A Player Piano for the Twenty-First Century

Player Piano by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. Dial Press 1999 [1952] Paper, 352 pages, $15. I have long resisted reading Kurt Vonnegut. In this life of finite time and seemingly infinite and ever expanding good things to read, his biography or writing just did not seem enough to...

On Quotations

On Essays and Letters On my desk, I have a second edition of The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations. The original edition was in 1941; the edition that I have is from 1960. I have seen reference to a fifth edition [seventh —Ed.]. The fourth edition advertisement said...

Conversation in Collapse

The Conversation, Directed by Francis Ford Coppola. American Zoetrope / Paramount, 1974. 113 minutes. Francis Ford Coppola’s The Conversation is one of the artsier entries in the long list of 1970s paranoia flicks. The film begins with a crane shot of a busy San...

The Real Charm of Oxford

On Essays and Letters “Yes, Oxford in September, in the quiet, the scarlet creeper, and the mist, is the Oxford of dreams and visions: ‘She needs not June for beauty’s heightenings’ (Matthew Arnold). And yet, you know the real charm of the place is not the quiet but...

The State of American Liberal Education These Days

What are the ends of education? We mean, of course, the ends for us, for us democratic Americans. So we begin with the best book ever written on democracy and the best book ever written on America—Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America. America, Tocqueville...

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