On Herodotus

Herodotus's Histories, or "Inquiries", traces the conflicts that emerged between the Greeks and the Persians (the Achaemenid Empire), culminating in the great battles of Thermopylae, Salamis, Platea, and Mycale. Herodotus was born in Halicarnassus in Asia Minor, or modern day Bodrum in western Turkey. Much of his life was spent in Exile, living in Samos, Athens, and apparently … Continue reading On Herodotus

Confucius and Socrates

Among Western scholars, comparisons between Confucian literature and the Platonic corpus are made frequently. To their credit, both literary characters are memorable for their obsession with virtue and the appropriate means of political life. Both, presumably, emphasize the importance of a rigid social or political order, devotion among the citizenry, and both were considered a threat to their … Continue reading Confucius and Socrates

42nd Street

42nd Street (1933) Director: Lloyd Bacon 42nd Street is an essential "backdoor musical" film set during the Great Depression, and also released during the Great Depression. Its success, based on the release of MGM's first sound film, The Broadway Melody, revitalized the struggling Warner Bros. Studios, as well as the musical genre. It was followed by two … Continue reading 42nd Street

Duck Soup

Duck Soup (1933) Director: Leo McCarey The Marx Brothers' Duck Soup is a film of enduring delights. Whereas Horse Feathers is a parody of the elite nepotism integral to the status of higher education, Duck Soup is a parody of the fascistic dictatorships of the 1930s. Lamentably, the film was considered a commercial and critical failure … Continue reading Duck Soup

Grand Hotel

Grand Hotel (1932) Director: Edmund Goulding Grand Hotel is a wonderful film released by MGM, a winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture. It is the only film to win Best Picture without any other individuals involved being nominated in another category. The film stars Greta Garbo as the dancer, John Barrymore, Joan Crawford, … Continue reading Grand Hotel