The lead article looks at the long season of political debates which highlight the sense of the Iraq War as having already passed into history. The second article considers two operas by Pietro Mascagni that are less well known than his Cavalleria Rusticana. The third article considers the conceptual difficulties presented by Professor Riley-Smith's view of the Crusades. The final article considers the problems Ken Burns encounters in telling the story of World War II from the point of view of those who remember it.
The purpose of this e-journal is to use in tandem the techniques of literary criticism and social structural analysis to illuminate American politics and the various institutions in American society and sometimes matters more global, like religion or war, by turning an eye on the events and objects and performances that are considered art and entertainment, those defined broadly enough to include whatever is covered in newspapers and other media. Another concern is to pick up the texture of social life, both in the United States and in general, through the analysis of those events, objects and performances that are to be found in everyday life.