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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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Politicians and the Common Folk

From First Thoughts

My friend Tom visits Martha's Vineyard every summer, where his family has owned a cottage for decades. Things have changed since his childhood, as was clear last week when President Obama and candidate Hillary Clinton joined other guests at the Farm Neck Country Club for the 80th birthday of . . . . Continue Reading »

The Amazon Smear

From First Thoughts

Ryan Anderson’s new book Truth Overruled: The Future of Marriage and Religious Freedom now has 157 comments at the Amazon page. The average rating in the “Customer Reviews” section is 3.5 stars out of 5, a score that would cast it as a middling effort in ordinary circumstances. But . . . . Continue Reading »

The Moral of the Court

From First Thoughts

The final paragraph of Justice Kennedy's decision is being hailed as an eloquent and humane expression that identifies what was really at stake in the marriage case: not the Constitutionality of traditional marriage laws, but the dignity and happiness of a particular group. Here is the full . . . . Continue Reading »

The Republican Answer to the Question

From First Thoughts

In the next year and a half, the question is going to be asked again and again until the Republican candidates come up with a winning answer. If Jeb Bush is at one podium and Hillary Clinton at another, we may be sure that George Stephanopoulos will begin with it:  Governor Bush, do you think . . . . Continue Reading »

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 »