Our Bald Eagle

In General by Barry Strauss

We had a new visitor on the Inlet this summer–a bald eagle, who, mornings, sat on a dead tree branch just across the water from the Cascadilla Boat Club boathouse. He made a majestic sentry as we headed out for a row. One morning, though, I noticed that he wasn’t there. I found him afterward, as I drove home after …

Barry StraussOur Bald Eagle

Goodbye to All That

In General by Barry Strauss

It was the best rowing summer I’ve had in a long time, but it came to an early end. I woke up one morning in late September with a sore ankle. It turned out to be tendinitis. And it has stayed and stayed. Three weeks later I’ve graduated to an orthotic boot. While my ankle seems to be on the …

Barry StraussGoodbye to All That

I’ve Been Reading Too Many Blogs

In General by Barry Strauss

Why does so much of what I read on the Internet read something like this? Game on! Push came to shove but the other guy doubled down. No matter: they brought knives but we brought guns. What else could we do? We were roiling with conflicting emotions. Now, skeptics may scoff, but the real story here is the back story. …

Barry StraussI’ve Been Reading Too Many Blogs

Great Moments in Fighting Back

In General by Barry Strauss

“Federal prosecutors are expected on Monday to request a judge’s permission to obtain DNA from Mr. Abdulmutallab [the alleged terrorist on Flight 253] to compare with DNA found on remains of the device taken from the aircraft.” –Wall Street Journal, Monday, December 28, 2009 Let’s not copy the Greeks’ and Romans’ brutality, but acts of war require a tougher response …

Barry StraussGreat Moments in Fighting Back


In General by Barry Strauss

Friday night, December 11, marks the start of the eight days of Chanukah, an annual Jewish holiday. But it also lays claim as the start of western civilization. Not Jewish civilization, which was already old at the time of the first Chanukah in 167 B.C., and not Hellenic (ancient Greek) civilization, which was also ancient. But the encounter of the …

Barry StraussChanukah

Lend Me Your Ears

In General by Barry Strauss

December 7 is a day that will live in infamy, but not only because of Pearl Harbor. Two thousand years before Japan’s surprise attack on the U.S. Pacific Fleet, another event in American history took place: the murder of Marcus Tullius Cicero. American history? Although Cicero was Roman, he had a unique influence on the minds of America’s Founders. We …

Barry StraussLend Me Your Ears

Big is Beautiful

In General by Barry Strauss

My love song to large lecture courses has just been posted on Minding the Campus, http://www.mindingthecampus.com/originals/2009/12/big_is_beautiful.html.

Barry StraussBig is Beautiful

Alexander and Afghanistan

In General by Barry Strauss

We fight wars with men – and with ghosts. When it comes to haunted battlefields, Afghanistan is second to none. The specters stretch backwards from the Soviets, who failed in Afghanistan in the 1970s, to the British who suffered there in the nineteenth century, and all the way to Alexander the Great, who conquered Afghanistan long ago but at a …

Barry StraussAlexander and Afghanistan

Napoleon Palin

In General by Barry Strauss

A little over two hundred years ago this season, Napoleon became famous. He grabbed a French flag, strode onto a bridge over the Adige River in northern Italy, and led his men in an attack on the Austrian army on the other side. As the French advanced, enemy guns took out soldiers on either side. With the luck of greatness, …

Barry StraussNapoleon Palin

A Wartime Thanksgiving

In General by Barry Strauss

In most of America nowadays, Thanksgiving is a day of family, food, football and a foretaste of four weeks of shopping. But in some American homes, the holiday retains its religious character: it is a day to give thanks to God for His blessings. And in a special, few American households that have men or women at war, Thanksgiving is …

Barry StraussA Wartime Thanksgiving