A Profile of H.L. Mencken (The English Review, 1922)
During much of the 20s and 30s satirist H.L. Mencken (1880 - 1956) was widely read and respected for the critic that he was -and as you read this British essay from the arts journal, THE ENGLISH REVIEW, you'll get a sense that the author/groupie must have been waiting by the docks for several years in anticipation of his arrival.
The historian Henry Steele Commager ranked H.L. Mencken at number 9 insofar as his impact on the American mind was concerned - click here to understand his reasoning...
Click here to read an article about one of New York's greatest mayors: Fiorello LaGuardia.
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A W.W. I Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Poem (The English Review, 1920)
There can be no doubt that as a term "Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder" is clearly lacking the needed musical quality that would add to the pleasing rhythm of a poem, however the melancholy that is generated by the malady has launched a million poems throughout the course of the last century, which was to date, the bloodiest yet. Most often remembered for her anti-war verses, Lady Margaret Sackville (1881 – 1963) penned this diddly about that legion of crushed and broken men returned to their wives after World War One and how entirely unrecognizable they seemed:
"You cannot speak to us nor we reply:
You learnt a different language where men die..."
Read more poetry from World War I...
The War-Poetry of the Soldier-Poets (The English Review, 1921)
"Soldier poets are the true historians of the war. Unlike the host of professional versifers who sat up day and night on Parnasus, pouring out their patriotic zeal in allegorical rhymes of battles and batteries with more than Aesopian facility, the soldier poets have given to life and literature a genuine interpretation of warfare stripped bare of artificialty"
''Playing the Game'' (The English Review, 1915)
Sporting terms used as a metaphors for war are very common and come naturally to those who tend to think about matters military on a regular basis; yet this article uses the expression, "playing the game" more as a character trait that was unique to the British. The author, Austin Harrison, writing in 1915 (the year of "grim determination") believed that the English have always "played the game" as a matter of course; they have always maintained "good form", and yet:
"Playing the game is only half the battle in war [and]...it will be the finest game we ever have played."
British Snipers on the Western Front (The English Review, 1920)
Written by Major E. Penberthy, former Commandant of the British Third Army Sniping School, this is an account of the training and organization of snipers as they functioned within the British Army at the time of the Great War.
"In the early days of the war, when reports of German 'sniping' began to be published, it was commonly considered a 'dirty' method of fighting and as not 'playing the game'."
''Progressive Monogamy'' (The English Review, 1922)
In her 1922 essay, Marriage, Jane Burr (né Rosalind Mae Guggenheim, 1882 - 1958) refers to the modern marriage as "progressive monogamy". She writes knowingly about the blessings and damnation of matrimony and believed that the institution has only improved since we entered an age where unions between man and woman can be so easily dissolved.
"Over the civilized globe there hangs this tragedy of women and this tragedy of men - those who are free longing for bondage, those who are in bondage longing for freedom, everybody searching for the pure white flame, yet everybody compromising with sordidness that could be avoided, if only a new attitude could be legitimized."
Recalling Two of the War's Blunders (The English Review, 1920)
Added to the growing pile of reviews that attempted to sort out all the various explanations as to why the war went so badly for practically all the nations involved was this 1920 article that presented a clear description of the 1914 drive on Paris as well as the disaster that was the Gallipoli campaign.
The books reviewed were penned by two of the war's principal players: The March on Paris by General Alexander Von Kluck (1846-1934) and Gallipoli Diary by General Sir Ian Hamilton (1853-1957).
"The story of the German onrush and it's memorable check can now be pieced together with accuracy. It tallies with the account of General Sir Frederick Maurice. We now know that the Germans failed through want of General Staff control, through inadequate "intelligence", above all, through striking at two fronts at the same time."
One Thousand Nasty Remarks About Silent Films (The English Review, 1922)
A much admired theatrical set designer was the author of this column - he was devoted to his craft and believed deeply that movies could only lead society to the lowest place. Yet he also recognized that theater could never compete with film, and that was the reason for his lament. The fact that such a high art form could be so easily unseated by something as base as "moving pictures" outraged and depressed him. His article makes for good reading.