Book Review:Choosing the Right Path to Your Creative Summit
Creative Space

Faith and Fiber

"The American people may have "Iraq fatigue," but that doesn't mean they've stopped paying attention. A few days ago, the Gallup/USA Today poll reported that, over the past four weeks, belief that the extra troops in Iraq were "making the situation better" rose to 31% from 22%. The percentage who say the new troops don't matter dropped to 41% from 51%. Somehow people have found their way to reports that Gen. Petraeus's counterinsurgency strategy is toting up gains on the ground.

Here in the U.S., any such news a half-world away from the troops in Iraq will be processed immediately into the chopped meat of our politics. Example: If the Iraq commitment turns steadily positive, the Democratic leadership's domestic antiwar strategy may leave the party's candidates on thin ice as they slip and slide toward the primary season. This ensures that the war, the one in the U.S., will be fought with recrimination and accusation.

Imagine the surprise, then, when the most cathartic experience I've had recently in matters of war or peace was seeing a stage play about . . . war.

The play is "Beyond Glory," written and performed by Stephen Lang at the Roundabout Theater in New York. In barest outline, Mr. Lang, who originated the role of the accused Marine colonel in the Broadway production of "A Few Good Men," brings to life eight recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor from World War II, Korea and Vietnam. Without interruption for 80 minutes, Mr. Lang recreates eight different men, who relate the hellish events that earned them the Medal of Honor. As described recently by Journal theater critic Terry Teachout, this is "acting of the highest imaginable quality, a performance that will sear its way into your mind and linger there forever after." An understatement..."

- An excerpt from BY DANIEL HENNINGER
Thursday, August 9, 2007

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