A few summers ago, while lounging around the Munich Airport waiting for a flight to Reykjavik, I bought a book: “The Silk Roads: A New History of the World,” by Peter Frankopan. Frankopan is a senior fellow at Oxford University, and has written a convincing reassessment of world history. It is also a poignant and extraordinarily well-considered forecast of our possible future as a broader, Western culture.
About two minutes into the new Polish docudrama Born For The Saber, I exclaimed aloud: “Teddy Roosevelt would have LOVED this!” The film — available with English subtitles on Amazon Prime and iTunes — is a passion project created to honor and preserve the heritage of the Polish saber and the 17th-century martial culture of the Polish-Lithuanian […]
The brilliant Running Iron Report piece I spent a couple of days on turned out to be a piece of crap, so I junked it. A high volume Russian Kettlebell workout in 36-degree temperatures kicked my ass. Watching a couple of hours of impeachment hearing over a fantastic lunch with my friend Jack McGowan was good fellowship, but bad for my cynicism. […]
Our hometown of Sisters celebrated the reading life this month. The inaugural Sisters Festival of Books October 18–20 was a success on every level. Craig Rullman and I were honored to be asked to participate in the kickoff event, which featured a dozen local authors. There are few things more worthy of celebration than books and the strange […]
Russia is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. — Winston Churchill Regular readers of Running Iron Report know that we consider the Russian Revolution to be a fulcrum of modern history. Taken not as a discreet event but as a part of the great convulsion of the First World War and a precursor event of the Second World War, […]
Times were weird. The President of the United States had been run out of office a year ago, in the face of near-certain impeachment and conviction for high crimes and misdemeanors. Two disturbed women — one a lunatic follower of Charles Manson — tried to shoot his successor. New York City was on the verge of implosion, […]
James Ellroy’s latest novel, This Storm, drops at the end of the month. Just in time, too. I’m in the mood for one of Ellory’s dark, jagged, Benzedrine-fueled rides through the neon-lit landscape of the American Century. I consider Ellroy one of the great ones — put him on a par with Cormac McCarthy. His ambitions are […]
I had promised a different piece this week, but had a friend and his wife stop in for the weekend and that threw me off my game. They were up from Paso Robles, California, where they raise wine grapes – Syrah, Petite Syrah — on a magnificent chunk of the central coast, and also to pick up some elk meat I’d been holding for them in our freezer since our hunt last fall. And, as things go, the weekend vanished in an insalubrious 72-hour fete that left me feeling like I’d spent the weekend with Robert Plant and the boys in a chapter from Hammer of the Gods.
I was reflecting the other night that, other than chase cows on the desert, play shortstop for the Yankees, and do some decent shooting, I’ve only ever wanted to write. I published my first piece when I was five. That’s a grandiose vision, and meant to be funny, but it is also true although it wasn’t really writing. It was a picture I drew — an alligator sliding into a swamp — which even after all these years isn’t really that bad for a first effort. I’m still drawing alligators sliding into swamps, it seems, and we are fortunate these days to be able to share our thoughts and visions broadly.
Busy days here on the Figure 8. The first order of business has been to compile an accurate BDA (Battle Damage Assessment) following a series of snowstorms that camped over Central Oregon in late February and early March. So far the damage has been significant. Both the turkey and chicken pens collapsed under the weight of snow. The birds are fine because when there is 3 feet of snow on the ground they don’t come out of the henhouse. They are uppity that way.
By David Wrolson, aka “Breaker Morant” The Lighthorsemen is a movie about the Australian Light Horse regiments and their famous charge on Beersheba in Palestine in World War I. The taking of Beersheeba turned the Ottoman Turks out of their defensive line in Palestine and marked a turning point in the campaign in the Middle East. For […]
This year has been a particularly good one for those of us who are interested in old Rome, as new discoveries of letters, and even boxing gloves, at Hadrian’s Wall – a strange wall, indeed, for a host of reasons – and in fresh diggings at Herculaneum, Pompeii, and Oplontis, all destroyed by Vesuvius back in ’79 – have given us valuable new information about Roman life, culture, and reach, and indeed have overturned some apple carts.