From Christopher Dickey, the author of "Our Man in Charleston: Britain's Secret Agent in the Civil War South" and "Securing the City," this site provides updates and footnotes on history, espionage, terrorism, fanaticism, policing and counterinsurgency linked to Dickey's columns for The Daily Beast and his other writings; also, occasional dialogues, diatribes, and contributions from friends.
The first thing I ever wrote for The Washington Post was a little chapter about statues in a 1975 guidebook to D.C. that is now long out of print, and subsequent editions dropped my contributions. But given the current debate about monuments and protests in Lafayette Park, these pages may be of interest, or even amusement.
Beginning in November 2018 and well into 2019, virtually every weekend protests taking place in the name of the gilets jaunes were staged around the country and, especially in Paris, turned into violent confrontations with the police by groups that identified themselves as anarchists and, yes, "Antifa." The graffiti slogans they left behind make that clear.
On December 1, 2018, presumed members of this group broke into the Arc de Triomphe and destroyed or defaced important artifacts. Others burned banks and cafés and cars. I posted several photographs of the rioting and the police response immediately after the initial violence. Those can be found here. These I selected mainly for the graffiti, which speaks for itself.
CLASS against Class .... GILETS JAUNES=ANTIFA - Graffiti on Arc de Triomphe from Dec. 1, 2018
----UTION, What else? - in English on fallen sign. French and Palestinian flag in background. March 2019
Trashed and looted boutique, March 2019
French pun: No quarter (Cartier) for the bourgeois
Child looking at paving stone projectile at closed entrance to the Arc. Circled A is for Anarchist.
MAKE IT BURN and SWEPT AWAY BY A REVOLUTIONARY WAVE on torched Belle Époque mansion at the Étoile. December 2018
Liberty defaced. Inside the Arc during repairs after Black Bloc vandalism.
VICTORY THROUGH CHAOS
The Black Blocs trashed Fouquet's, and the gilets jaunes amused themselves.
Torched news stand, March 2019
Borrowing a line from the U.S.
Dec. 1, 2018: "THE YELLOW VESTS WILL TRIUMPH" written on Arch of Triumph.
December 2019. "WE'LL BE BACK" with Anarchist symbol. And they certainly were.
From Peter Beard to Cold war spies, the French resistance, and Sir Richard Francis Burton—some of my "long reads" of recent years.
Lockdown Weekend Reading: Forays Into Friendships and History
Over the last few years I have written quite a few rather personal pieces, some of them exploring friendships, some of them bits of history that interested me, some of them both. I am thinking of reading some of them aloud as a sort of informal podcast. If you have a preference, let me know.
They are posted here by publication date in reverse chronological order dating back to 2016, which means the subjects appear random, but one might discern certain threads that run through them.