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Kind of Blue for Fifty Years

From First Thoughts

Today marks the fiftieth anniversary of Miles Davis’s Kind of Blue , the biggest-selling jazz album of all time. As the NPR jazz profile noted on the fortieth anniversary : To the musicians who recorded it, Kind of Blue was just another session when it was released in August, 1959. But the . . . . Continue Reading »

William Wordsworth, Neocon

From First Thoughts

Andrew Klavan examines the intriguing political evolution of one of England’s greatest Romantic poets: It seems to me that the last several decades in America have been a weird echo of the decades in Europe around the coming of the nineteenth century—and that no figure can serve as a . . . . Continue Reading »

Graham Greene’s Case Against Innocence

From First Thoughts

In the latest issue of the journal World Affairs , Andrew J. Bacevich offers an appreciation of Graham Greene and his novel, The Quiet American: In the twentieth-century English-speaking world, Greene ranks alongside Flannery O’Connor, Walker Percy, and Evelyn Waugh among the small number of . . . . Continue Reading »

Dissing Marian Devotion

From First Thoughts

Heather MacDonald is an inimitable conservative journalist. Her work on such issues as policing and immigration is sharp, insightful, and often indispensable. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for her views on religion. At Secular Right she recently wrote about seeing an announcement from a . . . . Continue Reading »

A Defense of Musical Diversity

From First Thoughts

Although Kevin DeYoung is not, as he admits, “enamored with the (overused) word ‘diversity’”, he argues in an intriguing post that it should be applied to the songs that we sing in church : [T]he quest for musical diversity should not remove the particularity of a church’s . . . . Continue Reading »

Modernity is a Children’s Paradise?

From First Thoughts

Economist Bryan Caplan provides a sort of counter-argument to my previous post. Contrary to our pseudo-nostalgia for the good ol’ days, children are physically better off now than they were in the 1950s : In chapter 4 of my next book, I compare this “television reality” to actual . . . . Continue Reading »

Capitalism Doesn’t Sell

From First Thoughts

The Chamber of Commerce has discovered that the average citizen isn’t too keen on the term capitalism : “‘Capitalism’ was universally problematic,” says Chamber spokeswoman Tita Freeman. Adds Rich Thau, president of New York-based Presentation Testing, which ran the focus . . . . Continue Reading »

Advocating a Not-So-Civil Religion

From First Thoughts

At the excellent Front Porch Republic blog Darryl Hart follows up on a discussion “that tried to discern the differences between folks that write over at First Things’ blogs and those who do so at FPR.” . . . [T]he thought dawned on me that one of the significant differences between . . . . Continue Reading »