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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Feynman at 100

Algis Valiunas

Physics was glorious play for Richard Feynman, as he declared repeatedly, and trying to make some sense of the physical world was his inborn response to what he called the wonder and miracle of Nature.

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The Weekly Standard / May 11, 2018

Justice and Sorrow

Algis Valiunas

Last year or perhaps the year before marked the 2,500th anniversary of Herodotus’ birth. We can be grateful still to have his work after all these years, but his bleak teaching does not suit our time and place, which is averse to the tragic sense of life.

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The Noble Goethe

Algis Valiunas

There have been very few Renaissance men since the Renaissance—and they weren’t exactly thick on the ground even in their glory days. No modern figure is more worthy of that appellation than Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

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Martin Luther’s Reformation

Algis Valiunas

Scholars are out in force this year, observing the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation with new books to commemorate Martin Luther, and to invigorate debate about his legacy.

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Master Builder

Algis Valiunas

Frank Lloyd Wright was the kind of genius who recognizes no one’s excellence but his own. Perhaps such outlandish self-regard was what it took to sustain him through years of intense personal pain and drive him to become the protean creator of so much beauty.

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Jane Austen: The Personal

Algis Valiunas

Happy is the reader who finds his or her way to Austen, whatever impediments might seem to block the path.

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Between Heaven and Hell

Algis Valiunas

The Divine Comedy is one of the great works of humanity, but it is good to remember that this extraordinary poet never transcended the sharply circumscribed thought and feeling of human nature. Dante’s is an unforgettable poem, but before you go changing your life on its authority, you should recall that the most reliable authority on the afterlife you will ever have is yourself.

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Kraus Revisited

Algis Valiunas

Vienna in the late 19th and early 20th centuries was a hotbed of genius, and the arch-journalist, poet, and playwright Karl Kraus presided over this efflorescence of art and thought, knowing everything and everybody, making all the right friends and all the right enemies.

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America’s Shakespeare

Algis Valiunas

For Americans, Shakespeare has been a figure of particular reverence, yearning, and vexation. He has stood for the time-honored refinements of civilization that Americans, as late starters, have not yet had time to nourish into full flower. But he has also been the paragon whom stout-hearted democrats believe themselves destined to surpass.

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Voice of Civilization

Algis Valiunas

Like Herodotus, Thucydides, Montaigne, and Proust, Edward Gibbon (1737–1794) was a one-book wonder.

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A Historian’s Craft

Algis Valiunas

The historian’s ideal, and such happiness as he enjoys, is very like the Greek philosopher’s, like Aristotle’s in particular. How far Jacob Burckhardt upheld that ideal is a question that historians and political men will continue to dispute in time to come, for his is a mind that matters, in its passion and dispassion.

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Shakespeare’s Savior

Algis Valiunas

Henry Folger made it his life’s work to gather up scattered British treasure and bring it to America for conservation.

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