Revisionist History podcast with Malcolm Gladwell | E5/S3: General Chapman's Last Stand
General Chapman's Last Stand with Malcolm Gladwell
Episode 5| Season 3| Revisionist History
Length: 37 mins | Released: June 14, 2018
Robert Frost: Something there is that doesn't love a wall, that sends the frozen-ground-swell under it.
Malcolm Gladwell: Robert Frost, one of the greatest American poets reading Mending Wall.
Robert Frost: I let my neighbor know beyond the hill and on a day we meet to walk the line and set the wall between us.
Malcolm Gladwell: They walked together down the border of their properties, between his apple orchard and his neighbor's pine trees. Every spring, they have to mend the wall, hauling stones to fill the gaps. The narrator asks his neighbor, "Do they really need a wall to keep pine and apple trees apart?"
Robert Frost: He only says, "Good Fences Make Good Neighbors." Spring is the mischief in me and I wonder if I could put a notion in his head: why do they make good neighbors? Isn't that where there are cows? But here there are no cows. Before I build a wall, I'd ask to know what I was walling in or walling out and to whom I was like to give offense.
Malcolm Gladwell: My name is Malcolm Gladwell. You're listening to Revisionist History, my podcast about things overlooked a misunderstood. This episode is about the most famous line from Mending Wall, good fences make good neighbors. Written in 1914 as if it were yesterday.
Malcolm Gladwell: The historic home of the US Marine Corps is the barracks in Washington DC, 8th and I Streets, near Capitol Hill. From May until the end of August, every Friday night, the public is invited for evening parade.
Male speaker: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the oldest post of the Corps, Marine Barracks, Washington DC. Celebrating over 60 years of performing evening parades.
Malcolm Gladwell: It starts at 8:45 precisely, on the immaculate lawn in front of the Commandant's house. The ritual of honoring the flag, the famous silent drill, the drum and bugle Corps. Marines in the traditional white with dark blue tunics. One hour and 15 minutes of precision marching.
Evening parade was the creation of General Leonard Fielding Chapman Jr. when he assumed the command of the Marine barracks in 1957. Chapman believed Marine parades had become anglicized, too many theatrical flourishes, trick drills, frivolities like the Queen Ann salute, the small hats the British favor, the heavy double soled shoes with cleats. "My policy was that we will be regulation," Chapman once said. "We will be US Marine Corps regulation. We will do everything in accordance with the Marine Corps regulations and we'll do it perfectly."
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