Mark Bauerlein is Senior Editor at First Things and Professor of English at Emory University, where he has taught since earning his PhD in English at UCLA in 1989. For two years (2003-05) he served as Director of the Office of Research and Analysis at the National Endowment for the Arts. His books include Literary Criticism: An Autopsy (1997), The Pragmatic Mind: Explorations in the Psychology of Belief (1997), and The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future (2008). His essays have appeared in PMLA, Partisan Review, Wilson Quarterly, Commentary, and New Criterion, and his commentaries and reviews in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Weekly Standard, The Guardian, Chronicle of Higher Education, and other national periodicals.

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Why Do They Like Trump?

From First Thoughts

Yesterday, someone told me about a relative who lives in Middle America, struggles with a working-class job, is a religious conservative, and can't stand the sight or sound of Hillary Clinton. “I don't get it,” she said. “This guy needs help with just the kinds of programs Hillary supports, . . . . Continue Reading »

Children as Political

From First Thoughts

Here is a new ad put out by the Clinton campaign. You must see the video to believe it. The presentation comes in the guise of innocence and earnestness, but it has a powerful political meaning, one applying not only to the current campaign, but to the essence of human nature.A sweet voice begins, . . . . Continue Reading »

Why Trumpkins Ignore Their Betters

From First Thoughts

Last week in the Wall Street Journal, Bret Stephens had a column entitled “The Trumpkins’ Lament.” Here is the opening of the commentary: In the 1980s, Eddie Murphy had a hilarious skit in which he explained how it was that Jesse Jackson, then running for president, had a plausible shot at . . . . Continue Reading »

What Should College Students Read?

From First Thoughts

Last summer, if you were going to enroll in college at Washington State University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, UNC-Chapel, Michigan State, and a dozen other schools, you had an assignment to complete. You had to read Just Mercy, attorney Bryan Stevenson’s tale of a life devoted to social . . . . Continue Reading »

Nikki Haley's Mistake

From First Thoughts

Today, we live in a time of threats like few others in recent memory. During anxious times, it can be tempting to follow the siren call of the angriest voices. We must resist that temptation.”Those are the controversial sentences in Governor Nikki Haley’s response to the President’s State of . . . . Continue Reading »

Thank you for supporting First Things

From First Thoughts

Happy New Year!I am writing to thank you, our readers, for your generous contributions during the First Things campaign last month. Because of you, we were able to raise over $517,000! Your support makes it possible for First Things to continue to be a place where faith has a voice—a strong, . . . . Continue Reading »

Deliver Us From Innocence

From the January 2016 Print Edition

God preserve us from all innocence,” Querry tells Mother Agnes in Graham Greene’s 1960 novel A Burnt-Out Case. It’s a jarring assertion. Moral purity isn’t usually cast as dangerous, and people don’t ask God for protection from it. But Querry means it. He has another kind of innocence in . . . . Continue Reading »

Use the Buycott

From First Thoughts

As the Indiana RFRA episode last spring demonstrated all-too-well, corporate America is no longer non-partisan. When it comes to social issues, it has responded to pressure from social progressives and abandoned social and religious conservative positions.As Patrick Deneen argued in First . . . . Continue Reading »

Peggy Noonan's Worry

From First Thoughts

Peggy Noonan’s new book, The Time of Our Lives: Collected Writings, is a volume bound to draw readers who are interested American politics and media. She is one of the most devotedly-followed columnists in the country, and this collection contains 83 of her commentaries going back to 1981. . . . . Continue Reading »