The Resurrection of American Philanthropy

From Web Exclusives

Among the many government shutdown stories that came over the wire in recent weeks was one about billionaire Houston philanthropists Laura and John Arnold, whose foundation gave $10 million to the National Head Start Association to keep the program for low-income children running after the shutdown forced it to close in six states… . Continue Reading »

Obamacare as Civil Right

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In his speech last week marking the fiftieth anniversary of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s March on Washington, President Obama tried to equate the civil rights revolution with the health care revolution he has undertaken through the Affordable Care Act… . Continue Reading »

Democracy and the Future of Islam

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Tariq Ramadan emerged after September 11 as an apologist for a liberal, peaceful interpretation of Islam, earning him plaudits from the Western media, including the title of the “Muslim Martin Luther” in a 2004 Washington Post op-ed. In his new book, Islam and the Arab Awakening, he is at pains to stay on script. More than anything, he means to show that the Arab Spring is not a catalyst for the rise of Islamist regimes, but instead could be the initial step in throwing off the yoke of European colonialism and American imperialism … Continue Reading »

Another Federal Court Finds Fault With Contraception Mandate

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A federal appellate court in Chicago issued a temporary injunction two weeks ago barring the enforcement of ObamaCare’s contraception mandate against Grote Industries, a Catholic-owned company in Indiana that makes vehicle safety systems. In its 2-1 ruling, the Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals noted the company’s case was especially compelling because Grote is self-insured and there is no third-party insurance company involved. … Continue Reading »

Has American Fiction Lost Sight of God?

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In an article in the New York Times Book Review last month, Paul Elie ponders why Christian belief figures, “as something between a dead language and a hangover,” in current fiction. He observes that the literary heirs of Flannery O’Connor and Walker Percy are strangely absent from the present class of MFA-credentialed young novelists now in vogue. And while Elie is right that it is a strange development, he misdiagnoses the reasons why… . Continue Reading »

A Review of Christopher Hitchens’ Mortality

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A few days before he fell ill, Christopher Hitchens said in an interview, “One should try to write as if posthumously. Because then you’re free of all the inhibition that can cluster around even the most independent-minded writer.” At the time, he was on a book tour in New York promoting his new memoir, Hitch-22. One morning he woke up in his hotel room, “feeling as if I were actually shackled to my own corpse. The whole cave of my chest and thorax seemed to have been hollowed out and then refilled with slow-drying cement.” … Continue Reading »

A Review of The Good of the Novel

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Declaring the novel dead has been a kind of parlor game in the literary world for a century. Every now and then a prominent critic will proclaim anew that fiction as we know it is finished and offer a vision of what’s to come. A few years ago Lee Siegel did the honors with a New York Observer op-ed that argued contemporary fiction is culturally irrelevant, hermetic, and crassly commercial… . Continue Reading »