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"New York Times"-bestselling author Steyn argues that Barack Obama is moving the country toward a Scandinavian-style, big-government system that will stifle liberty and leave the world in a dangerous place.
It's the end of the world!! Head for the hills!!! No, wait. Don't head for the hills--they're full of Islamist terrorist camps. Let me put it in a slightly bigger nutshell: much of what we loosely call the Western world will not survive the twenty-first century, and much of it will effectively disappear within our lifetimes, including many if not most European countries. There'll probably still be a geographical area on the map marked as Italy or the Netherlands--probably--just as in Istanbul there's still a building known as Hagia Sophia, or St. Sophia's Cathedral. But it's not a cathedral; it's merely a designation for a piece of real estate. Likewise, Italy and the Netherlands will merely be designations for real estate. That's just for starters. And, unlike the ecochondriacs' obsession with rising sea levels, this isn't something that might possibly conceivably hypothetically threaten the Maldive Islands circa the year 2500; the process is already well advanced as we speak. With respect to Francis Fukuyama, it's not the end of history; it's the end of the world as we know it. Whether we like what replaces it depends on whether America can summon the will to shape at least part of the emerging world. If not, then it's also the end of the American moment, and the dawn of the new Dark Ages.
"The Black Crook opened in September 1866" Mark Tells us: Wheatley engineers an implausible marriage between a rotten play and too underdressed coryphees, and, to the delight of all except the usual outraged clergymen, turns in a smash. And, incidentally, winds up inventing the American musical." " [A] witty, anecdote-stuffed history of the past seventy years in musicals." "Steyn deserves a standing ovation.... his prose is as sharp as his stiletto." The book is funny and contains anecdotes, interviews, recollections, and a good snapshot of the music, people, and places that make up the musical. Dry historical facts though this isn't. Nor does every musical get mentioned. You'll look in vein for Paint Your Wagon for example. But for the general reader who would like to learn more about the musicals this is a wonderful book. Steyn traces the history from the musicals birth in 1866 to what he believes to be its death in the 1990s. As a reviewer writes "Mr. Steyn knows the history of Broadway (and West End) musicals, and he makes us care that the current crop lacks conviction and craft." He discusses the musical. Where it came from, Why it works, Why it doesn't work, and who's the best and the worst.
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