I’m writing a review of a book on memorials in Washington, D.C. We seem to have developed an insatiable appetite for commemoration; there are more memorials than ever and they’re bigger than they used to be. The increase in size—the projected Eisenhower memorial will cover four acres—is the result of memorial builders’ desire to create all-enveloping places that don’t merely commemorate but also teach. As a result, most new memorials sink under their cargo of quotations, images, dates, names, symbols, walls, fountains, pools, and landscaping.