Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!


I very much enjoyed Armin Rosen’s essay about the Soviet filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky (“Tarkovksy’s Sublime Terror,” October 2023), but I’m afraid he has made an error of fact about Tarkovsky’s film Nostalghia. Rosen says the protagonist, Andrei Gorchakov, “swallows poison and then . . . . Continue Reading »

The Church’s Oligarch

Marie de Vignerot, the Duchess of Aiguillon, outmaneuvered popes and overawed princes; she counseled kings and steered the state; she managed and invested a colossal fortune, with which she raised hospitals, freed slaves, and flung missions to the far corners of the earth; she negotiated treaties, . . . . Continue Reading »

Zero Gravity History

Simon Sebag Montefiore’s The World: A Family History of Humanity presents three burdens. The first: At 1,300 pages, the book in hardcover weighs several pounds. The second: its cachet. I read books in public all the time and no one ever notices. But in an airport business lounge (I had a . . . . Continue Reading »

The Pleasure of Walking

I don’t walk as much (or as quickly) as I have for most of my life. Still, Wendy and I take a walk every day, weather and other circumstances permitting. I treasure these times. But I also like to read about walking. Continue Reading »

1619 Rightly Understood

One of the most important things to be said about the New York Times’ loud but intellectually threadbare effort to recast the year 1619 as the date of the American nation’s “true founding” is that it was a missed opportunity. The year 2019, which was the four hundredth anniversary of . . . . Continue Reading »

Fukuyama v. Fukuyama

To the general public, Francis Fukuyama’s name is synonymous with the “end of history” thesis, which contends that since the end of the Cold War and the fall of communism, liberal democracy is the only ideology that has a universal appeal. His detractors often accuse him of triumphalism, but . . . . Continue Reading »

Filter Tag Articles