Web Letters | The Nation

Web Letter

When leftists assign motive for actions, they forget that boys forget to be political unless some Nation-nanny smacks them across the nose with it.

Self-sacrificing white male patriotic heroism, exampled this minute by the hundred thousand in Iraq & Afghanistan by all-volunteer servicemen, 3/4 of whom say they enlisted "because of 9/11," is alive & very well, despite the longue durée feminist assault prevalent in education and leftmedia. These heroes hate what the hate-America Nation-types are broadcasting back home, but are dutifully silent, until they get back. We are no-kidding on a Crusade, about the fifth according to my specialty in history. Believe your murderous Islamist soul-mates when they say it daily.

Mike Smith

Kelly's Cove, San Francisco, CA

Jul 7 2007 - 1:26pm

Web Letter

Fortunately, those who love The Dangerous Book for Boys despite its casual sexism will have a better girls' alternative than the rather Victorian Great Big Glorious Book for Girls. The true companion book is called The Daring Book for Girls, by Andrea Buchanan and Miriam Peskowitz, coming this fall, and it will be every bit as fun and adventurous as its predecessor. It may not counter the Anglo-imperial martial spirit of the boys' book, but it will still do a lot to level the playing field.

(The author of this letter is Miriam Peskowitz's literary agent.)

Sam Stoloff

South Orange, NJ

Jul 2 2007 - 12:24pm

Web Letter

Katha Pollit writes, "Why must getting boys into the fresh air (or The Lord of the Rings) depend on confining girls to sugar and spice?"

Female characters are scarce in The Lord of the Rings, but the most vividly drawn, and most essential to the plot, is the warrior Eowyn, a princess of Rohan. Eowyn performed one of the greatest feats of martial valor in the history of Middle Earth when she confronted the Witch King of Angmar, Lord of the Nazgul, in the battle of Pelennor Fields. The Nazgul proclaimed that no man could hinder him, referring to an ancient prophecy, but Eowyn declared herself to be no man.

She beheaded the Nazgul's foul steed, whereupon he shattered her shield and left arm with his mace, driving her to the ground. Eowyn rose up and stabbed the Nazgul in the face, killing him.

Spice, to be sure. Sugar? I really don't think so.

Bart Laws

Boston, MA

Jun 28 2007 - 9:10am

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