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Baby Talk

Roger Rosenblatt wants you to know that he has solved the abortion problem. Really. He’s written a whole book about it called Life Itself. Of course, the middle third of the book is just a summary of other people’s research on the history of abortion from the beginning of time, and . . . . Continue Reading »

Mystery and Desire

Ron Hanen’s Mariette in Ecstasy is a haunting, enigmatic novel that is almost impossible to categorize, and it represents a radical departure from Hansen’s previous work. His first two novels, Desperadoes and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert . . . . Continue Reading »

The Protestant Ethos

Iam a Catholic, but I married Protestant. My husband has steeped me in Protestant lore: Protestants get results. Protestants think ahead. Protestants save (Catholics spend). My Protestant in-laws had to endure our Catholic wedding, their faces rigid with polite distress as they took in the crucifix . . . . Continue Reading »

Hauerwas Examined

Stanley Hauerwas once told me that After Christendom? might be the systematic assembly of his thought for which friends and opponents have pressed him. In considerable part, the promise is fulfilled. The chapters of this book were drafted for a single set of lectures and work together in a . . . . Continue Reading »

Don’t Bet Democratic

By any reckoning, Tom and Geri Suma should be Democrats. Both come from Democratic families. Like many of his and his wife’s forebears, Tom started out on the line for Chrysler. Geri voted for Eugene McCarthy in the 1968 primaries. And they still keep a bust of JFK in the living . . . . Continue Reading »

Church-State Conundrums

In the field of church-state jurisprudence, as is well known, legal scholars are generally divided between “strict separationists” and “accommodationists.” The former place a “broad interpretation” on the First Amendment’s prohibition of establishment, insisting on an absolute . . . . Continue Reading »

New Age Mush

In 1975, Fritjof Capra, an Austrian émigré physicist and systems theorist, published The Tao of Physics, an effort to find parallels between scientific principles and the insights of Eastern spirituality. He later became a guru in his own right, specializing in ecology, in Berkeley, . . . . Continue Reading »

Character and Poverty

Gertrude Himmelfarb’s The Idea of Poverty: England in the Early Industrial Age, published in 1984, examined the debate on poverty in British thought from Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations of 1776 through the mid-nineteenth century. The book was remarkable for its scope. It followed . . . . Continue Reading »

The Blackboard Bungle

In her lively new study based upon fourteen schools of education across the country, Rita Kramer skewers two quite distinct forms of folly.   One form of folly is the attempt by a few of the faculty whose classes she observed to make the classes occasions for political indoctrination so . . . . Continue Reading »

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