Joseph P. Duggan

Joseph P. Duggan served on a U.S. State Department diplomatic mission to Prague in 1988, presenting then-dissident Václav Havel his first briefing on U.S. and NATO defense postures and policies. This article is adapted from Duggan’s new electronic book, The Zuckerberg Galaxy: A Primer for Navigating the Media Maelstrom.

Havel’s ‘Respect for Mystery’ versus the Techno-Gnostics

 

Václav Havel’s noble life showed how the disciplined practice of critical thinking and moral imagination in the arts and letters can translate directly into statesmanship of the highest order. His courageous and effective Velvet Revolution against one of the most brutal of the Soviet satellite regimes remains a model for nations still searching for safe […]

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McLuhan’s Centennial

 

MANAMA, Bahrain — I had a meeting in Bahrain, not far from where I live, on March 2, 2011, at about the midpoint of a month of street demonstrations that began with euphoria over Egypt and Tunisia’s popular uprisings and ended in martial law. There was no violence in Bahrain that day, but there were […]

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Tyre and the Poets

 

TYRE — For $50 a family can take a safe, radio-call taxi from the congested heart of Beirut to the uncluttered ancient waterfront of Tyre, a few miles north of the border with Israel. Lush banana plantations line the coastal route. People are all around, but only God knows how many there are. Among the […]

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America’s Forgotten Newman?

 

It is accepted wisdom that the newly beatified Cardinal John Henry Newman (1801-1890) and his associates in the Anglo-Catholic Oxford Movement were influences in the faith formation of members of the Episcopal Church in the United States, including some who followed Newman’s path of conversion to Roman Catholicism. Less appreciated are the stories of made-in-the-USA […]

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Prague Autumn

 

PRAGUE — A week of flawless Indian summer weather diverts this bittersweet land of liberty from events and conditions auguring a long, anxious autumn. November will mark 20 years since the Velvet Revolution ended the Communist dictatorship, but the celebration is likely to be tempered by Czechs’ disillusionment with the half-hearted promises of democracy and […]

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The Greatest Pro of Them All

 

ZACATECAS, Mexico — Imagine a merry combination of Thomas More and Peter Sellers, and you may get a sense of an extraordinary personality who came from this silver mining capital’s adjoining colonial town of Guadalupe and, during his brief career in the early decades of the 20th century, made a lasting impact on the Mexican […]

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The Unsinkable City of the Real Cinco de Mayo

 

PUEBLA DE LOS ÁNGELES, Mexico — The authentic Cinco de Mayo, like Ireland’s Solemnity of St. Patrick, is quite different from the ersatz celebrations in the United States conjured by the beer barons and their marketing wizards, dousing Kowalskis, Smiths, and Changs with Budweiser or Schlitz until they become Mexicans-for-a-Day. In Mexico the Fifth of […]

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“It’s Not a Place, It’s a Pathology”

 

MEXICO CITY — In the precincts of Coyoacán near to where Leon Trotsky caught the business end of an ice pick sprawls a monument to Big Government and the delirium of National Greatness if not to any certifiable species of conservatism. This is the “Behemoth U.” of Russell Kirk’s nightmares, an endless vulgar-Marxist bull session […]

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The Bonfire of the Hispanities

 

MEXICO CITY, April 27, 2009 — On the crowded sidewalks of Paseo de la Reforma, a dark-eyed office worker held a cell phone to her left ear and with her free hand pulled down her blue medical mask to reveal a lovely Latin pair of lips. In a gesture worthy of Albert Camus, she took […]

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Obama’s Mexican Recipe: Failed Statism

 

MEXICO CITY — On his way to glad-hand Hugo Chávez and Daniel Ortega at the Summit of the Americas in Trinidad last weekend, President Barack Obama did a one-day drop-by in this capital. His meetings with President Felipe Calderón were cordial but not very productive, according to Mexican observers. Telling was the coverage in the […]

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