Monthly Archive: March 2020

Lessons of history

In Italy, where coronavirus has hit the hardest among European nations, the country is all but shut down. Italy is used to such quarantines. In fact, the very word has its origin in Venice. During a plague in the 14th century the port city forced all ships to wait forty days – quaranta giorni – before passengers and crews could disembark. Another Italian city followed with even broader precautions during the Middle Ages. The February 20 issue of the London Review of Books includes a review of a book by John Henderson called Florence Under Siege: Surviving the Plague in...

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Nowhere man

Some men grow a beard on holiday, but think better of it when they get home, and shave it off. Not Justin Trudeau. He thinks a vacation beard can change him. In fact, the beard has rendered his life untenable. He no longer knows who he is. Until now, Justin’s life has been ever-so-easy; he was Pierre Trudeau’s son. People praised him even when there was no reason. Being in the public eye so much, Justin became all about the performance arts. He was like Robert Redford playing the all-American boy in “The Way We Were” when Barbra Streisand asks,...

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