Cicero: No Slave of Plato

By |2019-06-07T09:36:17-05:00June 6th, 2019|Categories: American Republic, Books, Bradley J. Birzer, Cicero, Cicero's Republic Series, Civilization, Great Books, Senior Contributors|

Of all the writers who came at the end of the Roman Republic and at the beginning of the Empire, most make note of the loss of traditional morality. It was Cicero who advocated an adherence to nature and order by recognizing the proper meaning of a thing within and around the very existence [...]

“Writers on Writing”: A Treasure Trove of Advice

By |2019-06-06T23:04:43-05:00June 6th, 2019|Categories: Books, Culture, Writing|

Approach this charming collection of writers’ conversations with an expectation to encounter some thought or piece of advice that you didn’t know you needed or wanted, and you will find yourself delighted with a fresh dose of enthusiasm for thoughtful, meaningful writing and story-telling. Writers on Writing: Conversations with Allen Mendenhall, edited by Allen [...]

True Law is Right Reason in Agreement With Nature

By |2019-06-06T10:13:21-05:00June 2nd, 2019|Categories: American Republic, Books, Bradley J. Birzer, Cicero, Cicero's Republic Series, Civilization, Great Books, Senior Contributors|

Cicero’s “On the Republic” has influenced the West for centuries, calling to harmony the various aspects of government. In his call to harmony, Cicero portrays a republic in which a proper action demands the balance of the three faculties of man, as well as one in which true law is understood as coming not [...]

If Shakespeare Was a Woman, Might Jane Austen Have Been a Man?

By |2019-06-01T22:41:22-05:00June 1st, 2019|Categories: Books, Culture, Jane Austen, Joseph Pearce, Literature, Senior Contributors, Shakespearian Authorship, William Shakespeare|

We live in a mad, mad world where anything goes and many things have gone. One of the things that appears to have gone is a sense of sanity. Take, for instance, a recent essay in The Atlantic which claims to show that William Shakespeare was in fact a woman.[*] The essay itself, which was [...]

When Republicans Were Progressive

By |2019-05-30T15:31:54-05:00May 30th, 2019|Categories: Books, Politics, Progressivism, Republicans|

Always seeking a perch somewhere just slightly to the right of center, Senator David Durenberger regarded government as a problem-solver of something other than the first resort. Today he is not so sure. When Republicans Were Progressive, by Dave Durenberger (296 pages, Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2018) Long before the country was divided into [...]

Hegel & Spirit: The Logic of Desire

By |2019-05-27T22:40:14-05:00May 27th, 2019|Categories: Books, E.B., Eva Brann, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Literature, Peter Kalkavage, St. John's College|

Peter Kalkavage’s “Logic of Desire” is a full-scale narrative, a readable yet faithful retelling of “Phenomenology of Spirit” by Hegel. It is in a class of its own for its engaging, distinctly American-flavored accessibility. Peter Kalkavage, The Logic of Desire: An Introduction to Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit, Paul Dry books Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit is [...]

The Domestic Monastery: The Rule of Saint Benedict

By |2019-05-25T22:40:59-05:00May 25th, 2019|Categories: Books, Character, Christianity, Dwight Longenecker, Senior Contributors, St. Benedict|

Whatever a person’s place in life, Saint Benedict offers a “little Rule for beginners.” The principles of the spiritual life which he sets down put us down firmly in life right where we are. By paralleling family and monastery, today’s reader can glean simple yet practical wisdom for, as well as extraordinary insight into, the [...]

Living With Tolkien

By |2019-05-23T22:08:33-05:00May 23rd, 2019|Categories: Books, Bradley J. Birzer, Character, Imagination, J.R.R. Tolkien, Literature, Senior Contributors, Tolkien Series|

J.R.R. Tolkien connected me to a world beyond anything I had yet experienced in rather idyllic Kansas. I so desperately wanted to escape into his mountain scene, explore every nook and cranny of that invented world, and meet a God who sang the universe into existence. Though I have read The Hobbit, The Lord [...]

“My Name Is Lazarus”: G.K. Chesterton’s Converts

By |2019-05-18T22:19:36-05:00May 18th, 2019|Categories: Books, Catholicism, Christianity, G.K. Chesterton|

In “My Name is Lazarus,” a collection of thirty-four essays by thirty-four Chesterton-influenced converts, Dale Ahlquist presents us with a compelling anthology of personal redemption stories. Each tells a story that hits home—probably because each tells a story of coming home. My Name is Lazarus: 34 Stories of Converts Whose Path to Rome Was [...]

Timothy Carney’s “Alienated America” & the Future of the American Dream

By |2019-05-16T13:11:57-05:00May 16th, 2019|Categories: Books, Civil Society, Community, Conservatism, Social Institutions|

Timothy Carney’s book "Alienated America" tackles a crucial question that too few policymakers and news commentators even bother asking anymore: What is at the root of America’s contemporary cultural and social malaise? The short answer, according to Mr. Carney, is the deterioration of civil society. Alienated America: Why Some Places Thrive While Other Places Collapse, [...]

A Day of Reckoning: Glenn Arbery’s “Bearings and Distances”

By |2019-05-16T22:06:48-05:00May 16th, 2019|Categories: Books, Culture, Fiction, Glenn Arbery, Imagination, Literature, South|

Glenn Arbery’s “Bearings and Distances” shuttles back and forth between two eras, weaving, careening, towards an inexorable revelation of truth. The plot is rich and complex, and its world is both fertile and elusive in meaning, expanding through time and culture, expressing a deeply Catholic view of the cosmos. Bearings and Distances, by Glenn [...]

The Honorable Roger Scruton and His Enemies

By |2019-05-15T23:14:50-05:00May 15th, 2019|Categories: Books, Civil Society, Conservatism, Roger Scruton, Western Civilization|

I know of no more comprehensive and reflective summary of conservatism than Sir Roger Scruton's "Conservatism: An Invitation to the Great Tradition." We should not expect conservative establishmentarians on either side of the Atlantic to pay it much heed, though, for the author has now been pushed into the ranks of the untouchables. Conservatism: An [...]