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Jan 29, 2007 3:08 am

Things Noted Here and There

Proof, if you need it, that I'm no medievalist. Once past the questions about age and gender, I couldn't answer a single question on"The Gret Quizz of Medievale Trivia". Thanks to Goeffrey Chaucer for the tip.

Steven F. Haywood,"The Liberal Republicanism of Gordon Wood," Claremont Review of Books, Winter, explores the communalism of Gordon Wood. It would be a better piece, if Haywood did not use the word"liberalism" in contradictory ways.

Edward Rothstein,"Best-Seller Big Bang: When Words Started Off to Market," NY Times, 27 January, reviews"Victorian Bestsellers," the latest exhibit at New York's Morgan Library & Museum.

Scott Horton,"The Master of Mount Misery," Balkinization, 26 January, sees parallels between two owners of a Maryland plantation house. Here, Nettie Washington Douglass, the great-great-granddaughter of Frederick Douglass, who was once a slave at Mount Misery, peers over the gate toward the plantation house. Thanks to Andrew Sullivan, Caleb McDaniel and P. Morris for the tips.

Francis Fukuyama,"Identity and Migration," Prospect, February, argues that

Immigration forces upon us in a particularly acute way discussion of the question"Who are we?", posed by Samuel Huntington. If postmodern societies are to move towards a more serious discussion of identity, they will need to uncover those positive virtues that define what it means to be a member of the wider society. If they do not, they may be overwhelmed by people who are more sure about who they are.

Garry Wills,"At Ease, Mr. President," NY Times, 27 January, traces the militarization of the presidency since 1941. GWB is not, says Wills, my" commander-in-chief".

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