Far the greater number

Far the greater number

If you can die concluding that by far the greater number of people in the world are very good, you have had a good life or perhaps you have just lived it well.  Here, Steinbeck concludes his slim, rich account of a month spent in the Soviet Union at the height of the...
A people of poetry, music and dancing

A people of poetry, music and dancing

Being cautious about characteristics attributed to entire nations which might be more suitably attributed to individuals, I hesitated to share these observations by Steinbeck of his experience of Georgians, during a short visit of a few days or perhaps a week. What it...
A man on a carpet

A man on a carpet

Rory Stewart walked long stretches of several countries, including Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan. He was therefore struck by the absence of people when he did a sea-to-sea hike along Hadrian’s Wall.I love the apparently not uncommon sight of men on carpets in...
A factory of dreams, laughter and sighs

A factory of dreams, laughter and sighs

One of the most charming and imaginative descriptions of human beings. Well worth keeping in mind in case you find yourself standing before a panel of Martians demanding that you explain homo sapiens to them. Think about it: all the bread, wine, fish and radishes you...

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