Chronicles Magazine Culture

Impeachment, Just and Unjust

What exactly did the framers mean by putting in the Constitution Article II, Section 4? This is the section that reads, “The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for,...

Read More
  • REVIEWS

    Think of the Children

    It seems things don’t change much after all. Consider these recent hysterical comments. “There’s scientific consensus that the lives of children are going to be very difficult,” said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, age 30. “And it does lead, I...

    Read More
  • VIEWS

    Our Culture of Narcissism

    Most Chronicles readers will no doubt recall the sordid Jussie Smollett hoax, which played out over the course of almost three months early this year in a scenario that might have been scripted for reality TV. Given the media’s...

    Read More
  • EDITORIALS

    The Grip on Comedy Slips

    Comedy has long been under the left’s control, as just one province of the U.S. entertainment empire centered in Hollywood—which is itself a bastion of leftist control over mainstream culture. But comedy is a rebellious province by its nature, as...

    Read More
  • Society & Culture

    Happy Warriors

    For decades, conservative commentators and writers have told anyone who would listen that America is going to hell in a handbag. James Burnham’s Suicide of the West, John Derbyshire’s We Are Doomed, Pat Buchanan’s Suicide of a Superpower, Mark...

    Read More
  • The Countermarch

    Returning to Earth

    What lies at the root of the abstractionism that I discussed last month, which afflicts the modern world like a mania, especially here in the United States? Walker Percy dubbed the phenomenon angelism, by which he did not mean that those who...

    Read More
  • VIEWS

    The Fatherland and the Nation

    Allen Tate, in 1952, argued that the first duty of the man of letters in the postwar world was to purify the language from the corruptions introduced by ideology and the destruction, more than physical, wrought by the recent world war.

    Read More
  • IN OUR TIME

    What Is Populism?

    Dining out with my wife in a restaurant in Paris recently, I became aware of the well-dressed Frenchman seated with his wife two tables away from us listening in on our conversation. The table for two between us was unoccupied.

    Read More
  • Correspondence

    What Beto Revealed

    For Texas conservatives, a surprisingly strong showing by Democrats in their deep-red state in November’s midterm election was an unexpected wake-up call. The results also set me to thinking about my own personal history with the Lone Star State.

    Read More
  • Society & Culture

    Dowering Our Daughters

    The world lacks drinking games relating to women’s studies, so here’s a suggestion: If you can get a women’s studies stalwart to say the word coverture before the conversation’s second minute elapses, throw one back for the 21st Amendment.

    Read More
  • Heresies

    Ignoble Savages, Part 2

    The body of the hapless American missionary John Chau has been abandoned to the North Sentinelese. By the lights of the Indian government and the leaders of the Western world, the savages may do with it as they please.

    Read More
  • REVIEWS

    March On

    What you might find on a long walk, a determined walk, a walk of exploration, you never know, of course, until you take the next step. And the next; and the next—in Rory Stewart’s case, across the constantly revelatory terrain of the borderlands...

    Read More
  • Heresies

    Ignoble Savages, Part 1

    Hardly anyone thought much about the mysterious inhabitants of North Sentinel Island, whom we call the Sentinelese (because we have no idea what else to call them), until the close of November in the Year of Our Lord 2018.

    Read More
  • REVIEWS

    Displaced Persons

    In an age of anti-elite anger, it might seem otiose to publish an academic analysis of aristocratic ideas in Western thought. But as the post-1945 order rattles itself to pieces, it is time to look past its bankrupted beliefs and discredited...

    Read More
  • VIEWS

    Meet the Tiger

    “When I was young and stupid,” said George W. Bush, and we have no reason to doubt him on it, “I was young and stupid.” It is a double tautology. He might as well have said, “When I was young,” and left it at that.

    Read More
  • Correspondence

    Blowing for Elkhart

    Hobbled as I am by residual injury—I wear an ankle brace and limp a bit—and wheeling a large cornet/flugelhorn case, I was grateful when a man much younger than I held open a door for me as I entered the lobby for Elkhart’s Lerner Theatre.

