I was a senior in high school when I read The First Circle by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. And then I read Cancer Ward, and One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. I was an almost brand-new copy editor at a newspaper in Texas when the first volume of The Gulag Archipelago was published in Paris, and the first day it was available in English found me at the Methodist Bookstore in downtown Houston buying my copy.
The famous flu pandemic of 1918-19 killed an estimated 50 million people worldwide, including 550,000 in the United States (about the same number who died in the Civil War). For some time now, it’s believed to have started in a small town in Kansas and been carried to Europe by American troops fighting in the war. New medical detective work is unraveling that belief. Helen Branswell at STAT has the story.
Jake Meador at Mere Orthodoxy has a list of the year’s best magazine writing, and it contains some excellent articles. The Hudson Review has published a new short story by Wendell Berry. The funeral of President George H.W. Bush inspired a story in Smithsonian Magazine on the somber history of the presidential funeral train. And James Heartfield at Spiked explains why the poets of World War I matter.
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O Holy Night – Hillsong Worship
Painting: Portrait of a Man with a Newspaper, oil on canvas by Andre Derain, 1911-1914; State Hermitage Museum, Russia.