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Nothing But Muck

Scandal: The Culture of Mistrust in American Politicsby Suzanne GarmentRandom House, 335 pages, $23 At the end of Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, the narrator Nick Carraway sums up the inner lives of the rich and self-absorbed Tom and Daisy Buchanan and their indifference to the pain and . . . . Continue Reading »

Declinism—and Fall?

Why America Doesn’t Workby Chuck Colson and Jack EckerdWord Publishing, 227 pages, $16.99 In Why America Doesn’t Work, Charles Colson and Jack Eckerd retell the Jay Leno joke about a character dressed up as Uncle Sam who can’t linger for an interview because he’s on his way to open . . . . Continue Reading »

A Communitarian Lament

The Good Societyby Robert N. Bellah, Richard Madsen,William M. Sullivan, Ann Swidler, and Stephen M. TiptonKnopf, 333 pages, $25 The Good Society is a sequel to these authors’ celebrated book, Habits of the Heart. Habits was a cultural event—an “academic” book that became . . . . Continue Reading »

Not the Worst of Times—Or the Best

The First Universal Nation: Leading Indicators and Ideas About the Surge of America in the 1990sBy Ben J. WattenbergThe Free Press, 418 pages, $22.95 Ben Wattenberg is America’s most prominent optimist. He is notoriously reassuring about the condition of what has in his mind become “the first . . . . Continue Reading »

Pop Goes the Culture

We made a mistake in a recent public symposium by saying, in response to a question, that we had not listened to enough rock music to have an intelligent opinion about it. A journalist reporting on the meeting cited this as evidence certain that this writer is entirely out of touch with the culture . . . . Continue Reading »

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