"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
Yale came from behind to catch Harvard in the final 10 strokes to win the 142nd H-Y Regatta. Yale closed an open-water gap in the final half-mile on the Thames River to win by a half-second "in what may have been the greatest comeback in the history of the nation's oldest collegiate sporting event," the Globe's John Powers writes. The requisite shirt-swap and cox-toss are captured in a photo gallery.
* * *
Currently I'm listening to the audio book of The Golden Ocean, Patrick O'Brian's first sea novel, a precursor to Aubrey-Maturin. The evocative descriptions of life amid storms, hardships and battle at sea; the midshipmen's Horace-inspired jokes in Latin; the code duello; the Irish lyricism; the Drowned Baby for dinner: So many aspects of the story are brought to full fruition in the later series that it's interesting to encounter the seeming first draft. But the result is one is left longing for Aubrey-Maturin. I just finished that series a few months ago: is it too early to start it over again?
* * *
Christopher Hitchens has written an interesting piece in City Journal on America's first fight against Mohammedan terrorists, the early 19th-century wars against the Barbary Pirates.
Lord Nelson was not the only European to notice that a new power had arrived in Mediterranean waters. Francis Scott Key composed a patriotic song to mark the occasion. As I learned from Joshua London’s excellent book, the original verses ran (in part):
In conflict resistless each toil they endur’d, Till their foes shrunk dismay’d from the war’s desolation: And pale beamed the Crescent, its splendor obscur’d By the light of the star-bangled flag of our nation. Where each flaming star gleamed a meteor of war, And the turban’d head bowed to the terrible glare. Then mixt with the olive the laurel shall wave And form a bright wreath for the brow of the brave.
The song was part of the bad-verse epidemic. But brushed up and revised a little for the War of 1812, and set to the same music, it has enjoyed considerable success since. So has the Marine Corps anthem, which begins: “From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli.” It’s no exaggeration to describe the psychological fallout of this first war as formative of the still-inchoate American character.