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Gold as Monetary Arbiter – Modern Monetary History

By Michael Taylor in Economics and Finance, October 14, 2018

Michael Taylor looks at the evolving role of gold and how central banks have (mostly) learned that in the absence of the discipline of gold, their principal job is to protect the financial stability which alone confers value on scrip money.

My Father, Ezra Pound

By Alessandra Quattrocchi in Arts and Culture, October 12, 2018

An interview with Mary de Rachewiltz, daughter of Ezra Pound, from her retreat in the Italian Tyrol. “My father always managed to be on the wrong side”

In the Medina

By Geoffrey Heptonstall in Arts and Culture, October 9, 2018

Green is the colour of Islam, presumably because it is emblematic of paradise. Fertility in a climate of extreme heat and vast deserts cannot be taken for granted. It may seem to a believer God-given, a blessing. The surprise is how green much of Morocco seems. Even in the intense heat of Africa, there are […]

Putin’s Patriarch

By Astrit Dakli in Features, September 3, 2018

The Orthodox Church is filling a political void left by the collapse of the party system in Russia. Kirill I, the Patriarch of Moscow, is forging stronger links with the Kremlin, attacking what he ominously describes as “anti-Russian” behaviour, including homosexual propaganda, the all-female pop group “Pussy Riot” and even more bizarrely the works of Lenin.

Restoring the Mosaics of San Vitale

By Livia Alberti in Arts and Culture,

The VI century Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna is a unique example of Byzantine art and culture. In recent times an important conservation project has restored the basilica’s mosaic wall decorations to their full glory. Livia Alberti was one of the leaders of the restoration team.

Tree of the Wooden Clogs

By Robert Arnold in Arts and Culture,

Robert Arnold looks back at Italian director Ermanno Olmi’s masterpiece “The Tree of Wooden Clogs” (L’Albero degli Zoccoli), winner of 14 awards including the Palme d’Or for Best film at Cannes in 1978 and the César Award in the same year for Best Foreign Film.

Travels Through Rural China

By Olga Iazzarelli in Travel Writing,

Returning to China after several years absence, Olga Jazzarelli describes the dramatic changes in China’s social, cultural and physical landscapes as she tours the Shanxi and Sichuan provinces.

Mud Brick Architecture of Yemen

By Howard Meadowcroft in Arts and Culture, September 2, 2018

Yemen has a unique architectural heritage.
The master builders and craftsmen have learnt how to build to suit geography, location, the climate and available materials.

The Reactionary Mind

By Corey Robin in Politics,

Corey Robin’s new book “The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Sarah Palin” traces the history of conservatism from a “counter-revolutionary” force during the French Revolution up until the current disarray in the American Republican party.

Flash Fiction

By Mitra Hooshiar in Arts and Culture,

With the advent of internet, short fiction has come into its own – encapsulating as it does two essential prerequisites for Web success: brevity and entertainment. TGD publishes six of Iranian-born Mitra Hooshiar’s micro-stories. The art form itself is nothing new: Aesop’s Fables for example date from the time of Ancient Greece – perhaps even earlier.