Mark Bauerlein is Senior Editor at First Things and Professor of English at Emory University, where he has taught since earning his PhD in English at UCLA in 1989. For two years (2003-05) he served as Director of the Office of Research and Analysis at the National Endowment for the Arts. His books include Literary Criticism: An Autopsy (1997), The Pragmatic Mind: Explorations in the Psychology of Belief (1997), and The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future (2008). His essays have appeared in PMLA, Partisan Review, Wilson Quarterly, Commentary, and New Criterion, and his commentaries and reviews in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Weekly Standard, The Guardian, Chronicle of Higher Education, and other national periodicals.
In the debate over the plusses and minuses of social media, it is common to hear a point that changes the terms completely. I’ve witnessed it in forums dozens of times: “We have to remember that these are just tools. It all depends on how you use them.” Continue Reading »
One of the memorable media events of the 2000s took place when Jon Stewart appeared as a guest on Crossfire in October 2004 and scolded Paul Begala and Tucker Carlson for staging mock debates and phony polarities: “It’s hurting America,” he moaned, as the hosts fumbled for a response. Continue Reading »
Last December, on Christmas Day, the Wall Street Journal printed a commentary by Eric Metaxas entitled “Science Increasingly Makes the Case for God”. It detailed a startling recent history. Continue Reading »
President Obama’s words at the National Prayer Breakfast have become yet another controversy in the long list of his remarks that have provoked attacks and defenses. The first thing to notice before his provocative “high horse” warning is the characterization of the killings . . . . Continue Reading »
A First Things podcast featuring two signers of the Marriage Statement.
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Gwynne’s Grammar: The Ultimate Introduction to Grammar and the Writing of Good English? by n. m. gwynne ?knopf, 288 pages, $19.95 One of the first axioms of the field of linguistics is that the rules of usage in any language at any time are wholly conventional. Proper grammar and style have no . . . . Continue Reading »
Two weeks ago, I reported on a poll by Scholastic demonstrating the importance of parents reading aloud to their children well past the age that children can read on their own. There is another aspect to the poll worth mentioning, and it’s backed up by what adolescents say about reading. Continue Reading »
Two days ago, the annual West Coast March for Life took place in downtown San Francisco, with more than 30,000 people waving “I AM the PRO-LIFE GENERATION” signs as they filed into Civic Center Plaza. A local news story covered the event, which was peaceful and solemn, in part because “the Walk for Life organizers publicized a code of conduct for participants, advising them to never speak to, look at, stare at, threaten or get close to protesters.” Continue Reading »
Right now, a three-day conference is under way at Trinity Church in New York City. It’s the 44th National Theological Conference, hosted by the Trinity Institute. This year’s version is entitled “Creating Common Good,” and the theme is inequality. Continue Reading »