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Note from the Editors

"Let us consider the nature of true greatness in men. The people who can catch hold of men's minds and feelings and inspire them to do things bigger than themselves are the people who are remembered in history. . . . those who stir feelings and imagination and make men struggle toward perfection." These words of 20th century chemist Henry Eyring introduce this edition of Swans that examines the lives of many men, famous and infamous; controversial and unconventional. We start with one whose recent passing brings enormous sadness to all whose lives he touched and inspired: Martin Murie. Gilles d'Aymery's tribute, with photos, celebrates the diverse talents and passions that made up his larger-than-life persona as a naturalist, environmentalist, political and antiwar activist, columnist -- including in these pages -- and so much more that embodied all that we value on Swans. Martin will be sorely missed, but his legacy will continue to stir feelings and imagination, and a struggle for perfection.

Comparing and contrasting Martin Murie's values to those of Libertarian Ron Paul, Murie gets our vote, hands down. If you're skeptical, read Manuel García Jr.'s argument that voting for Ron Paul is stupid for leftists (and for others, we might add). Another controversial figure worth examining is Henry Fairfield Osborn, the subject of Part I of Michael Barker's series on this once popular and well-known American scientist who was closely allied to the ruling class and the eugenics movement. On the literary front, Peter Byrne considers Polish author Ryszard Kapuściński and his uncharacteristic adieu in the book The Other, and Jonah Raskin provides a snapshot of the photographer side of American novelist Jack London. On stage, Charles Marowitz recounts his opportunity in 2004 to direct Vaclav Havel's play Temptation, and Isidor Saslav shares his adventure with Jeremy Sams's operatic pastiche, The Enchanted Island.

As for the great men in history, none would be remembered were it not for the historians. Raju Peddada presents Part II of his consideration on what actually makes for a good historian. Finally, we close with the poetry of Guido Monte and Marie Rennard in tribute to a great woman, along with your letters on the demise of the eurozone, the vaudevillian French presidential election, Swans old fashioned Letters to the Editor, and Francesca Saieva's timely piece on Claudio Magris.

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In Memoriam

Gilles d'Aymery:  Martin Murie (1925-2012)

A fond remembrance of the fallen majestic giant, Martin Murie -- a naturalist, zoologist, conservationist, unrepentant environmentalist, antiwar activist, columnist, and so much more.   More...


US Elections & Democracy

Manuel García, Jr.:  Voting For Ron Paul Is Stupid For Leftists

Voting for Ron Paul as the lesser evil is a stupid idea for leftists.   More...


Patterns Which Connect

Michael Barker:  The Life And Controversies Of Henry Fairfield Osborn (Part I of II)

Part I of a biographical study of Henry Fairfield Osborn -- formerly one the most popular and well-known scientists in America.   More...


Hungry Man, Reach For The Book

Peter Byrne:  The Other Side Of Ryszard Kapuściński

Ryszard Kapuściński's The Other is less a diffident last word than a cri de cœur, a desperate attempt to put things right.   More...


Arts & Culture

Jonah Raskin:  Jack London In Black And White

A look at the photographer Jack London as sociologist, artist, and story teller.   More...


Charles Marowitz:  Working With Havel

Playwright and director Charles Marowitz recalls his 2004 direction of Vaclav Havel's Temptation.   More...


Raju Peddada:  History: Sired By Literary Nomads (Part II of II)

Part II of an historical consideration of what actually makes for a good historian -- an academic appointment or personal observation.   More...


The World of Music

Isidor Saslav:  The Enchanted Island At The Met

A 300-year-old tradition of opera revived at the Met: the pastiche.   More...


Multilingual Poetry

Guido Monte & Marie Rennard:  Travellers "sans bagages"

Guido Monte and Marie Rennard are "travellers sans bagages," remembering again Gabrielle Capirone along spaces and times.   More...


Letters to the Editor


On the demise of the eurozone and beating the dead horse of Europe; the vaudevillian French presidential election; Swans old fashioned Letters to the Editor; and Francesca Saieva's timely piece on Claudio Magris.   More...


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SWANS - ISSN: 1554-4915
Created: February 13, 2012