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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.

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A Student's Memoir

From the May 2015 Print Edition

For nearly five decades, ­Morris Dickstein has been a recognized figure in the New York intellectual scene and the academic humanities. This well-known cultural historian and critic has now written a memoir of his life leading up to that ­professional maturation, covering his childhood and early . . . . Continue Reading »

Questions for the Atlanta Archdiocese

From First Thoughts

The latest issue of the Georgia Bulletin, newspaper of the Atlanta Archdiocese, announces a new pastoral plan aimed at expanding and unifying the congregation. The plan is the result of a survey that drew nearly 15,000 responses, followed by delegate sessions in ten deaneries and a Convocation of Priests. Initially, four hundred recommendations came in, which have now been refined to fourteen key issues. Continue Reading »

The Church of the Left

From First Thoughts

Yuval Levin has an interesting commentary at the blog of National Review. It’s entitled “The Church of the Left,” and it argues for an important shift in the understanding of where religious objectors stand today after the Indiana affair.The shift goes back to the Bill of Rights. . . . . Continue Reading »

It's Getting Harder to Listen

From First Thoughts

One of the first modes of critical thinking is knowing what others think and say. If we’re to be conscientious citizens in a free republic, we must follow the other side’s arguments and evidence, admitting those points that identify weaknesses in our own position. Continue Reading »

The Catholic Writer in America

From First Thoughts

Dana Gioia may be best known to our audience for his essay in First Things last year entitled “The Catholic Writer Today.” The essay began with a dismaying regret that while 50 years ago one could scan the American literary scene and find Catholicism and Catholic writers playing a . . . . Continue Reading »

Read the Law

From First Thoughts

There is an op-ed in the Washington Post this morning by Apple CEO Tim Cook. It bears the heated title “Pro-discrimination ‘religious freedom’ laws are dangerous.” It’s a solemn warning of looming bias in America, the result of the spread of “religious liberty” legislation that will allow people to deny access and services to people on the spurious grounds of religious belief. Continue Reading »

Peter Thiel's Non-Conformity

From First Thoughts

“If I could go back and give advice to my younger self, it might be this: Competition is for losers.”That’s the epigraph to an essay by Peter Thiel in the Spring issue of the Intercollegiate Review. It’s entitled “The Competition Myth,” and it lays out Thiel’s thesis in his book Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future. Thiel is an entrepreneur and a capitalist, but his wisdom derives not so much from Adam Smith as from Ralph Waldo Emerson. Continue Reading »