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Persuasion Anxiety

Our country, being democratic, sends its cultural elites through cycles of high anxiety that the people will be duped into making some spectacularly bad decisions. This anxiety has led to an obsession with the methods of public persuasion.

Anger and Citizenship

The Iowa caucuses are in the rear-view mirror, the New Hampshire primary looms on the horizon, and by most media accounts, the leitmotif of Campaign 2016 is “anger.” As in: a lot-of-Americans-are-angry-and-that-explains-the attraction-of-certain-candidates, whether that be the . . . . Continue Reading »

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 »

The Big Economic Lie

There they go again. The presidential election of 1992 is bringing out among politicians and the media the Big Economic Lie. Virtually all editors today allow their reporters to broadcast this lie uncritically: “During the 1980s under Reaganomics the poor and the middle class lost income.” Any . . . . Continue Reading »

The Earnest Methodist

Bishop G. Bromley Oxnam: Paladin of Liberal Protestantismby Robert Moats MillerAbingdon Press, 624 pages, $29.95 Garfield Bromley Oxnam (1891-1963) was a bishop of the Methodist Church, and a cover subject of Time, though it’s hard to imagine the two going together today. Billy Graham can . . . . Continue Reading »

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