History

B.S. Moss and the Dawn of the Movie-Palace Era

B.S. Moss and the Dawn of the Movie-Palace Era

Visit a fabric shop, and you may stumble upon a product called sponged wool. The term has become obscure in modern times, but in the late 19th-century, sponged wool was in great demand, and the sponging process had a big role in the clothing business. New York City’s garment

Charles B. Moss Jr. and Jonathan Kay
Charles B. Moss Jr. and Jonathan Kay
15 min read
Cinema
The Schenker Controversy

The Schenker Controversy

In the realization of my plan, I will not permit myself to be distracted by anything in the world, and it is my conviction that the truth, however anybody may try to assault, ignore, or otherwise abuse it, will nevertheless prevail. ~Heinrich Schenker Located in the Neue Israelitische Friedhof [the

Timothy L. Jackson
Timothy L. Jackson
20 min read
Art and Culture
What a Free Republic Owes Thomas Jefferson

What a Free Republic Owes Thomas Jefferson

Late in his life, John Adams sent a letter to his great political rival Thomas Jefferson in which he wrote, “You and I ought not to die before we have explained ourselves to each other.” Adams must have understood Jefferson by the end, because on the 50th anniversary of the

Brian Stewart
Brian Stewart
7 min read
Politics
‘We Never Looked Back’: Ruth Wisse on the Jewish Refugees Who Built New Lives in Montreal

‘We Never Looked Back’: Ruth Wisse on the Jewish Refugees Who Built New Lives in Montreal

After their flight from Egypt, the children of Israel are doomed to spend 40 years in the desert: it takes that long for the whining and backsliding rabble to begin its transformation into a liberated people. The Bible seems to mock their trek from one watering hole to another as

Ruth R. Wisse
Ruth R. Wisse
14 min read
Judaism
History Lessons from the Toronto Mob Targeting a 19th-Century Gay Icon

History Lessons from the Toronto Mob Targeting a 19th-Century Gay Icon

In 1793, Alexander Wood emigrated from Scotland to Upper Canada at the age of 21. Within seven years, he had become one of the most successful merchants in York (which eventually would grow into Toronto), a lieutenant in its militia, and a magistrate. He would eventually serve as an acting

Allan Stratton
Allan Stratton
15 min read
Art and Culture
How D.B. Cooper and the Golden Age of Air Piracy Changed Aviation Fiction

How D.B. Cooper and the Golden Age of Air Piracy Changed Aviation Fiction

Frank Sinatra's “Come Fly With Me” was the best-selling album in the United States for five weeks in 1958, but the irony of its popularity (or, perhaps, the source of its aspirational appeal) is that practically none of us could take up the offer to "glide, starry-eyed" on an aircraft

Kevin Mims
Kevin Mims
32 min read
Art and Culture
Watching My Great Nation Lapse Into a Cult of Self-Abasement

Watching My Great Nation Lapse Into a Cult of Self-Abasement

I wasn’t a patriot until it had all gone; then I would have sold my soul to buy it back. ~Tanya, in Malcolm Bradbury’s Eating People Is Wrong For more than 20 years, from the mid-’70s to the late-’90s, Morningside, a three-hour daily broadcast that mixed

John E. MacKinnon
John E. MacKinnon
13 min read
Canada
Europe’s Big Bang: How Gunpowder Transformed the Medieval World

Europe’s Big Bang: How Gunpowder Transformed the Medieval World

Philip the Bold, duke of Burgundy, was a warrior’s warrior. Hawk-nosed, ambitious, and brash, Philip had been a soldier since childhood. He was still a smooth-faced boy of 14 when he fought alongside his father, King John II of France, in the battle of Poitiers in 1356. Like King

Paul Lockhart
Paul Lockhart
16 min read
History