Peter Lopatin Articles

People of the Word

The Jewish encounter with history
Aug 18, 2014

Simon Schama’s choice of “Story” in place of “History” in the title of this impressive new work is fitting, for the history he recounts is not history conceived of as a chronicle of important events, but rather as a compendium of thematically linked stories told throughout the ages by, and about, the lived experience of real people—and of a people.

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The Write Stuff

How paperwork validates power—and obscures meaning.
Sep 09, 2013

When we bemoan some bureaucratic atrocity—and the paperwork in which it so often finds tangible expression—we are likely to do so with world-weary, unreflective resignation. A well-known passage from Edna St. Vincent Millay comes to mind: So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind.

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Indestructible Dream

Exploring the human instinct to live after death.
Dec 03, 2012

Breaking the Mold

The Romantics as precursors to the Modern Age.
Mar 05, 2012

Although the definition of Romanticism has been much debated, it is not an exaggeration to claim that the generations spanning the period from the mid-18th through the mid-19th centuries were witness to a transformation in the literary, artistic, and intellectual life of Europe so radical as to be regarded as revolutionary. As Tim Blanning puts it in this condensed, well-crafted volume, “the rule book of the classical past was torn up,” and there ensued “a radically different approach to artistic creation that has provided the aesthetic axioms of the modern world, even if a definition of Romanticism has proved elusive.

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Athenian Justice

Why did Socrates have to die?
Feb 14, 2011

The Hemlock Cup
Socrates, Athens, and the Search for the Good Life
by Bettany Hughes

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