Month: February 2020

Cole Porter and a Vanished Culture: Brewster and Mussolini

Cole Porter and a Vanished Culture: Brewster and Mussolini

 “You’re the top: You’re a Brewster body”

Down­load­ing a Cole Porter clas­sic, “You’re the Top,” to Spo­ti­fy, I real­ized how much the lyrics have changed. Some vers­es were altered, oth­ers just dropped, because they’d only baf­fle peo­ple. Take for exam­ple my favorite—a verse now extinct, because it’s well-nigh unrecognizable:

You’re the top! You’re a Ritz hot toddy.

You ‘re the top! You’re a Brew­ster body.

You’re the boats that glide on the sleepy Zuider Zee,

You ‘re a Nathan Pan­ning, You’re Bish­op Man­ning, You’re broccoli!

Brew­ster and Com­pa­ny was a car­riage mak­er found­ed by James Brew­ster in New Haven, Con­necti­cut in 1810.…

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William F. Buckley, PMF*: A True Churchillian in the End

William F. Buckley, PMF*: A True Churchillian in the End

This essay on William F. Buck­ley Jr. was pub­lished short­ly after his death. In the 2020 con­tro­ver­sy over giv­ing polit­i­cal par­ti­sans the Pres­i­den­tial Medal of Free­dom (*PMF), I update and reprint it with an addendum. 

Read­er ques­tion: “In Right Time, Right Place, his book about his life work­ing with Wil­i­iam F. Buck­ley, Jr. at Nation­al Review, Richard Brookhis­er aserts that WFB dis­liked Sir Win­ston. I queried Brookhis­er who replied: “WFB’s obit­u­ary for Churchill in NR was notably grudg­ing, and reflect­ed I think his youth­ful Amer­i­ca First con­vic­tions.” As these two men are my only heroes, I was dis­ap­point­ed to see such an asser­tion from some­one who appar­ent­ly knew Buck­ley very well.…

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On Sovereignty: Churchill on the UK and Europe, 1933-1953

On Sovereignty: Churchill on the UK and Europe, 1933-1953

Sovereignty is back

Britain has left the Euro­pean Union. “It was a tran­scen­den­tal night,” Andrew Roberts writes of Jan­u­ary 31st. Read his excel­lent piece on Brex­it and the UK’s regained sov­er­eign­ty in the Dai­ly Tele­graph: “Britain has become an adult once again, tak­ing ulti­mate respon­si­bil­i­ty for our own choic­es and actions. [It] has bold­ly stepped out on its own, tak­ing a risk, cer­tain­ly. But then which great his­toric nation­al action has not involved some ele­ment of risk?…

By stat­ing that no for­eign law shall hence­forth have juris­dic­tion over British law, we have thrown away the jurispru­dence com­fort blan­ket and become an adult, tak­ing ulti­mate respon­si­bil­i­ty for our own choic­es and actions again….…

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