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F. Stringfellow Barr

Stringfellow Barr was editor of Virginia Quarterly Review from 1931 to 1937. Subsequently, he became president of St. John’s College (Annapolis, MD), where he co-founded, with Scott Buchanan, the New Program—the first collegiate curriculum in which students focus on reading and discussing the great books of the Western tradition. He later went on to author such books as The Pilgrimage of Western Man: A History of Western Europe 1500–1961 and Mask of Jove: A History of Graeco-Roman Civilization.


Four Bear Witness

Spring 1944 | Criticism

Alexander Meiklejohn, Robert Maynard Hutchins, Jacques Maritain, and Mark Van Doren have, in that order, testified as to the state of liberal education. Their testimony so consistently reports the bankruptcy of liberal education in our country that we can but marvel at the wide variety of their intellectual Odysseys.

Prophet of Doom

Summer 1943 | Criticism

Force and Freedom: Reflections on History. By Jacob Burckhardt. Pantheon Books. $3.50. The position of Jacob Burckhardt among the great historians of the nineteenth century would alone make the publication of these lecture notes in their first E [...]

Two American Odysseys

Few Americans can claim legitimate descent from Odysseus, but both Henry Adams and Lincoln Steffens can. The Education and the Autobiography proved that. Now, in addition to those works, we have a second volume of letters from Adams and two volumes from Steffens. We have Homer's word for it that Odysseus saw many towns, learnt the minds of many men, strove to win his own life, and sought in vain to save his company. Adams and Steffens knew towns and men. Beyond that, their objectives appear to have differed a good deal.


Possessions for All Time

With Napoleon in Russia. The Memoirs of General de Caulaincourt, Dttbt of Vicensa. Edited by George Libairc. New York; William Morrow and Company. $4.00. Few memoirs published in recent years have achieved such conspicuous and such deserved succ [...]

American Dreams

Who Owns America? Edited by Herbert Agar and Allen Tate. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. $3.00. The Coming American Fascism. By Lawrence Dennis. New York: Harper and Brothers. $2.50. Who Owns America?" a symposium edited by Herbert Agar and Al [...]

A Reconstructed South

Culture in the South. Edited by W. T. Couch. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. $3.50. The sceptical reader, vainly trying to dodge the endless barrage of "important" and "significant" books hurtled almost hourly at his head, may b [...]

Shall Slavery Come South?

The ex-Confederacy has embarked on the Industrial Revolution. That is the outstanding economic fact that underlies and conditions all the current talk about a New South. Since the South, New and Old alike, has a stronger feeling for tradition and soc [...]

Italy - 1928 Model

Autumn 1928 | Criticism

Mussolini, the Man of Destiny. By Vittorio E. De Fiori. New York: E. P. Dutton & Company. $3.00. Fascist Dictatorship in Italy. Volume i. By Gaetano Salvemini. New York: Henry Holt and Company. $3.00. Italy and Fascismo. By Luigi Sturzo. New York [...]

The Uncultured South

Spring 1929 | Criticism

Has the South been buffaloing America for half a century into thinking it was a second Athens wrecked by a Northern barbarian democracy, when actually the second Athens drank mint juleps, ate batter-bread, and thought up moral defenses for the institution that made life comfortable? Is the culture of the Old South a myth?

Donkey’s Delight

He was a proper little donkey, with slim athletic legs and small trim hooves. His furry, hide was a sleek dark brown, nearly black, not at all like the indecisive gray of certain discolored donkeys I have known. Only his nose was gray halfway to his [...]

The Paradox at the Window

Luigi Pirandello. By Walter Starkie. New York: E. P. Dutton and Company. $3.00. Shoot! By Luigi Pirandello. New York: E. P. Dutton and Company. $2.50. "MARCIARE non MARCIRE" is a motto of d'Annunzio's that Dr. Starkie uses to head his cha [...]

The Best Book on Fascist Italy

Autumn 1929 | Criticism

Making the Fascist State, By Herbert W. Schneider. New York: Oxford University Press. $5.00. No other book on the market can compete with Schneider's "Making the Fascist State" in giving the American reader an accurate and orderly knowledge of t [...]

The Dandridges and the Gants

Spring 1930 | Criticism

River House. By Stark Young. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons. $2.50. Look Homeward, Angel. By Thomas Wolfe. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons. $2.50. Stark Young’s “River House” and Thomas Wolfe’s “Look Homeward, Angel” are bo [...]

Church and State

History of the Byzantine Empire. By Charles Diehl. Priceton: Princeton University Press. $2.50.Medieval Cities. By Henri Pirenne. Priceton: Princeton University Press. $2.50.It is good to know that this Western civilization of ours is the superior of [...]

Men and Masks

Don Jose de San Martin. By Anna Schoellkopf. New York: Boni & Liveright. $2.00.A Prime Minister and His Son. Edited by the Hon. Mrs. E. Stuart Wortley, C. B. E. New York: E. P. Dutton & Co. $6.00.Edward Everett, Orator and Stat [...]

The Russia That Was

A History of Russia, By S. F. Platonov. New York: Macmillan. $5.00.Modern Russian History. By Alexander Kornilov. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. $2.25.A History of Russia. By Sir Bernard Pares. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.An Economic History of Russia. By [...]

The Dotted Line

A History of the English People, 1815–1830. By Élie Halévy. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company. $6.00. The Rise of Modern Industry. By J. L. Hammond and Barbara Hammond. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company. $2.75. Religion and the Ri [...]

Fraction of a Tradition

Spring 1945 | Criticism

Puritanism and Democracy. By Ralph Barton Perry. The Vanguard Press. $5.00. Written constitutions and the idea of inalienable rights were intended to limit the power of the representatives of the sovereign people; and the fact that Jefferson wis [...]

The Spirit and the Flesh

Guy de Maupassant a Biographical Study. By Ernest Boyd. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. $4.00. In Guy de Maupassant's sensitive soul the materialism that marks our epoch grew like a tumor, enslaved his body and spirit, and ended by shattering bis [...]

Little Yellow Dog

On the white road that leads out of Mirebeau toward Nantes, between slender wavering poplars, I met a very small yellow dog. He trotted slowly up to me, halted, and spoke. "Of course," he said, "I am only a dog, and a yellow one at [...]