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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 »

Defining the Humanities Up

From the January 2001 Print Edition

Reading a new edition of Allen Tate’s collected essays (Essays of Four Decades, ISI Books, 640 pp., $29.95) is at once a stimulating and dispiriting experience. In encountering (or re-encountering) the mind behind this rich and varied collection, one catches a pleasing glimpse of the days when . . . . Continue Reading »

My History and America's

From the April 2000 Print Edition

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), in partnership with the White House Millennium Council, announced in 1999 a “millennium project” entitled “My History Is America’s History.” The project’s literature enjoins us to “follow your family’s story and you will discover . . . . Continue Reading »

Hazards of New Fortune

From the December 1998 Print Edition

We’d done business over the phone for years, but I hadn’t actually seen her for at least a decade, and I was greatly looking forward to it. A businesswoman of immense energy, competence, and focus, she had worked punishingly hard for many years, and was now reaping the rewards. The promotion . . . . Continue Reading »

Mr. Emerson's Tombstone

From the May 1998 Print Edition

Few small American towns exude a more winning charm than Concord, Massachusetts. Much of its charm flows from the respectful but unpretentious way it has preserved its past—an uncommon achievement in today’s America. On the northern edge of town stands an evocative reminder of revolutionary . . . . Continue Reading »