NR_Mic5mh-portrait-2Jay’s guest is Mark Helprin, who is not to be confused with Mark Halperin. This Mark is the novelist, foreign-affairs analyst, and political writer – the author of “Winter’s Tale,” “A Soldier of the Great War,” and many other acclaimed books. He and Jay have known each other for a long time, and discussed the issues with each other for an equally long time. Today’s topics include Iran, Israel, Obama, ISIS, and the state of our culture. As you can see, there’s nothing small on the table, but there are a few nice asides, regardless.

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There are 13 comments.

  1. Zhuchka Inactive

    I started reading ‘Winter’s Tale’ last week.

    • #1
    • March 18, 2015, at 5:59 PM PDT
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  2. DrewInWisconsin Member

    Fantastic! I reread Winter’s Tale last summer (third time) and loved it all over again. But I’m sorry, I still can’t get through “In Sunlight and in Shadow.”

    • #2
    • March 18, 2015, at 6:39 PM PDT
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  3. DrewInWisconsin Member

    Okay, listened to it.

    Now I’m depressed.

    • #3
    • March 18, 2015, at 8:19 PM PDT
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  4. RushBabe49 Thatcher

    Winter’s Tale is sublime, and if I could only take one book to a desert island, that would be it. Ray found me a hardback first edition for my birthday a few years back, and it lives on my bedside table. I’m looking forward to getting it signed by the author someday.

    Helprin gave the commencement speech at Hillsdale a couple of years ago. He was wonderful.

    • #4
    • March 18, 2015, at 8:57 PM PDT
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  5. Ray Kujawa Coolidge

    What Mr. Helprin has to say or write on the culture is spot on. Also on the state of the world. Though Mark admits he is now done with writing non-fiction, I would say fret not. I have found the lens of Mr. Helprin’s fiction — and I’ve read both Winter’s Tale (still reading In Sunlight and In Shadow) and his fairly recent of short stories, The Pacific — to be so sharply illuminating on so many levels that it is much better than reading any commentary or editorial. Mark’s literature gets to the heart of living. People who live and see the world the way Mark’s characters do are living in a completely different reality than the cardboard veneer that passes for the real world. And Mr. Helprin does intend to continue writing fiction.

    • #5
    • March 18, 2015, at 9:56 PM PDT
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  6. Manny Member

    I love Mark Helprin’s writing, particulalry A Soldier of the Great War. I haven’t read Winter’s Tale yet, but I think I have it somewhere.

    • #6
    • March 19, 2015, at 5:42 AM PDT
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  7. thebeekeeperkissedme Inactive

    Now on Stitcher too, though this episode has not yet become available.

    • #7
    • March 19, 2015, at 7:36 AM PDT
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  8. GirlWithAPearl Inactive

    Two things that stood out in this exceptional conversation:

    1. Mark Helprin’s dire worry for Israel’s life expectancy. Not least because he is one of the original American Zionists and served several years in the IDF.

    2. Mark Helprin’s trenchant assessment of our culture, and how “we” – meaning those few of us remaining who have not been slimed to the point of acquiescence or surrender by the cultural sewer – have been driven “into the cracks” like insects. Yes. That is where I live now, venturing outside only to a few safe places peopled by those who think like me and have knowledge far exceeding mine, from whom I want to learn (and this is a small and dwindling crowd). So… not a good sign for our society’s future health, when the culture assassins have conquered the airwaves and the very air that we breathe. And it is obviously why the Totalitarian Left engineered that cultural super-structure, beginning many decades ago, when it was they who lived like cockroaches in the cracks.

    • #8
    • March 19, 2015, at 7:37 AM PDT
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  9. DrewInWisconsin Member

    GirlWithAPearl:Two things that stood out in this exceptional conversation:

    1. Mark Helprin’s dire worry for Israel’s life expectancy. Not least because he is one of the original American Zionists and served several years in the IDF.

    2. Mark Helprin’s trenchant assessment of our culture, and how “we” – meaning those few of us remaining who have not been slimed to the point of acquiescence or surrender by the cultural sewer – have been driven “into the cracks” like insects. Yes. That is where I live now, venturing outside only to a few safe places peopled by those who think like me and have knowledge far exceeding mine, from whom I want to learn (and this is a small and dwindling crowd). So… not a good sign for our society’s future health, when the culture assassins have conquered the airwaves and the very air that we breathe. And it is obviously why the Totalitarian Left engineered that cultural super-structure, beginning many decades ago, when it was they who lived like cockroaches in the cracks.

    Like I said, I’m depressed.

    • #9
    • March 19, 2015, at 7:50 AM PDT
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  10. GirlWithAPearl Inactive

    Me too, Drew.

    The choice seems to be: Eyes wide open & depressed or Willfully blind & giddy with delight

    • #10
    • March 19, 2015, at 8:03 AM PDT
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  11. Lady Randolph Inactive

    Ooh… I’m so excited to listen to this one. I’m a Helprin fangirl.

    • #11
    • March 19, 2015, at 2:46 PM PDT
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  12. Arnold Falk Member

    There was a lot of meaningful dialog in this podcast. Thanks to both Messrs. Nordlinger and Helprin for their preparations and candor.

     

    Mr. Helprin’s comments reinforce an uncomfortable feeling I have, and one which is the subject of a post I made on Ricochet yesterday: our complete failure to have any sort of Civil Defense Plan. The US military’s ability to project the sort of power that has kept the peace for 70 years is and has been in steady decline. Obviously, the NSA can’t be expected to see and warn us of everything. It appears that this set of circumstances is not particularly disturbing to most Americans. So, what does this imply? To me it says that the acute dangers, particularly of some type of asymmetric attack by non-state group(s) with WMDs acquired from rogue states will eventually take place, and this is particularly true if Iran succeeds in hoodwinking the current resident at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Will we be prepared to limit the damage to our civilization from such attack(s)? Should some reasonable fraction of the national defense budget be dedicated to a Civil Defense Plan at federal level, necessarily becoming a permanent feature of our society. What should be the steps taken at state, local, enterprise and family levels, and how should they be coordinated with federal efforts? Who pays for what? Those are the questions that should be addressed, and very soon, in my opinion.

     

    AC Falk

    • #12
    • March 22, 2015, at 8:58 AM PDT
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  13. mikeInThe716 Member

    As as infantryman 20+ years ago, “A Soldier of the Great War” haunts me still, ten years after I’ve read it.
    It’s an homage to all who have walked endless miles with a rifle and a pack.

    • #13
    • March 24, 2015, at 5:29 PM PDT
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