Solving the Poor

From the October 2015 Print Edition

In a recent article in the “New York Review of Books” on the television and stage adaptations of Hilary Mantel’s historical novels “Wolf Hall” and “Bring up the Bodies,” the Irish critic Fintan O’Toole tries to explain the present popularity of a story about Henry VIII’s obscure . . . . Continue Reading »

On Libertines

From the October 2013 Print Edition

How Sex Became a Civil Liberty? by leigh ann wheeler? oxford, 352 pages, $34.95 The 2013 Oscar ceremony, says Ross Douthat, revealed “the movie business’s essential schizophrenia, which is also the schizophrenia of post-1960s cultural liberalism writ large.” On display were “the . . . . Continue Reading »

From the December First Things: “Just Kidding”

From Web Exclusives

This book, like my three children, frequently gave me a headache. Just as I was oblivious for much of my life to the problems posed by bearing and rearing children, so humankind was blissfully undisturbed for most of its history by the conundrums this book addresses. Why have children? Why have them now rather than later, or more rather than fewer, or a child one knows will be impaired? Why have them at all? … Continue Reading »

Just Kidding

From the December 2012 Print Edition

Why Have Children? The Ethical Debate by Christine Overall MIT, 272 pages, $27.95 This book, like my three children, frequently gave me a headache. Just as I was oblivious for much of my life to the problems posed by bearing and rearing children, so humankind was blissfully undisturbed for most of . . . . Continue Reading »