In Search of Realism

Twenty years ago historian J.G.A. Pocock shook the academic establishment with a sweeping account of the development of republican political ideals, from Florence in the Renaissance to the American Founding. His work, The Machiavellian Moment , was perhaps the most ambitious of its kind to trace the . . . . Continue Reading »

Those Whitewashed Walls

Nicosia, Cyprus touts itself¯mournfully but with a dash of pride¯as the world’s “last divided capital.” The southern side, which is muscularly Orthodox when not pedantically secular, boasts dozens of lovingly tended churches and several active, impressive mosques. On a . . . . Continue Reading »

Babylon, Then and Now

I’m working away at a new book, tentatively titled American Babylon: Notes of a Christian Exile . It will be a greatly expanded version of the argument set out in an earlier article [ Our American Babylon , First Things , December 2005]. In the course of my research, I’ve been delving into . . . . Continue Reading »

Obama’s Faith Base

The other day, I visited with my father-in-law and watched the television news¯something I rarely do, but a good way of catching up with the conventional wisdom about current events. From the talking heads, I learned that Barack Obama is doing what every conventionally smart candidate does . . . . Continue Reading »

A Man of Hope

My father, Thomas Patrick Carroll, Sr., was always a man of hope. Thanks to his natural Irish optimism, Dad spent much of his career in motion, moving my mother, brother, and me to half-a-dozen states where better opportunities beckoned and God’s call seemed to lead.Seen through Dad’s . . . . Continue Reading »

The Red Planet

I’ve always thought there’s an easy way to sidetrack the redefining of human nature by biotechnology. All we have to do is revive the space program and promote the colonization of space. All we have to do, in other words, is offer a different temporal purpose and a more exciting goal.An . . . . Continue Reading »