American Freedom: Sinclair Lewis and the Open Road

Some three decades before Kerouac and friends hit the road, Sinclair Lewis published Free Air, one of the very first novels about an automobile-powered road trip across the United States. Steven Michels looks at the particular vision of freedom espoused in the tale, one echoed throughout Lewis’ oeuvre. Sinclair Lewis …Continued

Voltaire and the Buddha

Donald S. Lopez, Jr. looks at Voltaire's early reflections on Buddhism and how, in his desire to separate the Buddha's teachings from the trappings of …Continued

A Queer Taste for Macaroni

With his enormous hair, painted face, and dainty attire, the so-called "macaroni" was a common sight upon the streets and ridiculing prints of 1770s London. …Continued

Images

Books

Film

Despotism (1946)

Short from Encyclopaedia Britannica Films, published a year after the end of WW2, exploring the characteristics and causes of despotism. …Continued

The Frog (1908)

A sprightly frog circles various come-to-life fountain tableaux, as well as a giant version of itself, an enormous head being drenched by water, and some …Continued

Within Our Gates (1920)

The oldest known surviving film made by an African-American director, portraying the contemporary racial situation in the United States during the early twentieth century. …Continued

The Infernal Cauldron (1903)

Short film by Georges Méliès, released through his Star Film Company, featuring demons, flames, spectres, and a brilliant array of the film-maker's usual arsenal of …Continued

Audio