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Thirty Years at First Things

This is our 300th number, marking thirty years of publication. In early 1989, Richard John Neuhaus had no inkling that he was about to found First Things. A Lutheran pastor noted for his incisive religious and political commentaries, he was busy running the Center on Religion and Society. The Center . . . . Continue Reading »

The Unreasonable Man

Speaking to his friend Frederick Lindemann in the 1920s, Winston Churchill remarked, “Far too much has been and is being written about me.” Among Churchill’s many chroniclers, even at that early date, was Churchill himself: a true history-writing history-maker, who wrote not only to make money . . . . Continue Reading »

Catholic Ironies

In The Irony of Modern Catholic History, George Weigel offers a comprehensive interpretation of the history of the Catholic Church’s encounter with modernity. For Weigel, the fixed point in this story is the goodness of the aspirations of “political modernity,” by which he generally means . . . . Continue Reading »

Nietzsche’s Pilate

In one of his most irreverent moments, in the wild little book The Anti-Christ, composed not long before he completely lost his mind, Nietzsche states that there is only one admirable figure in the entire New Testament, one character alone who deserves our respect: Pontius Pilate. It’s an . . . . Continue Reading »

Politics and the Sacred

Bret Stephens recently championed the “classically liberal concept of a neutral public square.” In this issue, Matthew Schmitz examines similar assertions by George Will. These accounts characterize any substantive basis for civic life as “illiberal,” even “theocratic.” They entail a . . . . Continue Reading »

Hating Netanyahu

Bibi:  The Turbulent Life and Times of Benjamin Netanyahu by anshel pfeffer basic, 432 pages, $32 After Israeli Premier Yitzhak Rabin was murdered by an ultra-­Zionist fanatic in November 1995, the veteran anti-Israel terrorist Yasser Arafat was among the mourners welcomed at Rabin’s home to . . . . Continue Reading »

Our Socialist Moment

The Socialist Manifesto:  The Case for Radical Politics in an Era of Extreme Inequality by bhaskar sunkara basic, 288 pages, $28 In the spring of 2019, even the staid old AFL-CIO began to dabble in guillotine imagery. The occasion was a dispute between Delta and the International Association of . . . . Continue Reading »

Word for Word

The Hebrew Bible:  A Translation with Commentary by robert alter norton, 3500 pages, $125 In 1582, Catholic scholars in exile at Rheims published an English version of the New Testament prefaced by a lengthy explanation and defence of their rendering, which, they said, accorded with the rule of . . . . Continue Reading »

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