Magazine April 7, 2014, Issue

And When the War Is Done

How to remember the First World War?

Can we give definitive meanings to great historical events? If we can’t, does it mean that we are condemned to moral and political relativism? The centenary of the outbreak of the Great War will be the occasion of an outpouring of historiographical reflection on the war’s true meaning and significance. (A minor subsidiary question is why some anniversaries — the tenth, fiftieth, hundredth, and so forth — so capture the human imagination. Why not the seventeenth, the thirty-first, the hundred and eleventh anniversary?)

Thirteen years after the end of the war, in 1931, Noël Coward, an unlikely radical, wrote a deeply

Theodore DalrympleMr. Dalrymple, a retired doctor, is a contributing editor of City Journal and The New English Review. He is the author of False Positive: A Year of Error, Omission, and Political Correctness in the New England Journal of Medicine.

In This Issue


Politics & Policy

Putin’s World

Following a telephone conversation with President Vladimir Putin about Ukraine and Crimea, German chancellor Angela Merkel is reported to have said that he is living in another world. That sounds ...


Politics & Policy

Welcome, Gentry

A short while ago, Spike Lee, the celebrated African-American filmmaker, gave a wide-ranging lecture at Brooklyn’s Pratt Institute. Among other things, he discussed the ongoing transformation of Brooklyn neighborhoods such ...

Books, Arts & Manners


Politics & Policy


RoboArt Being a little behind in my reading, I just finished Kevin D. Williamson’s great article on public art (“Vandals and Scandals”) in the February 24 issue. I would like to ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ We have too much rspect for the office to take the easy shot. ‐ Republican David Jolly’s victory over Democrat Alex Sink in the special election to fill Florida-13, the ...
Politics & Policy


SNOW DROPS First useless spears against the humus’s black backdrop, then collapse to heads hung down in puny lampshade petals: collapse without bud-burst. Autochthonous, unsown, their whited time condensed, they bell in clusters. No tongue claps and will not stop. The freak wind blusters. Down ...


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