Mick Hume: Homage to Orwell

Hume revisits Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia on its 75th anniversary @ Spike. George Orwell could have been killed twice in the Spanish Civil War. Once when he was shot in the throat by General Franco’s fascist forces; then when he was hunted by official Communist agents who, with the backing of Stalin’s Soviet Union, stabbed… Read more »

Steve Danziger: Approaching Auschwitz

Danziger reflects on his place in history @ Open Letters Monthly. Approaching Auschwitz, the first thing you see is the hot dog stand. It’s a squat, yellowish beige rectangle with brown shingles and black capital letters spelling out ‘Hot Dog’ above one of the service windows, and as you might imagine, its presence somewhat alters… Read more »

Jesse Smith: Florida’s Promise

Smith travels through layers of history and myth in the sunshine state @ The Smart Set. For 500 years, Europeans and their descendants have traveled to Florida from somewhere else. For many, this is a hopeful trip. Spring Breakers come for a week of debauchery; retirees come for golden years of warmth and sunshine and… Read more »

Hilary Mantel: Royal Bodies

Mantel considers the cruelties of our curiosities @ London Review of Books. Last summer at the festival in Hay-on-Wye, I was asked to name a famous person and choose a book to give them. I hate the leaden repetitiveness of these little quizzes: who would be the guests at your ideal dinner party, what book… Read more »

Paul Sweeten on Men in Suits

Sweeten wonders if the suit is becoming extinct @ the Oxonian Review. While consumerism relies upon our being just as fickle as the sartorial seasons, the history of fashion suggests at least one consistency: that a garment once considered “casual” will eventually be thought of as “smart-casual”, then as “businessware”, and finally as something in… Read more »