When Families Fail

Perhaps the most striking feature of our contemporary political landscape is the failure of the tattered labels “liberal” and “conservative” any longer to convey useful distinctions. In my own field of education policy, for example, those who get called conservative are in fact deeply . . . . Continue Reading »

Out of the Fire and Into the Frying Pan

Politics, Markets, & America’s Schools by john e. chubb and terry m. moe brookings institution, 336 pages, $28.95 Politics, Markets, & America’s Schools is an enlightening, albeit statistically overstuffed, study of achievement, organization, and the political context of schooling. The authors, . . . . Continue Reading »

The Counterculture's New Mind

The Genocidal Mentality: Nazi Holocaust and Nuclear Threat by robert jay lifton and eric markusen basic books, 346 pages, $22.95 Some books—the detective novel is the most obvious genre—must be read as they are written, front to back. Peeking ahead spoils everything. Others, Hebrew . . . . Continue Reading »

Civility and Permissions

“Who has been handing out these permission slips?” asks a writer of our acquaintance. He wants to know who determined that it is alright again to tell racist jokes in polite society, or to publish columns suggesting, none too gingerly, that Jews have excessive influence in American life. Who . . . . Continue Reading »

Drugs and the Face of Evil

One of the least understood aspects of the drug problem is the degree to which it is in the end a moral and spiritual problem. I continue to be amazed at how often people I speak to in treatment centers refer to drugs as the great lie, the great deception, indeed as a product of the Great Deceiver. . . . . Continue Reading »

Abortion Talk

Decoding Abortion Rhetoric: Communicating Social Changeby celeste michelle condituniversity of illinois press, 236 pages, $24.95 Students of Western thought have long understood the correlation between public discourse, conviction, and practice. Even as far back as the fifth century B.C:. Democritus . . . . Continue Reading »

“Linguistic Injustice”: An Exchange

The University of Notre Dame To: My Colleagues in the Department of TheologyFrom: James F. White On December 13, 1982, the Department made an important step in approving a motion calling upon us to avoid sex-exclusive and sex-discriminatory language. I write you because as time progresses, I find . . . . Continue Reading »

At the Taj Mahal In Atlantic City

As I was splitting a pair of queens to double my sawbuck bet, someone said “He’s here,” and here he was—four bodyguards to part the waves, a blonde bimbo on each arm with whom to swim. I swiveled in my chair to greet him, held out my hand—brushed back by one of his goons. . . . . Continue Reading »

The Radical Paradigm and the New Racism

In confronting the race question in America today, we are faced with a paradox. On the one hand, our generation has lived through a political and cultural revolution that has no parallel. Discriminatory laws enforcing racial segregation have been declared unconstitutional and abolished, while the . . . . Continue Reading »