Homesick in Miami

The Exile: Cuba in the Heart of Miami by david rieff simon & schuster, 220 pages, $21 City on the Edge: the transformation of miami by alejandro portes and alex stepick university of california press, 281 pages, $25 As the Fidel Castro deathwatch reaches its thirty-fifth anniversary, the . . . . Continue Reading »

War in the Classroom

Battleground: One Mother's Crusade, The Religious Right, and the Struggle for Control of our Classrooms  by stephen bates  poseidon press, 365 pages, $24 The 1983 protest by a group of parents in Hawkins County, Tennessee, against certain stories and themes in the public school reading . . . . Continue Reading »

Why Churches Fail

A Generation of Seekers: The Spiritual Journeys of the Baby Boom Generation by wade clark roof harpercollins, 311 pages, $20 Beyond Establishment: Protestant Identity in a Post-Protestant Age ed. jackson carroll and wade clark roof westminster/john knox press, 361 pages, $19.99 It is well known that . . . . Continue Reading »

Poisoned Eros

Love and Friendship by allan bloom simon & schuster, 590 pages, $25 “Christianity gave Eros poison to drink. He didn’t die, but became vice.” This is one of Nietzsche’s more famous obiter dicta, and Allan Bloom finds the occasion to cite it more than once in this, his last book, . . . . Continue Reading »

Art and the Spirit

The expression of art—the exploration of figurative and abstract thought in tangible external forms—is unique to human beings. Even as we think in words, we imagine in the “language” of images. Art is one of the great facilitators of human dialogue, and it provides us as well with . . . . Continue Reading »

The Rich, the Poor, and Reaganomics

When we come to measure the success of a presidency, it matters a great deal whether the administration in question made life better or worse for the poor. A culture whose values spring from Judaism, Christianity, and a compassionate humanism cannot be satisfied unless the poor are well cared for. . . . . Continue Reading »

Beyond Liberty

This Hemisphere of Liberty: A Philosophy of the Americas by michael novak aei press, 153 pages, $18.95 We are nearly two years into the post-Cold War era—an era as yet without a name—and we have awakened to the sobering reality that democracy is easier to desire than it is to sustain. . . . . Continue Reading »

When Church-State Conflicts Aren't

Here is a review in a national publication of a book about religion in American public life. The title of the review is “Church-State Conflict Revived.” But that is not what the book is about, as the review itself makes quite clear. The book is about, inter alia, the perduring force of religion . . . . Continue Reading »

Judaism and American Public Life: A Symposium

In the half-century now past, the dominant view among American Jews was that religion should be rigorously separated from public life. The more thoroughly secular the society, many thought, the safer it is for Jews. Those who, like Will Herberg, dissented from that view were in a very small . . . . Continue Reading »