Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

Recalled to Life

From the December 2019 Print Edition

Crippled by a stroke, my aunt Miriam spent the last seventeen years of her life in a succession of nursing homes. Once, she had been the skilled seamstress who for years took pride in sewing much of the female apparel in our family, and who sought out opportunities to cook and bake for all of us. . . . . Continue Reading »

Statesmen and Technocrats

From the October 2019 Print Edition

Proportional representation used to be blamed for the collapse of the Weimar Republic: Too much fragmentation crippled effective majority government. Israel adopted proportional representation in 1948, but in order to avoid what happened in Germany, the Israelis set a 1 percent threshold for a party . . . . Continue Reading »

Comfort and the Peanut

From the May 2019 Print Edition

Our founding fathers are rarely praised as fountains of mirth. As a child, I read and reread The Wit and Wisdom of Abraham Lincoln until the book disintegrated. Can you imagine such a volume for Washington or any of his confreres? Benjamin Franklin is the exception. He is remembered as the . . . . Continue Reading »