David Mills is former executive editor of First Things.

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Dan Brown Can’t Write

From First Thoughts

An easy target but it may amuse some of you: Don’t Make Fun of Renowned Author Dan Brown . The critics (this is Brown thinking) said his writing was clumsy, ungrammatical, repetitive and repetitive. They said it was full of unnecessary tautology. They said his prose was swamped in a sea of . . . . Continue Reading »

While We’re At It - Pt. XI

From the May 2013 Print Edition

• We all gathered in the editor’s office when the white smoke appeared, setting his computer to the NBC website, otherwise known as the network on which George Weigel appears. As we waited, and it seemed to take forever, one junior fellow stood, the other perched on the end of the couch close . . . . Continue Reading »

George Joins Weigel and the Others

From First Thoughts

Added as a speaker to Portsmouth Abbey’s conference on Catholicism and the American Experience , being held June 7th to 9th, is Robert P. George, who will be speaking on “Religious Liberty and the Human Good.” Other speakers are George Weigel, who’ll be talking on . . . . Continue Reading »

Central Virginia ROFTERS

From First Thoughts

Those living in or near Charlottesville, Virginia, and are interested in helping start a ROFTERS (Readers Of First Things ) group should write Edward Maillet at   edmaillet@centurylink.net . He is interested, energetic, and eager to get started. Those of you interested in finding similar . . . . Continue Reading »

The Complicated Margaret Thatcher

From First Thoughts

“If only the Church of England had paid Mrs Thatcher the courtesy of taking her Christianity seriously when she was in power,” writes the Telegraph ’s Damian Thompson about her years as prime minister . She was, he argues, a serious and thoughtful Christian, but the . . . . Continue Reading »

Doyle’s Flinty Women

From First Thoughts

Much recommended is Brian Doyle’s All the Flinty Women , published in the  Notre Dame magazine. It’s in the same mode but more sober than his The Brilliantine Coattails of Lust , which we published in the March issue. Though this was amusing: My father said my grandmother would . . . . Continue Reading »

Republican Failures

From First Thoughts

Unlike baseball managers, writes Robert Patterson in the  Washington Examiner , Republican leaders — “the same old roster of political consultants, think-tank policy wonks and losing-candidate types” — don’t get fired for failure. One reason they’ve . . . . Continue Reading »

RJN on Cardinal Bergoglio

From First Thoughts

Richard John Neuhaus writing in the magazine after the funeral for Pope John Paul II, reporting “the state of the chatter”: Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires is high on every list. Known as an incisive thinker and intensely holy man living an austere life, it is held against him . . . . Continue Reading »