    Read More
  • REVIEWS

    Out of Troy

    Author of several novels and a memorable autobiographical work entitled Our Father’s Fields (1998), as well as a leading light of the Abbeville Institute, James Kibler has produced in the present work an indispensable study of the classical...

    Read More
  • REVIEWS

    Books in Brief

    I need to be fair to this book, because the author, a concert pianist and writer who worked for a decade as a classical-music critic for the New York Times, certainly knows her stuff so far as opera goes.

    Read More
  • Society & Culture

    Our Inner Mason-Dixon

    About a hundred years before the Civil War, two British surveyors, Jeremiah Mason and Charles Dixon, with a crew of ax-men, marked out 270 miles of wilderness. They set a stone at every mile, and another grander one embossed with the arms of the...

    Read More
  • The Music Column

    A Tour of Overtures

    We somehow owe it to ourselves to contemplate the useful word sinfonia, one that once denoted the overture to an opera and suggested a pleasing combination of sounds. So yes—the term that denotes the tradition of symphony is derived from another...

    Read More
  • VIEWS

    The Angry Summer

    According to the Washington Post, McAllen, Texas is an “all-American city,” albeit one “that speaks Spanish.” So it’s small wonder that “immigration isn’t a problem for this Texas town—it’s a way of life.”

    Read More
  • Heresies

    The Catfish Binary, Part 2

    Aquaculture—farming water for food as opposed to fishing it—is as old as civilization. The Romans did it; so did Mrs. Martin Luther. But catfish farming is an American industry, something of a native-born wonder.

    Read More
  • The Countermarch

    Drain the Swamp

    The most remarkable aspect of Bruce Springsteen’s performance at the 2018 Tony Awards wasn’t what he said or that he said it, but the unanimous acclaim with which it was greeted by both the assembled audience and those who viewed it at home.

    Read More
  • IN THE DARK

    Racing

    Spike Lee’s latest film, BlacKkKlansman, is an adaptation of Ron Stallworth’s memoir of his experiences as Colorado Springs’ first black policeman in 1972. As you might imagine his tenure was not without its trials.

    Read More
  • Correspondence

    American Shakespeare

    Shakespeare contains the cultural history of America. From first to last, Shakespeare is the graph of evolving American values. He early made the transatlantic crossing: It is thought that Cotton Mather was the first in America to acquire a...

    Read More
  • Heresies

    The Catfish Binary, Part 1

    Summer is the time for lazy fishing in the hot sun. That calls for a fish story. And what follows is no tall tale, although I think the moral of the story is quite significant. For I am now willing to say, without exaggeration, that catfish...

    Read More
  • The Countermarch

    Hungry Heart

    The Hollywood elite has been painfully boring and predictable for decades, and the use of awards ceremonies to deliver political messages is nothing new. But like everything else in the Age of Trump (with the exception of civility), this...

    Read More
  • BETWEEN THE LINES

    California Dreaming

    You never know what Lady Fortuna has in store for you next. Having quit college—after all, I knew what I wanted to do, and didn’t need lessons from some hippie in how to do it—I was shuttling between New York City and my parents’ house in the...

    Read More
  • Society & Culture

    Monumental Stupidity

    There is a scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1959 classic North by Northwest in which the characters look out at a brooding Mount Rushmore from the dining-room terrace of the Sheraton-Johnson Hotel in Rapid City, South Dakota (since renamed the Hotel...

    Read More
  • The Music Column

    Adolf Busch & Colleagues

    Some two decades ago, I found myself preparing for a trip to Niagara Falls, where I was to meet a lady. I had not been to Niagara Falls before, though I was familiar with the movie Niagara (Hathaway, 1953), which has sometimes been called the...

    Read More
  • The Countermarch

    Can We Talk?

    A few months after we moved to Huntington, Indiana, I was inducted into the Cosmopolitan Club, one of the country’s oldest extant discussion societies. Chartered on January 18, 1894, the Cosmopolitan Club convenes on the fourth Tuesday of every...

