Magazine June 12, 2017, Issue

Castle Gothic

Swallow’s Nest castle overlooking the Black Sea (Shamil Zhumatov/Reuters)
On the good and evil of elites

By a paradox that deserves, but has never received, close scrutiny, America, though born in the faith that all men are created equal, is infatuated with castles — the principal function of which is to make other people feel inferior. Scott Fitzgerald showed Gatsby’s castle fantasy to be the stuff of horror, yet it has been converted into a national ideal. The palaces of the plutocrats — Kykuit, San Simeon, The Breakers — have become places of pilgrimage, and there is hardly a suburban subdivision, covered with mock châteaux, that does not offer up its unsightly homage in the name

To Read the Full Story
Michael Knox Beran — Mr. Beran is a lawyer and writer. His book WASPs: The Splendors and Miseries of an American Aristocracy is to be published in August.

In This Issue



Books, Arts & Manners




What Counts as Climate Consensus? Oren Cass’s article “Who’s the Denier Now?” (May 1) condemns the misuse of scientific data in climate-change policy debates, but to support his position Cass misrepresents ...
The Week

The Week

‐ Hostile congressmen vow to use any means available to block Trump’s outrageous budget plan. And the Democrats are pretty mad too. ‐ North Korea tested two missiles in a week, ...

Foodie Feud

People of Portland: The Council of Making Every Damned Thing a Problem has come up with a list of restaurants to hate.


LAST BLOOMS A vantage point for any pot Of small, bronzed marigold Is next to a bare, molting tree, Where several pale green stems uphold Odd milkweed pods that fill the spot – They’re edible, I’m ...


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