The Dangers of Diseased Patriotism

By |2017-07-08T07:42:58-05:00May 3rd, 2017|Categories: Books, Featured, Patriotism|Tags: , |

There is something more dangerous than secularism, and that is a nation-state masquerading as God incarnate… Americanism: The Fourth Great Western Religion, by David Gelernter (Doubleday, 2007) Midway through a century battered by ideological warfare, C.S. Lewis thought it unnecessary to remind anyone that “love of one’s country… becomes a demon when it becomes a [...]

The Backside of the Universe: Walter McDougall’s “Throes of Democracy”

By |2020-08-07T14:33:29-05:00March 19th, 2014|Categories: Books, History|Tags: , , , |

Walter McDougall’s “Throes of Democracy” shows us a more human, recog­nizable, and uncomfortable past—a more complicated past than the defenders of American pretense will ever acknowledge. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 1852 novel, The Blithedale Romance, has been overshadowed for many years by The Scarlett Letter and The House of the Seven Gables. Perhaps its unsparing analysis of [...]

Reconsidering American Exceptionalism

By |2016-10-06T21:10:27-05:00October 8th, 2013|Categories: Politics|Tags: , , |

Illustration by Michael Hogue The old kept us out of conflict; the new leads to empire. In 1765, John Adams unwittingly penned one of the proof texts of American exceptionalism. “I always consider the settlement of America with reverence and wonder,” the young lawyer wrote in his diary, “as the opening of a [...]

In Search of the City on a Hill

By |2014-01-05T20:36:00-06:00November 25th, 2012|Categories: Books, Christianity, Film|Tags: , |

Richard M. Gamble. In Search of the City on a Hill: The Making and Unmaking of an American Myth. The phrase “city on a hill” has become inextricably tied to Ronald Reagan. Some Americans may even think that Reagan, rather than Jesus, coined it. Reagan routinely spoke of America as that “shining” city (a descriptor Reagan [...]

Resisting Ideology’s Reductionism

By |2014-03-04T16:35:05-06:00September 14th, 2012|Categories: Books, Claes Ryn, Conservatism, Ideology, Jean-Jacques Rousseau|Tags: , |

The New Jacobinism: America as Revolutionary State (2d expanded ed.) by Claes G. Ryn.  National Humanities Institute, 2011. Near the end of his Reflections on the Revolution in France, Edmund Burke praised what he called the “combining mind” as indispensable to the sort of constitutional government Britain had inherited and France was busy squandering. Erecting any sort [...]

Misuse of a Metaphor: In Search of the City on a Hill

By |2014-01-07T09:07:40-06:00September 7th, 2012|Categories: Books, John Willson|Tags: |

A review of Richard M. Gamble, In Search of the City on a Hill: The Making and Unmaking of an American Myth. New York: Continuum/Bloomsbury Academic, 2012. Mythology, n. The body of a primitive people’s beliefs concerning its origin, early history, heroes, deities and so forth, as distinguished from the true accounts which it invents [...]

The United States as World Savior: Costs and Consequences

By |2021-03-07T08:28:49-06:00August 3rd, 2012|Categories: American Founding, Democracy, Foreign Affairs, Political Science Reviewer, Progressivism, Woodrow Wilson|Tags: |

The Framers’ temperament was indebted far more to the inherited culture of the “old constitutional morality” than to Enlightenment fads for remaking the world. While many did indeed believe that their success or failure would affect other nations and future generations, their enthusiasm was constrained by the enduring classical and Christian tradition. On December 4, [...]

In Search of the City on a Hill

By |2014-03-24T11:34:46-05:00June 22nd, 2012|Categories: Books|Tags: |

[An excerpt from the In Search of the City on a Hill: The Making and Unmaking of an American Myth.] In popular culture, the phrase “city on a hill” has become so closely identified with Ronald Reagan and before him with John Winthrop that even Christians can forget that the words originated not with a founder [...]

Republican Virtue, Imperial Temptations, and Disorder

By |2016-08-03T10:37:35-05:00February 25th, 2012|Categories: Books, Christendom, Claes Ryn, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Politics, Republicanism|Tags: |

America the Virtuous: The Crisis of Democracy and the Quest for Empire by Claes G. Ryn Many Enlightenment ideologues hoped to see fulfilled in America all the dreams of the Age of Reason: an empire of unfettered minds, natural rights, unbounded human benevolence and progress, the first fruits of a world reborn. Impatient utopians soon despaired, however. [...]

The Great Tradition: Reading Ourselves Back to Cultural Sanity

By |2014-08-19T14:57:55-05:00July 27th, 2011|Categories: Books, Christian Humanism, Education, Great Books, Liberal Learning, Robert M. Woods|Tags: |

If you surveyed one hundred “educators” to define education, after the initial shock, and painfully long pause of silence you would probably be given the most recent acceptable version of educationese. Some would offer a definition by way of describing outcomes, assessments, goals, objectives, torrential techniques, maddening methodologies, and pet pedagogies but, that is not [...]

Go to Top