Books

Avoiding the Latest Fad: Elbert Hubbard’s “Scrapbook”

By |2019-09-13T14:53:57-05:00September 13th, 2019|Categories: Books, Education, Liberal Learning|

College, as most know it, is Elbert Hubbard’s Scrapbook. Nobody reading this has heard of Elbert Hubbard, but he is education today. His “scrapbook” promised four thousand years of education in one slim volume with beautiful binding. How big was he? Luminaries judged your education if you did not have the Scrapbook on your end table. My [...]

George Kennan’s Diaries

By |2019-09-04T23:49:16-05:00September 4th, 2019|Categories: American Republic, Books, Civilization, Cold War, Europe, Foreign Affairs, Politics, War|

George Kennan was—and remains—an important, even compelling, figure in the early history of the Cold War. But these selections from his voluminous and often overwrought diaries reveal him to have been something other than what this honest, if not always moderate, this calm, but not always cool, and detached professional diplomat took himself to [...]

The Challenge of Goodness in George MacDonald’s “Sir Gibbie”

By |2019-08-29T11:20:52-05:00August 29th, 2019|Categories: Books, Charity, Christine Norvell, Fiction, Literature, Morality, Senior Contributors, Virtue|

In “Sir Gibbie,” George MacDonald shows us how goodness is not in action only, but also in the doer first. The virtuous person sees truly, judges rightly, and acts. It is the love of God within Gibbie that prompts him to do so. Sometimes you read a book that causes you to marvel at [...]

The Ecstasy of Love

By |2019-08-26T21:23:06-05:00August 26th, 2019|Categories: Aristotle, Books, E.B., Eva Brann, Great Books, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Philosophy, Plato, Senior Contributors, St. John's College|

Stewart Umphrey’s “Complexity and Analysis” presents a sober analysis of ways of going beyond oneself, especially in love; its conclusion presents the union of integrity with transcendence in the “sober madness of philosophy.” His careful descriptions and distinctions trace out incompleteness as a human condition. Those of our alumni who had really good Republic [...]

An Invitation to Augustine’s “City of God”

By |2019-08-25T00:05:09-05:00August 24th, 2019|Categories: Books, Christendom, Civilization, Education, Great Books, Paul Krause, Senior Contributors, St. Augustine|

No work of Christian theology has left such an impact on the world and biblical interpretation and understanding as St. Augustine’s “City of God.” We who read the Bible do so, often unknowingly, through the eyes of the bishop of Hippo. In 410 A.D., the city of Rome was sacked by the Visigoths. Rome [...]

Going on Pilgrimage With Mark Twain: “The Innocents Abroad”

By |2019-08-23T22:12:18-05:00August 23rd, 2019|Categories: Books, Imagination, Literature, Mark Twain, Michael De Sapio, Senior Contributors|

Mark Twain is revered today for his liberal sympathies, as a satirist who punctured pomposity, hypocrisy, and pretension. But to dwell only on the “irreverent” aspects of his work is to see only a partial picture. His Christian background is evident throughout “The Innocents Abroad,” which reflects the journey of all human beings to [...]

Tolkien’s “The Children of Húrin”

By |2019-08-23T11:55:02-05:00August 22nd, 2019|Categories: Books, Bradley J. Birzer, Fiction, Imagination, J.R.R. Tolkien, Literature, Senior Contributors, Tolkien Series|

How does one account for J.R.R. Tolkien’s seeming ability to live inside of mythology? He read it, he translated it, and he absorbed it. After all these grand things, he rewrote it. Yet, no matter how deeply he delved into the profound and pervasive paganisms of pre-Christian cultures, he never lost his ability to [...]

George Will’s “The Conservative Sensibility”

By |2019-08-21T22:27:52-05:00August 21st, 2019|Categories: American Founding, Books, Conservatism, Government, Politics|

In “The Conservative Sensibility,” George Will posits that taming the administrative state and restoring the principles of the American Founding is the great American political project of the 21st century. But is the country up to the task? The Conservative Sensibility, by George F. Will (640 pages, Hachette Books, 2019) If prudence is a [...]

“The Pilgrim’s Regress”: The Allegory of C.S. Lewis’ Conversion

By |2019-08-02T11:41:05-05:00July 29th, 2019|Categories: Books, Bradley J. Birzer, C.S. Lewis, Christian Humanism, Christianity, Fiction, Inklings, Literature, Senior Contributors|

In “The Pilgrim’s Regress,” C.S. Lewis fictionally traces his own intellectual and faith journey. As Lewis wrote ten years after the book’s first publication, “All good allegory exists not to hide but to reveal: to make the inner world more palpable by giving it an (imagined) concrete embodiment.” During the thirty-one years that C.S. [...]

Fr. Schall, “What Is,” and Book Clubs

By |2019-07-27T22:04:40-05:00July 27th, 2019|Categories: Books, Christianity, Culture, Philosophy, Western Civilization, Wisdom|

Christianity and the Western tradition insist that true unity is rooted in complimentarity, self-gift, and ordered relationship. Trinitarian love is creative, but not coercive; it is a mystery, but it is not irrational; it is personal, but it is not subjective. These are essential truths that James Schall returned to again and again in [...]

Escaping From Myself

By |2019-07-27T08:55:07-05:00July 26th, 2019|Categories: Books, Catholicism, Christianity, Dwight Longenecker, Literature, Poetry, Senior Contributors|

This summer, two books got me because they took me outside myself: Danusha Goska’s “God Through Binoculars” and Sam Davidson’s “Love’s Many Names.” Both authors write truth from the heart, and both books are refreshing and heart-inspiring reads. Books should take you outside yourself. They should introduce you to new people, new worlds, new [...]

Top Ten Conservative Books, 1924-1954

By |2019-07-23T00:39:54-05:00July 22nd, 2019|Categories: Books, Bradley J. Birzer, Conservatism, Culture, Literature, Senior Contributors|

One of the single most important reasons the conservative movement became a movement is because it had writers of the highest caliber. They presented their ideas so convincingly and so pleasingly that even their most ardent critics had to take notice. Given my association with The Imaginative Conservative as well as with Hillsdale College, [...]