the Trumpian conservative and white moderate reaction to the current Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests and movement, it helps to contextualize historically the nature of that reaction. When we do, we find that conservative and moderate white reaction is persistently critical of, and…


For some time now, leading anti-Trump journalist David Frum has offered as the pinned tweet atop his Twitter page, the prediction, “When this is all over, no one will admit to ever having supported it.” …


Many songs seem emblematic or emotionally reminiscent of the 60s, but for me, none is more so than Goodbye and Hello, by Tim Buckley and Larry Becket, with its marriage of folk lyricism to Kurt Weill, Wiemar theatricality.

O the new children dance — — — I am young
All…


John “Jack” Niflot (Gift of Duke Devlin)/The Museum at Bethel Woods/Via Reuters

Ann-Margaret was dancing down the middle of Sepulveda Boulevard.

We were watching her from an overpass above. We were 17 and 19, and we had just walked out of Los Angeles International Airport. We had worked the first part of the summer to afford this first ever trip on our…


In the aftermath of the alarm-raising dud that were the Mueller congressional hearings, some observations are in order. We need to see clearly where the nation stands.

The first misfortune in post-election resistance to Trump was a GOP congress during the first two years. Unlike Watergate, the developing, synergistic drama…


Steve Bannon was recently disinvited from the New Yorker Festival. What should we make of that?

The concept of free speech has emerged as a surprising ideological battle ground in 21st-century liberal democracies. Extremist left and right parties like Marxists and fascists have always stood outside the free speech framework, but now, emergent political tendencies within liberal democracy challenge it as well.

Left-identitarian and Antifa-identified activists…


On the duality of human experience

Once upon an academic time in literary studies (what undergrads and lay people in the United States call “English”), students learning to analyze works of literature were directed to consider the presence of thematic dualities.

In the admixed relationships found between love and hate, good and evil, or idealism and…


The Necessary, Honorable Thing: Denounce Trump

Il Duce (The Leader)

Only a few true moments of conscience present themselves in a lifetime. For relatively safe and comfortable Americans of the post-World War II era — a place and period of human history unparalleled in its general security and complacency — those moments are even…

A. Jay Adler

Professor of English, writer, roper of stars https://fordham.academia.edu/AJayAdler

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