Algis Valiunas

Fellow

Algis Valiunas is a Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and a contributing editor to The New Atlantis, a journal about the ethical, political, and social implications of modern science technology.

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Algis Valiunas is a Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and a contributing editor to The New Atlantis, a journal about the ethical, political, and social implications of modern science technology.

A literary essayist, his writings have appeared in Commentary, the Weekly StandardNational ReviewFirst Things, the American Spectator, the New Criterion, and the Claremont Review of Books. They have also appeared in various collections, including most recently The Best Spiritual Writing, 2013 (Penguin, 2012). He is also the author of the book Churchill’s Military Histories: A Rhetorical Study (Encounter, 2002). He holds degrees from Dartmouth College; Trinity College, Cambridge; and the University of Chicago, where Saul Bellow was his doctoral dissertation adviser in the Committee on Social Thought.

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The Gospel According to Dickens

Algis Valiunas

Charles Dickens penned a modern quasi-mythic trove of Christian wisdom and, above all, joy.

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The Ordinary Ennobled

Algis Valiunas

Maybe if one were to call self-actualization by another name, its stigma would be reduced. So call it self-perfection instead, and think of Goethe as its finest embodiment.

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A Scientist’s Mind, A Poet’s Soul

Algis Valiunas

Except for Aristotle, no scientist before or since Alexander von Humboldt can boast an intellect as universal in reach as his and as influential for the salient work of his time. His neglect today is unfortunate but instructive.

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Our History Then and Now

Algis Valiunas

American historiography — the writing of our history — has never been a more hotly contested political battleground than it is today.

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The Genius of Wordsworth

Algis Valiunas

William Wordsworth was the greatest of the English Romantics, innovative in form and content, yet with a lasting influence on the conservative sensibility in culture and politics. Now he, along with Shakespeare and perhaps John Milton, belongs to the exclusive company of English poets whose names even the minimally educated are almost certain to have heard.

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Civilized Uncertainty

Algis Valiunas

Thomas Mann never could explain what the world was, but he did a masterly job of portraying it in all its glorious and bedeviled complication.

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Humanities Magazine / September 29, 2020

In Plague Time

Algis Valiunas

There is a masterly and instructive literature that treats of epidemics far more frightful than that of COVID-19, and reminds us what human beings are capable of, in the way of nobility and depravity, when the question of whether one will live out the week is a 50-50 proposition.

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Russian Purgatory

Algis Valiunas

Twentieth-century terror for terror’s sake—mass suffering and death at the call of a tyrant’s devastating whim, in the service of absolute nihilism—ravaged the soul of the Russian people. Their soul’s current pitiable state bespeaks the ordeal through which it passed under the evil regime of Soviet communism.

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The Mind of the Moralist

Algis Valiunas

Everyone knew what a man Samuel Johnson was, the very best of the best. If only he had known it himself.

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Turing and the Uncomputable

Algis Valiunas

As Alan Turing mentally constructed his universal machine, the very foundations of mathematics — the basis for the modern understanding of the physical world — were called into question. As he pondered the similarities between the mind of man and the mind of the machine, the traditional meaning of our humanity was challenged.

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Everlasting Youth

Algis Valiunas

Renowned above all for his flights of lyric sublimity, Percy Bysshe Shelley could be as ravishingly melancholy as John Keats and as tenderly exultant as William Wordsworth. Yet his verse could be flagrantly unlovely in the service of his political hatreds, which were many and fierce.

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Ibsen’s Soulcraft

Algis Valiunas

Henrik Ibsen’s daring created the taste by which he is now appreciated. He was the arch-poet of emancipatory liberalism.

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