All the East is Moving

For many years, German leaders had been struggling to cope with an influx of peoples across their borders. While the crisis was one that had afflicted much of Europe, it was Germany that bore the brunt. Year after year they had been coming, crossing from the steppes of the . . . . Continue Reading »

Soul of France

In the first pages of We Have Been Friends Together, Raïssa ­Maritain recounts one of her earliest memories. She is five, and her parents have rented a room in their house to a woman who holds classes for young children. She remembers watching this strange woman from afar with hushed reverence: “I heard the multiplication table being repeated . . . and I was overwhelmed with the feeling that here was instruction and knowledge and a truth to be known; and my heart almost burst with the desire to know.” . . . . Continue Reading »

Gaul Divided

The January 7, 2015 terrorist attacks provoked the largest demonstrations in France since the liberation of Paris. The impressive spectacle of many thousands calling themselves “Charlie” suggests that the French all accept the scatologists of Charlie Hebdo as national saints. On this view . . . . Continue Reading »

Richard John Neuhaus

The biography is out. Richard John ­Neuhaus: A Life in the Public Square was researched and written by Randy ­Boyagoda. It was a five-year project, including time spent in New York interviewing Neuhaus’s friends and colleagues, digging into his extensive correspondence and archival . . . . Continue Reading »

My Life With Charlie Hebdo

As a student at the Sorbonne in my early twenties, back in the mid 1990s, every Wednesday before hitting the subway I would buy Charlie Hebdo. I was young, I was studying French literature in the course of becoming a teacher, and Charlie Hebdo was a weekly break from the classics. I didn’t pay much attention to the politics, which were far left. My friends and I would discuss the drawings, our favorite part of the magazine: “This one is perfect!” “Right on!” “And this one! Poor [insert name of politician]! They really got him!” “But Charb exaggerates in this one—it’s just mean.” Continue Reading »