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Augustine of Hippo: A Biography

My worn and heavily marked copy of the original hardback edition of Peter Brown’s biography of St. Augustine, its binding held together by sturdy book tape, sits on a bookshelf close to my desk as it has since it first appeared in 1967. On the inside cover I have a little note, “Reviewed in . . . . Continue Reading »

The Cultural Revolution of Fascism

The Fascist Revolution: Toward a General Theory of Fascismby george l. mossehoward fertig. 230 pp. $35. Everything for the state, nothing outside the state, nothing above the state.” So Benito Mussolini trumpeted the ideal of fascism, the wild-eyed political movement that he rode to power in Italy . . . . Continue Reading »

Between Father and Daughter

Galileo's Daughter: A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith, and Loveby dava sobelwalker and company, 432 pages, $27 The first two terms of Dava Sobel’s subtitle—science and faith—inevitably suggest conflicts to us moderns. Yet, for the preeminent scientists of the seventeenth . . . . Continue Reading »

To NATO from Plato

Justice Among Nations: On the Moral Basis of Power and Peaceby thomas l. pangle and peter j. ahrensdorfuniversity press of kansas, 362 pages, $45 Makers of American foreign policy today are experiencing a philosophical dearth, a want of broad principles of governmental conduct in world affairs. This . . . . Continue Reading »

The Great Terror

The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repressionby stéphane courtois, nicolas werth, jean-louis panné, andrzej paczkowski, karel bartosek, and jean-louis margolinharvard university press, 856 pages, $37.50 Publication of The Black Book of Communism in November 1997 in France stirred up a . . . . Continue Reading »

The Church and the City

Since the official validation of Christianity in the fourth century, ecclesiastical leaders have built places of worship in central and highly visible locations. They were not motivated just by grandeur and power. In addition, they sensed that, to be authentic, Christian presence in the world must . . . . Continue Reading »

Capitalism and the Suicide of Culture

Not long before he died, the political philosopher Isaiah Berlin somberly summed up his, and our, age: “I have lived through most of the twentieth century without, I must add, suffering personal hardship. I remember it only as the most terrible century in Western history.” What made it so . . . . Continue Reading »

American Dreaming

Americans have always thought of their country as other and better than anyplace else. The most obvious measure of comparative superiority was with Europe, the place where, through most of the nation’s history, most people came from and against which they assessed their achievements. The protean . . . . Continue Reading »

What Can We Reasonably Hope For?

It is of course the case that only God knows what will happen in the next century and the next millennium. But we human beings are created with an irrepressible disposition toward the future, as well as a capacity to recall the past. In the last year we published a “millennium series” of . . . . Continue Reading »

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