    Read More
  • VIEWS

    The Center Doesn’t Hold Here

    How do you make sense of New York? There’s lots of intelligence, talent, and ambition here. There’s also a lot of insanity. When Barack Obama won his first presidential election people in my neighborhood partied in the streets all night.

    Read More
  • Heresies

    Hour of Decision

    Looking objectively at the legacy of Billy Graham in the wake of his passing is virtually impossible, especially for me personally. I know several people who answered the altar call at a Graham crusade, “just as I am without one plea, but that...

    Read More
  • REVIEWS

    “Only Connect!”

    Niall Ferguson is a distinguished historian of Scottish origin who specializes in big arguments, and contrarian claims. His books are always provocative, frequently infuriating, and often (if not always) correct in their analyses.

    Read More
  • EDITORIALS

    Return of the Kings

    In a television appearance on January 7, President Emmanuel Macron of France, rather than addressing his compatriots exclusively, directed his remarks to his “fellow citizens of the E.U.,” saying, “2018 is a very special year, and I will need you...

    Read More
  • EDITORIALS

    Shoes to Fill

    America is a nation of normal people who find themselves thrust into increasingly abnormal situations. Left-wing ideologues want to take a country of families, churches, and businesses and turn it into a playpen of radical identities.

    Read More
  • Heresies

    Cult of America, Part I

    Whether or not America is or ever was a Christian nation is hotly debated. It is fashionable today on the left to ascribe whatever currently is deemed by it to be unacceptable to the legacy of privileged patriarchal white men whose Christianity...

    Read More
  • REVIEWS

    Drain the Racket

    When Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was first passed, “help wanted: men” and “help wanted: women” ads were common in newspapers. Private employers could hire and fire for discriminatory reasons.

    Read More
  • REVIEWS

    Shepherd in a Strange Land

    “I’m a pastor, not a scholar,” Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, head of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia since 2011, said when I interviewed him earlier last year for Catholic World Report about his new book. “A bishop’s job is helping people get to...

    Read More
  • Society & Culture

    Surrounded by Books

    Surrounded by books has been a main circumstance of my long life. So it is now, near the end of my 94th year, when I am in my large library of perhaps 18,000 books in the western wing of my house in Chester County, Pennsylvania.

    Read More
  • Heresies

    Hollywood and Bethlehem

    Hollywood loves Christmas, or Winterfest, or whatever they’re calling it these days. This is because many Americans make it the most wonderful time of the year for the studios, offering them gifts of gold.

    Read More
  • REVIEWS

    Regional Anthem

    A century ago, the American Midwest was in the ascendant, widely acknowledged as the nation’s vital Heartland, a place characterized by a morally strong and independent populace, a relatively egalitarian distribution of wealth in land (the...

    Read More
  • The Countermarch

    Chronicles of Culture

    For there to be a “context of social relationships,” there must be at least two people. And those people must be part of a society, because that is what social, as an adjective, not only implies but demands, the fantasy worlds constructed by...

    Read More
  • Heresies

    No Time for Indulgences

    [W]e cannot afford to set aside our differences: We need to rediscover them, defend them vigorously and magnanimously, teach them to our children, celebrate them in worship and festival, and nail them to the church door when necessary.

    Read More
  • The Countermarch

    Breeding Mosquitos

    “Where there’s no solution,” James Burnham used to remark, “there’s no problem.” That’s easy for him to say, the modern populist conservative replies. Burnham died while Reagan was still in office! What did he know about problems?

    Read More
  • REVIEWS

    A Great Perhaps

    Sale’s theme is the restoration of “human scale” in all our works: architectural, political, economic, educational, and technological. His thesis is that only radical decentralization can achieve this aim.

    Read More
  • Society & Culture

    Diana

    “Great is Diana of the Ephesians!” cried the craftsmen of Ephesus. They had heard of the threat to their occupation posed by Paul (Acts 19: 24-29), who was violently against the making of images.

