Why Did The Reds Defeat The Whites In The Russian Civil War of 1917-1922? (Podcast)


The former Russian Empire was torn apart by chaos and civil war from 1917 to 1922.  On one side were the Bolshevists, seeking to impose a revolutionary communist society on the people; and on the other were the so-called “White” Russians, a collection of nationalists and traditionalists trying to dislodge the Red regime.  Why did the Reds win and the Whites lose?  Why were the Reds able to remain in power?  We explore some answers.

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A Fool Is Put In His Place


The following anecdote is related in Ibn Khallikan’s short biographical profile of the philologist and rhetorician Al Said.  His full name was Abu al-Said Ibn al-Hasan Ibn Isa Al-Raba’i.  Verbal abilities are highly prized in cultures with rich literary traditions, and this tale bears testament to this fact.

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The Song Of Roland


As Europe took shape in the early medieval period, the vernacular languages found their voices in popular epics and ballads.  This was not an accident; access to Latin and its literature required literacy, and this was something not easy to come by at that time.  But the lay audiences of Europe began to develop their own voices, and these soon coalesced by degrees into coherent form.  The tradition was mostly oral at first, until these songs and ballads began to be written down.  In every new civilization it seems that the epic ballad occupies the first stage of literary expression; perhaps this is because a people must first master their environments before they can have the leisure to philosophize.  And mastery of the environment means capability in war.

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Why Rep. John Lewis Should Be Disciplined

Stoking the fires of dangerous factionalism
Stoking the fires of dangerous factionalism

John Lewis, a Democratic member of Congress from Georgia, recently stirred controversy with some remarks about the alleged “illegitimacy” of the incoming Trump administration.  He said the following to NBC’s Chuck Todd:

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