The Corner

Peace Prize, &c.

On the homepage today, I have an essay about this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, awarded to Colombia’s president, Juan Manuel Santos. I put this decision in historical context. (I once spent a fair amount of time on the Nobel Peace Prize, resulting in Peace, They Say, a history of the prize.) Here on the Corner, I’d like to add something about the 1936 winner.

He, too, was South American. His name was Carlos Saavedra Lamas, and he was the foreign minister of Argentina. He won for his role in the end of the Chaco War — a war pitting Bolivia and Paraguay over the Gran Chaco region. That war had begun in 1932.

Saavedra Lamas, by the way, was the first person outside Europe or the United States to win the Nobel Peace Prize. (The Nobels began in 1901.) He was a worthy winner, certainly if you go by the terms of Alfred Nobel’s will.

Three more notes, please.

I have some comments on Donald Trump and our presidential election here.

Last week, I finished my “Baltic Journal,” reporting from Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. A reader sent me a song, “The Lady from Siberia.” It contains this lyric: “One day when in Tallinn, she said, ‘I don’t love Stalin,’ and she was seized and quickly sent away.” (Doesn’t sound too comical, I realize. But you have to hear the song.)

Speaking of songs: I had a note on Twitter, saying that I was “sadder but wiser.” A reader wrote me about the song from The Music Man: “The Sadder but Wiser Girl.” He said, “The drummer in a production I did (as conductor/pianist) would say just before our cue, ‘The Sadder Budweiser Girl.’”

Years ago, I wrote a piece about The Music Man and its composer, Meredith Willson. I think I argued that this show is the Great American Musical. I can’t find the piece on the Internet — maybe more adept hands can — but it was published in a 2007 collection, Here, There & Everywhere.

Enough of notes (musical and bloggy) …

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