On this first weekend of spring in the northern hemisphere, here we go with Part Four of our audio adaptation of what is a favorite book among Steyn readers: Mark Steyn's Passing Parade.
In today's episode, I discuss an active and passive victim of the currents of history:
Had General Galtieri decided to take the Falkland Islands a couple of years earlier, when Jim Callaghan was dithering in Downing Street, he'd undoubtedly have gotten away with it. But, alas for his and the other Latin American military juntas, he waited and found himself picking a fight with Mrs Thatcher. Steyn examines the lessons of a small but very consequential war.
As for Otto von Habsburg, he should have been Holy Roman Emperor, but wound up making do with a stint as Member of the European Parliament:
A long life reminds us of how short history is: Franz Josef, the Great War, Bela Kun, Admiral Horthy, Anschluss, another war, The Third Man, the Warsaw Pact, the Hungarian uprising, the transnationalization of Vienna, the fall of the Iron Curtain – the great churning tides of fate wash in and out, and through it all old Otto's still there, still hanging in, even as his very surname labels him as yesterday's man.
If you prefer more fictional fancies of a weekend, we have thrillers, comedy classics, tales of horror and historical romance and much more, all over at our Tales for Our Time home page. Esti from the Schwa (that would be Oshawa, Ontario) is a late convert:
I cannot believe it's taken me nearly three years to check out Tales for Our Time. Last year I was not mentally up to listening to your reading of the Daniel Defoe (who I've always loved) plague diary. Checking it out over the past month has been amazing - ie amazing to see how history repeats itself four hundred years later... At any rate, I'm loving TFOT & am working my way through consuming these. I honestly must say that your audio renditions in TFOT are alone worth the entry fee to the Mark Steyn Club. Who knew?
Hope everyone has an excellent weekend.
You too, Esti. It's certainly true that history repeats itself, but not in every respect: Defoe's account of the plague in London in 1665 starts and finishes and normal life resumes, all within twelve months. In our world, normalcy is endlessly deferred - and, unlike seventeenth-century London, governments across the west remain locked in lockdown mode, apparently forever.
Nevertheless, if you've a friend who might be partial, as Esti is, to our four-dozen pertinent adventures, we have a special Gift Membership that, aside from audio capers, also includes video poetry, live music and more. And I'll be doing a live-performance Tale for Our Time at sea on the next Mark Steyn Cruise - assuming that we're ever again permitted to sail.
Please join me next weekend for Part Five of Mark Steyn's Passing Parade.