The Black Dress Arrives (The New Republic, 1921)
The attached article is by an unidentified, pointy-headed male, and regardless of the fact that it was written about 100 years ago, many of his reflections regarding fashion and those who are enslaved by it are still relevant in our own time. It all started for this fellow when he felt the urge to understand why such a broad variety of New York women should take to wearing black for each and every occasion and so he polished-up the ol' cranium, rolled up his sleeves and began to think hard about the nature of fashion. He concluded that the lot of the female fashion victim
"is not the ordinary story of women's victimization, her subjection in a man-made world. She, after all, accepts of herself this silent "decree of fashion" and rushes to it. It is woman-made, this particular enslavement
Lynching as an Extension of Chivalry? (The New Republic, 1922)
This small column from the pages of THE NEW REPUBLIC reported that women from five Southern states had gathered together in 1922 intending to pass a set of resolutions that would remedy "one aspect of the Negro question" (an illusive phrase that meant "lynching"). The attached article remarked that these women
"...feel a deep sense of appreciation for the chivalry of men who would give their lives for the purity and safety of the women of their own race," yet "They wish to bring about a state of public opinion which will compel the protection and purity of both races."
1914: The Close of an Epoch (The New Republic, 1915)
World War I had only been raging for six months when this article first appeared. As the journalist makes clear, one did not have to have an advanced degree in history to recognize that this war was unique; it involved almost every wealthy, industrialized European nation and their far-flung colonies; thousands of men were killed daily and many more thousands stepped forward to take their places. The writer recognized that this long anticipated war was an epic event and that, like the French Revolution, it would be seen by future generations as a marker which indicated that all changes began at that point:
"Those who were but a few months ago assuring us that there never could be another general war are most vociferously informing the same audience that this will be the last."
Click here to read about the W.W. I efforts of Prince Edward, the future Duke of Windsor.
The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914
NY Public Library Exhibits Dime Novels (The New Republic, 1922)
"Time is the satirist in its recompense as in its revenge. Who of that youthful generation who read Dime Novels stealthily and by night, with expense of spirit and waste of shame, imagined that he would one day review his sins by broad daylight in the exhibition room of the New York Public Library? The thin volumes which were wont to lie so flat under pillows or slip so readily into pockets are now enshrined in glass case, and the yellow covers and inky pages which suffered such persistent search and seizure and were burnt so freely as literary garbage are now gathered and appraised as prizes of the bibliophile."
Andre Derain (The New Republic, 1921)
Clive Bell (1869 - 1964) was an art critic who is remembered in our day as one of the most devoted champions of modern abstract art. In this 1921 review for THE NEW REPUBLIC, Bell explained why he held that the paintings of the André Derain (1880-1954) were so significant - writing that the Frenchman was "best painter in all of France" (reserving for Picasso the roll of the "most influential painter in all of Europe").
W.W. I Trench Fighting (The New Republic, 1915)
The seasoned war correspondent from THE NEW REPUBLIC filed this essay some five months into the war in order to clarify for his American readers the exact nature of trench warfare. His observations are based upon the trench fighting that he witnessed both in France and during the Russo-Japanese War, some nine years earlier:
"There is an illusion that the range and effectiveness of modern arms tend to keep armies far apart. On the contrary, there is more hand-to-hand fighting today than at any time since gunpowder was invented... at this rate the French will not drive out the Germans in months, but on the other hand a frontal attack, and every attack must now be frontal, even if successful would cost several hundred thousand men."
The article was written by Gerald Morgan; by war's end he would serve as General Pershing's press chief (ie.censor).
Baseball as a metaphor for war...
A Review of the Memoir by the Crown Prince (The New Republic, 1922)
The book reviewer for The New Republic, by Sidney B. Fay, summed-up his reading of the dethroned Crown Prince's (1882 - 1951) post-war memoir in this way:
"This is a remarkable book in at least three respects: it's literary cleverness, it's revelation of a new Crown Prince chastened by adversity, and it's vivid pictures of men and events."
''Don't Listen to Europe'' (The New Republic, 1922)
During his seven month-stay in New Mexico, D.H. Lawrence (1885 – 1930), pen-pushing British rhapsodist and highly lauded versifier in the 20th century's republic of letters, was baffled to find that the Natives of America were held in total contempt and largely confined to isolated swaths of land. Arriving in Taos in September of 1922, it didn't take him long to recognize the admirable qualities inherit within their culture and the injustices that had been done to them. His restrained response was expressed in these three brief paragraphs that appeared in The New Republic toward the middle of December of that year.
The Emergence of a New World Power (The New Republic, 1922)
Having studied the global power structure that came into place following the carnage of the First World War, British philosopher Bertrand Russel (1872 - 1970; Nobel Prize for Literature, 1950) was surprised to find that the most dominate nation left standing was not one of the European polities that had fought the war from start to finish - but rather the United States: a nation that had participated in only the last nineteen months of the war.
The Plot to Restore the Corset (The New Republic, 1922)
A shewed observer of fashion, Mary Alden Hopkins (1856 - 1930) noted how the Victorian dinosaurs who lorded-over the male-dominated, pro-corset fashion industry had attempted (unsuccessfully) to manipulate and coerce the shoppers of the early Twenties to reject the Chanel-inspired revolt that the young flappers were currently enjoying.
"How can I sell these styles?...the flappers won't buy them."