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.
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 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 »
It is only 2 p.m. on a mild afternoon in February, but the hallways are quiet and dim. Dozens of students stroll and chatter and text on the quad outside, but here in the Humanities Building at UCLA, the air is still. It’s a pleasing brick structure in the Romanesque Revival style, four stories . . . . Continue Reading »
It has been more than a half-century since James Coleman and his team surveyed students in ten high schools to determine their values and interests and attitudes toward learning. The conclusion was that a new social formation was upon us: the adolescent society. That was the title of the book . . . . Continue Reading »
I like First Things because it’s smart.” That’s what one journalist wrote to me awhile back. Before that, another one told me of a group of journalists and editors who pay close attention to . . . . Continue Reading »
In light of our upcoming poetry event on October 25, here's an introduction to Christian Wiman's verse.