Saturday, January 31, 2009

"Animal Farm", by George Orwell

Animal Farm

Monday, January 26, 2009

Book Presentation: "The Chief Culprit", by Viktor Suvorov

Best-selling author and historian Viktor Suvorov has examined newly released Soviet documents to analyze the late Joseph Stalin's strategy to conquer Europe.

A former Soviet army intelligence officer, Suvorov explains in "The Chief Culprit" that Stalin's strategy leading up to World War II was based on Vladimir Lenin's belief that if World War I did not ignite a worldwide Communist revolution, then a second world war would be needed to achieve it.

Challenging the view held by conventional historians, Suvorov argues that Stalin, in fact, welcomed the start of World War II and was ready to attack Nazi Germany in July 1941 had the Nazis not attacked the Soviets first in June 1941.

Suvorov, thereby, debunks the theory that Stalin was duped by Hitler’s 1941 attack and denies, therefore, that the Soviet Union was an unwitting victim of Nazi aggression.

Viktor Suvorov is the author of 18 books that have been translated into more than 20 languages. A Soviet army officer who served in military intelligence, he defected in 1978 to the United Kingdom, where he worked as an intelligence analyst and lecturer.

Supporters of the Hudson Institute may attend a book discussion on February 2, 2009. Viktor Suvorov will be joined by Andrei Piontkovsky, Hudson Institute Visiting Fellow, and David Satter, Hudson Senior Fellow. The discussion will be moderated by Richard Weitz¸ Director of Hudson's Center for Political-Military Analysis. Lunch will be served, and copies of the book will be available for sale.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Cultural Portents

Wall Street Journal: "How Jazz Helped Hasten the Civil-Rights Movement", by Nat Hentoff

On Jan. 19, Martin Luther King's Birthday, Jazz at Lincoln Center and the Rockefeller Foundation, also focusing on the next day's presidential inauguration, will present at Kennedy Center "A Celebration of America." Headlining the cast are Sandra Day O'Connor and Wynton Marsalis. As Jazz at Lincoln Center declares, Dr. King called jazz "America's triumphant music," and the presence of Mr. Marsalis is to "illustrate that American democracy and America's music share the same tenets and embody the same potential for change, hope and renewal."

- A rare clip of the great Duke Ellington along with his big band perform two of his classic compositions, "Passion Flower" and "Things Ain't What They Used To Be" at 1962 Newport Jazz Fest. The clip features Johnny Hodges on alto sax. -
Hat Tip:
smurf8575 -

This focus on jazz as well as President-elect Barack Obama (who, I'm told, has John Coltrane on his iPod) should help make Americans, including our historians, aware of the largely untold story of the key role of jazz in helping to shape and quicken the arrival of the civil-rights movement.

For a long time, black and white jazz musicians were not allowed to perform together publicly. It was only at after-hours sessions that they jammed together, as Louis Armstrong and Bix Beiderbecke did in Chicago in the 1920s. (...) >>>

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Opona: the Collapse of the Iron Curtain

Prague Daily Monitor: "Do It: Remember and experience communist past"

The non-governmental and non-profit organisation Opona (The Curtain) was established last year by a group of various people who came together through the strong urge to commemorate the approaching 20th anniversary of the fall of the Iron Curtain.

The people involved include David Gaydečka, founder of the United Islands of Prague music festival, Marek Vocel, film producer and event organiser and Martin Kotas, a coffee house owner and a well-known activist.

- Caption: Prague 1948 Communist coup -

The majority of the people involved are in their 30s and therefore remember the events and the atmosphere. Nevertheless, they have also come to notice that the younger generation, people who are coming of age now and were therefore born around the time of the revolution or later, often lack basic knowledge about our communist past.

's aim is to celebrate the anniversary, support the active dialogue concerning Europe's communist past and raise awareness about this era, especially among the youngest generation. Besides this, they would like to introduce projects that would help advance human rights in countries where the totalitarian regimes still prevail.

Though the main celebration should take place this year in November, the organisation has already travelled to a number of major European cities, including Bratislava, Budapest, Warsaw, Dresden, Brussels and Prague with a pilot version of their project called The Totalitarian Circus.

- Caption: Prague Spring 1968 -

This included an exhibition entitled Some of Us that follows the lives of a group of people affected by the communist coup in 1948, a fashion show from behind the Iron Curtain and a medley of concerts and performances. The final version of The Totalitarian Circus will travel around 10 major European cities from March to October, stopping at each location for a fortnight.

It will consist of a mobile circus arena that will offer exhibitions, creative art and multimedia spaces including music and film, which should all serve to remind and warn people against communist totalitarianism. The main part of the Circus will be the Totality Simulator, which will thrust (...) >>>

Sunday, January 04, 2009

What an Enlightenment!

In the series of Objectivist art (Romantic Realism) from the Quent Cordair Fine Art Gallery, Napa (CA), Danny Grant's "The Enlightenment" (oil on linen) and regrettably sold.

Danny Grant earned his BFA in illustration from the Academy of Art College in 2003. He credits his first figure drawing teacher at the Academy, Lee Ballard, for awakening his understanding of the human form and how to transfer that understanding to paper. Since graduating from the Academy, Danny has relentlessly sought to continue to improve his drawing and painting skills, while developing his visual and thematic aesthetic. As an artist, Danny prides himself on supurb draftsmanship. His dedication is to the beauty of the human form and to portraying man as a capable, confident achiever. Danny is currently studying at the Water Street Atelier in NYC with artist Jacob Collins. >>>