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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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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 »

Wyoming Catholic and the Federal Burden

From First Thoughts

Wyoming Catholic College has decided to opt out of Title IV—specifically, federal student aid and loan programs. (See the press release here).President Kevin Roberts’ video explanation is a simple and eloquent expression of the bind religious colleges face in today’s regulatory climate. . . . . Continue Reading »

The Global Family

From the March 2015 Print Edition

Josephine Baker and the Rainbow Tribe? by matthew pratt guterl ?harvard, 288 pages, $28.95 It is easy to see why Josephine Baker beckons to the postmodern mind. The famous entertainer of the Jazz Age seems tailor-made for theorists of racial and sexual identity. She was a known historical . . . . Continue Reading »