Fireworks in New York, 2002. (Credit: Jon Sullivan / PDPhoto.org)
Hunt the Devil will take a brief break for the holiday season. We will return on January 5, 2016.
Oscar and I are grateful for our readers. We wish you a happy holiday.
Over the last twenty-two months, we have written nearly 180 posts based on our book, Hunt the Devil (published in 2015 by the University of Alabama Press) and building toward a sequel to Hunt the Devil, the working title of which is After Empire.
So far, three articles for academic journals on the After-Empire project have emerged from the blog. Two already are in print: (more…)
“The Adoration of the Golden Calf,” oil on canvas, by Nicolas Poussin, circa 1634. (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)
When Moses came down from the mountain with the Ten Commandments, he saw the people of Israel dancing and worshipping the golden calf. “Moses’ anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount.” (Exodus 32:9) During the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus warned: “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” (Matthew 6:24)
And yet in the land of the free we have created the “Land of the Dollar,” and we worship Mammon and build temples to the Golden Calf. (more…)
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin Meeting with Iran’s Supreme Leader Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. (Credit: President of the Russian Federation / http://www.kremlin.ru)
Brian Amsden, who teaches at Clayton State University, produces podcasts about once a month answering—one story at a time—the question of how we humans come to believe the impossible things we believe. His show is called Rhetorical Questions.
The most recent episode, Episode 7, is Brian interviewing me about Hunt the Devil: A Demonology of US War Culture. Brian asks great questions and makes excellent observations throughout the interview. (more…)
Hunt the Devil: A Demonology of US War Culture is now available for purchase, and our publisher — University of Alabama Press — has provided us the opportunity to offer our book to our readers at a 30% discount through October 31, 2015!
Simply order the Hunt the Devil: A Demonology of US War Culture directly from University of Alabama Press using a special discount code, and you can get this “timely and illuminating exploration of demonic imagery in US war culture” for just $35.00 USD.
Benjamín Jarnés, Huberto Pérez de la Ossa, Luis Buñuel. Rafael Barradas and Federico García Lorca in Madrid, 1923. (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Then at night, after midnight, he was pushed into a car. They drove him north about 9 kilometers from Granada, to the little square of the village of Viznar. The Falange had set up headquarters at the Archbishop’s palace. He waited in the car seated between armed guards.
They drove him north again to an old building hidden between trees on the left side of the road, a former summer residence for schoolchildren, now a makeshift prison. He was taken to a room where three other prisoners were being held: a one-legged schoolmaster, and fittingly, two banderilleros, bullfighters from Granada. He talked and smoked incessantly through the night, keeping his companions alert. At dawn he called for a priest, but the priest had left. The authorities had said there would be no executions that night. (more…)
Federico García Lorca in 1914. Anonymous photo found at the University of Granada in 2007, coming from a student record. (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)
According to legend, he was correcting the manuscript of The House of Bernarda Alba the day he was betrayed. Two weeks before, scared and nervous, he had sought sanctuary at the house of Luis Rosales, a poet friend and Falangist. At Rosales’ house he usually spent his days secluded on the second floor, where he ate his meals, devoured the day’s newspapers, and played popular songs on the piano for Esperanza, Rosales’ sister, and her old aunt. Esperanza (her name means “hope”) later said that he wrote during those days but that his papers were taken to his father after his arrest.
He had come from Granada to Madrid to celebrate his father’s and his own Saint’s Day at the family orchard, the Huerta de San Vicente. On Saint Federico’s Day, July 18, 1936, Francisco Franco read on the radio a manifesto announcing the rebellion of the Nationalists. On that day Federico awoke from a nap, disturbed by a dream. He later described it to his father:
Half-asleep he saw how three women with thick black veils that covered them from head to feet, with their faces lowered to the ground, walked and walked around him. In their hands they carried great crucifixes, and as they walked in front of him they stopped, and lifted them in a threatening gesture.
Granada’s garrison joined the insurrectionary forces on July 20, 1936. (more…)
In the 1920s and early 30s, Dashiell Hammett transformed American detective fiction. Hammett joined the Pinkerton’s Detective Agency in 1915. During World War I he contracted pulmonary tuberculosis (an ailment that would plague him throughout his life) in the army during the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918. Discharged honorably from the military in poor health, Hammett moved to San Francisco where he quit detective work and wrote short stories that were published in H.L. Mencken’s The Smart Set and Black Mask.
Between 1927 and 1933, Hammett wrote the five novels that constitute–along with his Continental Op short stories–his main body of work. In the mid-1930s he lent his active support, along with other American intellectuals, to the anti-fascist (Loyalist) cause in the Spanish Civil War. At the height of his career at age 48 (shortly after the release of John Huston’s film of The Maltese Falcon), he re-joined the army as a private during World War II. By this time, the FBI considered him “to be among the upper echelon of the Communist Party in the United States.” (more…)
Five copies of the book, thanks to Atticus (see previous post), arrive. I open one copy to make sure they have the dedication right before showing it to my wife, Margarita. I leaf through the pages and am glad to recognize the names of old friends always with me: Shaw and O’Neill, Las Casas and José Martí.
As always close to Father´s Day I think of my father, of his time in Vietnam, and wish he were here to see this. I remember the lines by Martí through which I always evoke his memory:
Augustus St. Gaudens’ 1887 statue, “The Puritan,” located In Springfield, MA, circa 2000. (Credit: Einar E. Kvaran [carptrash] / Wikimedia Commons)
What do you do when you’ve written a book you love with a dear friend and you are waiting for copies to arrive in the mail as proof of the book’s existence in the material world and they do not get here?
Your co-author has received his copies and he smugly tells you over the phone how nice the volume looks and how well it reads and how it is great that the record of the hunt for the devil we set out to trap years ago has now seen the light of day.
First, you possess your soul in patience, remembering that it is a virtue.
That does not last long.
Soon you find yourself in a foul mood and you wonder why, and you tell yourself, after you have checked the front gate again, that if the damn books would get here everything would be fine. Then you see, as if the devil were taunting you (not) for the last time, the Fed Ex truck about a block away, driving away from your house, and your impulse is to run after it and yell at the incompetent driving the truck that he has missed delivering a package. The truck soon disappears and leaves you desolate, abandoned and ignored. You couldn’t even catch the stupid truck.
Then you spend some time cussing Phoenix (never Arizona) and its delivery and mail services. (more…)
Dr. Robert L. Ivie with a copy of ‘Hunt the Devil: A Demonology of U.S. War Culture’ in print. (Credit: Nancy Ivie)
The book is in print. I have actually touched a copy of Hunt the Devil: A Demonology of US War Culture (University of Alabama Press, 2015). Nancy took the “proof of existence” picture the day FedEx delivered the book to our home.
Oscar and I are delighted. The long wait is over. We hope you will enjoy reading our new book, and we trust your journey into the mythic realm of war culture will invoke critical faculties and creative impulses.