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Editor's Message

A Self-Evident Truth

“For milk to become yogurt, it needs culture.”

—Willem de Kooning

In Germany, under Hitler’s regime, artistic expression was banished as a form of Bolshevism.  In Russia, under Stalin, it was denounced as “bourgeois cosmopolitanism”.  In mid-50s America, Abstract Expressionists met with aggressive censorship by members of the House Un-American Activities Committee. More recently, in October of 1999, Rudy Giuliani threatened to cut off city funding for the Brooklyn Museum because he deemed a painting in one of its shows to be “offensive.” And last month, Governor George Pataki issued highly publicized threats against the International Freedom Center and the Drawing Center for their display of “anti-American art.”

History has not been kind to those who attack the creative spirit. Nor should it be. Freedom of expression is our birthright as Americans. And so we dedicate this issue to all our comrades in this genuinely patriotic “war for freedom.” All of us here at the Rail wish you a great summer!


Phong Bui


The Brooklyn Rail

FEB 2007

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