JB: 4.27.06 So, on the repeated…

So, on the repeated¯and repeated, and repeated¯recommendation of literary friends whose judgment I usually trust, I’ve spent the past few weeks reading comic books. Or, rather, graphic novels , though, I confess, even after I finish them, they still seem to be just comic books: Alan . . . . Continue Reading »

JB: 4.26.06 Darfur is finally…

Darfur is finally bubbling back up into the view of the American media. Yesterday, the UN issued its first sanctions over attacks in Sudan’s western region. Al Qaeda has named Darfur as a new battleground in its war against the West. The NATO meeting scheduled for Thursday has the . . . . Continue Reading »

JB: 6.25.06 There are pro-life…

There are pro-life arguments¯or perhaps that’s the wrong word. Talking points, maybe, or tropes or rhetorical gestures. Anyway, there are things one hears in pro-life presentations that I’ve never understood the force of. That many of the suffragettes and early feminists (and even . . . . Continue Reading »

JB: 6.24.06 A submission to…

A submission to F IRST T HINGS came across my desk recently. It was about the excesses of a women’s-studies department at a major American university, and I tried to read it. I really did. I mean, it’s my job to look carefully at all this stuff, but, somehow, I just couldn’t get . . . . Continue Reading »

RJN: 4.20.06 Roger Cardinal Mahony…

Roger Cardinal Mahony of Los Angeles has been both garnering praise and taking a drubbing for his somewhat melodramatic statements on immigration. A New York Times editorial lauded him for his boldness and his injection of a moral dimension in the political debate. Catholic bishops intervening in . . . . Continue Reading »

JB: 4.19.06 If you look over in the…

If you look over in the left-hand column of this web page, you’ll find a link for this¯a notice that the magazine is looking to hire a new managing editor to replace the estimable Erik Ross, who has decided to try new horizons in Poland. If you’ve ever dreamed of working at F IRST . . . . Continue Reading »

JB: 4.17.06 It’s common among Catholic…

It’s common among Catholic commentators to look back on the era from the late 1930s to the early 1960s and see a great time of conversions in America and England. There was something in the air that was drawing secularly important or promising people to the Church. The list is well known, and . . . . Continue Reading »

JB: 4.18.06 Muriel Spark is gone…

Muriel Spark is gone , dying on Thursday at age eighty-eight, the last representative of Great Britain’s high literary converts before Vatican II. There’s a revealing moment toward the end of her 1992 memoir of her early career, Curriculum Vitae . Times were hard for her in 1953. She . . . . Continue Reading »