American democracy and rights

From Web Exclusives

Although I have tried mightily, I cannot find much merit in the idea that there is a "party of death" at work in American politics. It seems to me that this formulation states the problem wrongly. Indeed, our biotechnological enthusiasts are nothing if not partisans of life, infinitely . . . . Continue Reading »

The Founding of Nations

From the March 2006 Print Edition

Did the United States really have a beginning that can be called its “Founding”? Can any society, for that matter, be said to have a founding moment in its past that ought to be regarded as a source of guidance and support? Much of the intellectual culture of our time stands resolutely . . . . Continue Reading »

WM: 2.21.06 I wanted to add…

From Web Exclusives

I wanted to add a word or two to Fr. Neuhaus’s posting last week about the conference on religion and liberalism held at Columbia University on February 10. I was there, and the account of it presented in the New York Sun didn’t sound much like the event I attended. The papers were far . . . . Continue Reading »

WM 2.2.06 The New York Times had

From Web Exclusives

The New York Times had a pleasing article on Tuesday, providing a small glimpse into the life of a genuinely modest author whose name you know (though it’s possible you didn’t know she was a Southern lady, or anything else about her, including the fact that she is still alive and . . . . Continue Reading »

WM: 1.04.06 The Chronicle of…

From Web Exclusives

The Chronicle of Higher Education, being the trade journal of higher education, is one of those publications one reads, not because one wants to, but because one he has to. It is, in its own way, a faithful register of all that is trendy and profitable in the field, and an influential arbiter of . . . . Continue Reading »

The Secret of the Self

From the December 2005 Print Edition

Consider the obituary column in your local newspaper—not the obituary of anyone famous but just an ordinary obituary of an ordinary person from an ordinary place. Consider it first as a surviving family member or friend, the one who has to gather the information for the obituary and select . . . . Continue Reading »

Seekers and Finders

From the December 2003 Print Edition

The Life You Save May Be Your Own: An American Pilgrimage. by Paul Elie Farrar, Straus & Giroux. 555 pp. $27. If the influence of religion has been largely elided or submerged in mainstream accounts of American intellectual history, then the role of Roman Catholicism in that history would have . . . . Continue Reading »

American Studies

From the April 2003 Print Edition

It is a rare thing for a work of intellectual history to win a Pulitzer Prize. This is partly because of the inherently knotty and abstract character of the subject matter. But it is also, alas, because the field seems to attract more than its share of the world’s most turgid writing. It is . . . . Continue Reading »