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Check Out These 35 Liberty Island Books

If you’ve enjoyed one of Liberty Island’s titles chances are you’ll love another. Collect the whole series. Currently the Liberty Island collection divides into four phases of publishing…

Independence Day Remains Worth Celebrating

Tomorrow is Independence Day, the 4th of July.  Most Americans will do their best to celebrate the holiday, despite the limitations of the present pandemic.

That’s as it should be. While the bold Declaration would not be brought to fruition on the battlefields of the Revolution for another five years, and not recognized by Treaty for another two years after that, the Declaration was one of history’s turning points, and set the infant nation on a course of republican representative government, in which the sovereign would be elected and there would be no hereditary aristocracy.

Discovering Luis Miguel, Mexico’s Biggest Star Musician

When I was 21, in 1991, I fell in love with a Mexican girl. It was the week of our college graduation and she was the childhood friend of a classmate. I visited my classmate in Mexico City that summer in order to see her again. The hit album at the time was “21 años” by Luis Miguel. Luis Miguel, named for the bullfighter Luis Miguel Dominguín memorialized by Hemingway in The Dangerous Summer, was, and still is, the biggest star in Mexico.

“The Congress” Vs. “Ready Player One”

Watching “Ready, Player One”, I was struck by the similarities to “The Congress”. Their initial similarities include a plea to appreciate reality and connect to each other.  Furthermore, each has an underground fighting the corporate controlled artificial reality that most are immersed in.

Lana Del Rey’s Blues

In the many skirmishes in today’s culture wars I often find it easy to take a side or, in most recent cases, wish that both sides lose. This is mostly because these skirmishes involve celebrities and other cultural avatars who are two dimensional, predictable, boring. The last eccentrics died long ago or have been pummeled into submission.

Recently I stumbled across a controversy involving a young woman singer, Lana Del Rey and, of course, an internet post, that has left me on the fence. Apparently Del Rey has been accused of glorifying or romanticizing sexual violence in her songs. On Instagram she wrote…

How Can Dragons Create Fire and What Would We Learn From It?

Dragons cannot just create fire. It has to come from somewhere. However, we will want to know how they create fire for various reasons.

Mamelukes Is a Fitting Final Novel in the Jerry Pournelle Oeuvre

Last night, I finished reading the last novel by the late Jerry Pournelle I will ever read.

For me, who has been a Pournelle fan for almost half a century, it was a sad moment. In my last review, of Starborn and Godsons, I reviewed Pournelle’s literary career, so I won’t repeat it. It is extraordinary.

‘What Realm of Supreme Values Will Be Capable of Uniting Europe? Technical Feats? The Marketplace? The Mass Media?’

Europa Europa

Some weeks ago, before the lock-down became tortuous, my beautiful niece asked me to write her a short story about a man who is left at the altar by the love of his life. She was turning twenty and this was the present that she wanted from me. Maria and I have played these literary games since she was a teenager. I love the fact that though she is a child of her time, and fully conversant with social media, she also likes to read and write.

The short story was an opportunity to play with a plot I have been imagining for sometime: a somewhat lonely, young courtroom artist who gets involved with a woman that he paints during a trial. I have thought of doing a novel where the woman is involved with a drug-smuggling gang.

Ryan Murphy’s Hollywood-Revisionism Is Much Better than Quentin Tarantino’s

The Netflix miniseries Hollywood offers more depth than the overrated “Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood.”

If you had to ask most cinephiles the question, “Who would do better telling a story set in classic Hollywood: Glee-creator Ryan Murphy or Pulp Fiction auteur Quentin Tarantino?” then the answer would seemingly be obvious.

Book Review: Avengers Infinity Saga and Philosophy

Avengers Infinity Saga and Philosophy is a collection of philosophy essays seeking to use Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame to present various philosophical ideas. For example, the multiverse theory means that those who use the likely consequences of their actions to determine the right thing do to are paralyzed, while those with a clear moral structure can still act decisively. There are more than thirty essays in Avengers Infinity Saga and Philosophy, so there’s literally something for everyone. (Including those who agree with Thanos’ doomer worldview or literally see him as the hero.)

Welcome to Hegel’s Apartment

A new series of essays on culture and philosophy from Liberty Island literary novelist Scott Seward Smith

Nietzsche mocked Hegel by saying that the latter thought Western civilization had reached its pinnacle in his Berlin apartment. Being forced to spend more time of late than usual in my New York apartment, I’m kind of with Hegel. My wife and I, regrettably, have no children. Our apartment is spacious enough for us. We are not only comfortable but happy in the space we have created. I am surrounded by my books, photographs, some works of art. A few months ago I bought a CD player in part to listen to a Great Courses set of CD’s on understanding classical music. Western civilization may not be at its pinnacle in my apartment but I get what Hegel felt and what Nietzsche mocked.

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