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Ludwig Wittgenstein Confesses

Along with Martin Heidegger, Ludwig Wittgenstein is generally considered to be one of the two greatest philosophers of the twentieth century. But as with the field of twentieth-century philosophy itself, Wittgenstein has never seemed to be a very accessible thinker to the nonspecialist. Those, it . . . . Continue Reading »

A Tale of Two Bishops

In the years 1975-76, Catholics attending Mass anywhere in the state of Montana would have heard the priest pray for “Paul, our Pope, and Eldon, our Bishop.” Apart from the fact that outside of Montana there has never been a Catholic bishop in the United States named Eldon, there was nothing . . . . Continue Reading »

The End of Canadian History?

While the United States has been preoccupied with another Kennedy scandal, the controversies over Clarence Thomas and Mike Tyson, and the political fallout from a recession that may or may not be over, to the north something truly important is taking place. With increasing concentration over the . . . . Continue Reading »

The Myth of the Civil War

Year after year we reap new harvests of Civil War literature, despite the admonition of some historians that the subject has been exhausted. We tell and retell the story of the Civil War, hoping through vicarious participation to gain a better sense of our national identity, vocation, and destiny. . . . . Continue Reading »

History in the Past Perfect

Is not the past large enough to let you find some place where you may disport yourself without becoming ridiculous? —Nietzsche It is nothing new for poets, painters, and philosophers to harken back to Utopian “golden ages” when greatness or harmony flourished. The German Romantics . . . . Continue Reading »

Race and Urban Politics

The Closest of Strangers: Liberalism and the Politics of Race in New York by jim sleeperw. w. norton, 345 pages, $21.95 Most Americans have the sense that something went terribly wrong in the nation’s big cities sometime in the middle of the 1960s. Since then, urban areas have been perceived . . . . Continue Reading »

Populist Protestantism

The Democratization of American Christianity by nathan hatch yale university press, 312 pages, $25 In 1802 a flamboyant Baptist preacher named John Leland presented a twelve-hundred pound “mammoth cheese” to Thomas Jefferson at a White House ceremony. Molded in a cider press from the milk of . . . . Continue Reading »

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