Magazine September 30, 2019, Issue

Letters

(Pixabay)

Literary Frontiers 

Sarah Schutte’s spirited defense of Louisa May Alcott (“A Woman for All Ages,” September 9) reminded me of another underappreciated American novelist who could do with more reading. At the age of eight, Ralph Owen Moody’s tubercular father, looking for a drier climate, moved his family from New Hampshire to a small plot of land in Colorado. The autobiographical novel Little Britches, told through Ralph’s childhood eyes but in his adult voice, is a touching memoir that reads like fiction but is a true story of the American West. Mother read many of his novels to us children, and when I in turn began to read them to my two boys, I was struck by how much of the humble philosophical views of Ralph’s father have stayed with me through the years. New to my adult understanding was the irony between the child’s adoration of the father and the later author’s understanding of his weaknesses, which I hope you will further explore by giving the author the read he deserves.

Dan Martin
Via email 

Wake Island Superheroes 

Thank you to David French for highlighting Wake Island, along with the Alamo, in “Superhero Movies” (September 9). The Battle of Wake Island, the Alamo of the Pacific, is mostly overlooked today — though it was rightly celebrated after the outbreak of World War II, for Americans’ repulsing and then delaying of the Japanese. My father fought on Wake Island, and he and his fellow defenders were the superheroes of their day.

Richard Nonn
Northridge, Calif.

Kate Smith Canceled 

Irving Berlin wrote “God Bless America,” as John Podhoretz notes (“Irving Berlin,” September 9). But nobody sang it like Kate Smith, a special inspiration during World War II. No matter. Kate Smith has been smeared as racist because she sang a ditty in 1931 that is now seen as racist, a ditty sung also by Paul Robeson. Her statue in Philadelphia has been removed, and the New York Yankees no longer play her “God Bless America” at Yankee Stadium. A sorrowful commentary on today’s America. 

Donald Nawi
Scarsdale, N.Y. 

NR Editors includes members of the editorial staff of the National Review magazine and website.

In This Issue

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Elections

Bernie’s Huge Victory

Bernie had a massive night in Nevada, with a diverse nomination-winning-type coalition. According to the entrance poll, he won whites and Hispanics and did well among blacks. He won men and women. He won college graduates and did particularly well with non-college graduates. He won Democrats and independents. ... Read More
Elections

Bernie’s Huge Victory

Bernie had a massive night in Nevada, with a diverse nomination-winning-type coalition. According to the entrance poll, he won whites and Hispanics and did well among blacks. He won men and women. He won college graduates and did particularly well with non-college graduates. He won Democrats and independents. ... Read More

Elon Musk’s Plan to Settle Mars

He who follows Freedom, let him leave his homeland, and risk his life. — Adam Mickiewicz, Polish poet, 1832 Last week my wife Hope and I traveled to Boca Chica, Texas, to meet with Elon Musk. While we talked inside the SpaceX onsite headquarters, a mariachi band played outside, providing entertainment for ... Read More

Elon Musk’s Plan to Settle Mars

He who follows Freedom, let him leave his homeland, and risk his life. — Adam Mickiewicz, Polish poet, 1832 Last week my wife Hope and I traveled to Boca Chica, Texas, to meet with Elon Musk. While we talked inside the SpaceX onsite headquarters, a mariachi band played outside, providing entertainment for ... Read More
U.S.

Women’s Sports Should Be Women’s Sports

Transgender sports policies make a mockery of women’s competition. Just look at the state of Connecticut. At the 2018 state open for women’s track and field, two young men identifying as transgender took first and second place in the 100m race. Their participation not only deprived young women of their ... Read More
U.S.

Women’s Sports Should Be Women’s Sports

Transgender sports policies make a mockery of women’s competition. Just look at the state of Connecticut. At the 2018 state open for women’s track and field, two young men identifying as transgender took first and second place in the 100m race. Their participation not only deprived young women of their ... Read More
Elections

Bernie’s Houses

Mike Bloomberg scored a hit -- a palpable hit -- in the debate this week when he pointed back at Bernie Sanders and said: “What a wonderful country we have, the best-known socialist in the country happens to be a millionaire with three houses.” Many conservatives laughed and cheered and wondered why Bernie ... Read More
Elections

Bernie’s Houses

Mike Bloomberg scored a hit -- a palpable hit -- in the debate this week when he pointed back at Bernie Sanders and said: “What a wonderful country we have, the best-known socialist in the country happens to be a millionaire with three houses.” Many conservatives laughed and cheered and wondered why Bernie ... Read More

Escape from Wuhan

The onset of the crisis in Wuhan startled me like a jump scare in a horror movie. You’ve seen the kind I mean. The audience is led to believe that the monster, psycho killer—or what have you—pursuing the intended victim is still distant. Then whatever it is stands up from behind, leaps out in front, bursts ... Read More

Escape from Wuhan

The onset of the crisis in Wuhan startled me like a jump scare in a horror movie. You’ve seen the kind I mean. The audience is led to believe that the monster, psycho killer—or what have you—pursuing the intended victim is still distant. Then whatever it is stands up from behind, leaps out in front, bursts ... Read More