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Cultural Nihilism

The decline in life expectancy in the United States is a symptom of a failing culture. It is driven by deaths of despair: Suicide rates are up, as are drug overdoses and alcohol-related diseases. Those are hard, cruel facts. There are other signs of failure, more auspicious ones. We read about young . . . . Continue Reading »

Leaving Brooklyn

My family had been in Brooklyn (or, as I will ever call it, God’s country) for over a century, refugees from the Lower East Side and a Jacob Riis–style life in early-twentieth-century New York. My father didn’t speak much about his youth in Bensonhurst, but what he did say was enough to fill . . . . Continue Reading »

We're No. 144

New York's crime rate placed it 144th among the nation's 189 largest cities. You're safer here, the New York Times recently reported, than in Beaumont, Texas, Independence, Missouri, or Anchorage, . . . . Continue Reading »

I Heart New York

When the Editor-in-Chief of this journal invited me to come East to work with him and his colleagues some six and a half years ago, it was in almost every way an offer I could not refuse. It meant doing work I wanted to do in the company of people I wanted to work with. I had not previously thought . . . . Continue Reading »

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