R.R. Reno is editor of First Things.

RSS Feed

Hitler Goes Motown

From First Thoughts

Am I the only one who finds this youtube video kinda creepy? Yes, Charlie Chaplin lampooned Hitler decades ago in The Great Dictator (1940). But the critical edge was plain to see. This video, which has Der Fuehrer singing the theme song to The Jeffersons , is more in the spirit of Mel Brooks, who . . . . Continue Reading »

The Gospel Of Scientific Materialism

From Web Exclusives

The scientific popularizers”Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Steven Pinker, and others”don’t go in for nuance, as David Hart has pointed out again and again in our pages. They cheerfully champion the most reductive sort of materialism, including the idea that free will does not exist … Continue Reading »

Reno on Henry James, Part II

From First Thoughts

The folks at Azure have generously unlocked my article on Henry James , which I wrote about earlier in the week , recommending it to readers who are interested in thinking about literature from a conservative perspective. If you like the essay, please consider subscribing to Azure . The quarterly . . . . Continue Reading »

Virtue and Intelligence

From First Thoughts

A friend recently expresses chastened sentiment. “Great books and good philosophy,” he sighed, “don’t really help us become virtuous, do they?’ Well, mostly no, they don’t. In my youth I hitch-hiked across America many times, worked all sorts of jobs, and spent a great . . . . Continue Reading »

The French Burqa Ban

From First Thoughts

The machinery of French legislative authority is going into motion to pass a law that will ban the full veil in public , with a vote scheduled for July 13. Put forward by President Sarkozy, the ban was originally opposed by the Socialist Party. But the Socialists, who represent the main opposition . . . . Continue Reading »

UVA Does the Right Thing

From First Thoughts

It took some hard work and arm twisting, but Wes Siler, the former head of the Burke Society at the University of Virginia, managed to secure approval for a course on conservatism . As I wrote some months ago in “ The Civic Failure of Higher Education ,” the ideological homogeneity of . . . . Continue Reading »

Reno on Henry James

From First Thoughts

First Things readers ought to know about Azure , a smart, English language quarterly published in Israel. David Novak is a regular in its pages, along with Meir Soloveitchik and other fine writers. The journal has a First Thingsy feel, and I recommend a subscription. In any event, I mention Azure . . . . Continue Reading »

Our Father Abraham

From Web Exclusives

Can Jews, Christians, and Muslims get along? At first glance, the notion that we are all “Abrahamic religions” seems useful, and many people concerned for peace between religions have invoked it, hoping to encourage cooperation and mutual affirmation. Modern Jews look to Abraham as their forebearer. Christians look to him as “ the father of us all” (Rom 4:16). Islam places him among the line of prophets that begins with Adam… . Continue Reading »