When Russia Quit God

by Robert Fay The great critic George Steiner in his book Tolstoy or Dostoevsky? (1959) believed the achievements of Russian literature in the 19th century stand as one of “three principal moments of triumph in the history of western literature, the other two being the Athenian dramatists and Plato and the age of Shakespeare.” Not…

On Consuming War Media

by Robert Fay During the annus horribilis of 1968 when it became clear the U.S. would never “win” in Vietnam, John Wayne decided to star and direct in a propaganda film called The Green Berets. Wayne was a die-hard Orange County anti-communist who believed that the U.S. military was winning on the battlefield in South…

The Posh & The Brave

by Robert Fay Being American, as well as a Gen X-er who grew up on the lyrics of the Sex Pistols, “God save the queen…she’s not a human being,” I never quite understand the U.K.’s loyalty to the British Royal family. Up through the Edwardian era, aristocratic veneration made sense in many ways, but the…

When the Author Stands Naked

by Robert Fay I spent my freshman year at a drab suburban college pining for the cosmopolitan life of Boston. I whined and schemed and eventually engineered a transfer to Suffolk University in the city, where I was certain I’d meet fabulous Bohemian people who chain-smoked unfiltered Camels and read Rimbaud and William Blake by…