    Read More
  • The Countermarch

    East of Eden

    Russell Kirk frequently warned those who read his essays and books and attended his lectures not to let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Even at the most mundane level of everyday life, the Sage of Mecosta offered good advice.

    Read More
  • REVIEWS

    A Terrible Twilight

    Douglas Murray makes a ferociously well-argued case that Europe is now engaged on a parallel course: “Europe is committing suicide. Or at least its leaders have decided to commit suicide.

    Read More
  • Breaking Glass

    Remembering the Old Russia

    This Fall marks the centennial of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution. Although few commentators today are likely to glorify that event or its aftermath, most will assume that the revolution was a regrettable necessity, which swept away a repressive...

    Read More
  • VIEWS

    Ut Plures Sint

    For the last three months I have been asking people at my college what the phrase cultural diversity means, if it does not mean “a diversity of cultures thriving all over the world” or “the study of a broad diversity of cultures spanning four...

    Read More
  • Correspondence

    The Gift of Limitations

    When he was little, Rick Curry was the first of his friends to tie his own laces. That may not seem like such a big deal unless you know that he was born without a right forearm. He was brought up to believe he was completely normal.

    Read More
  • Correspondence

    Never and Always

    I turn down the soothing voice of “Gentleman Jim” Reeves. He looks at me from the CD case, a face thought of as handsome in his day, though Jim seems too mature and, maybe, just a bit innocent, even naive, for our jaded time.

    Read More
  • REVIEWS

    Silicon Hillbilly

    Since I have long been convinced that the Appalachian South embodies a grounded yet radical alternative to the American mainstream, I got my hopes up recently when I learned that a young man from Breathitt County is garnering national attention...

    Read More
  • UNDER THE BLACK FLAG

    Unhinged

    Yes, dear readers, the reaction by our “elites” to the election of Donald Trump has been extraordinary. By comparison, an Italian mob—whose team was denied a penalty as the final whistle blew—were quite serene and sportsmanlike.

    Read More
  • EDITORIALS

    Election Overload

    The country is near unanimous in feeling that the elections of 2016 were unique in American history. Some say for the unlikability of the two principal candidates; others, for the rhetorical violence and vitriol on all sides.

    Read More
  • Correspondence

    Gone to Pot

    It is seven o’clock on a peaceful late-summer evening here in suburban Seattle, and I’m sitting in my back garden smoking marijuana. Passively smoking, I should add, lest I shock any reader by this sorry lapse, but smoking nonetheless.

    Read More
  • EDITORIALS

    A Confederacy of Dunces

    In the final weeks of the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign, as our modern-day Madame Defarge’s poll numbers declined slowly but steadily in rhythm to the drip-drip-drip of purloined emails by WikiLeaks, the Clinton campaign settled on a strategy...

    Read More
  • VIEWS

    The Stork Theory

    Business Insider recently reported “a mind-blowing demographic shift” that is about to occur. Considering the globe’s whole human population, the number of adults age 65 and older will in a few years be greater than the number of children under...

    Read More
  • Society & Culture

    Midwife Crisis

    A few things can be said with certainty of the BBC’s Call the Midwife: None of those babies are swaddled tightly enough. Car births aren’t the greatest, but I’ve seen worse than the one in Season Four. And if Sister Evangelina doesn’t know why...

    Read More
  • EDITORIALS

    Bleep You, Liberals!

    Political correctness has, since the 1990’s, been a tool the left has used to silence the proponents of traditional morality, society, and culture. Under the banner of “sensitivity,” which has the veneer of a Higher Morality, p.c. has infected...

    Read More
  • EDITORIALS

    Sometimes a Flower

    A substitute teacher in a public school in what is, by today’s standards, still a relatively socially conservative part of the country uses “an anatomical word during a teaching lesson.” She is fired, and the story goes viral.

    Read More
  • VIEWS

    Borders

    About 20 years ago, there was an interesting left-handed pitcher for the Duluth-Superior Dukes, a very bad team in a league beneath the status of “minor”—minuscule, I might call it, though I am glad to know that there are still a few small-town...

    Read More
  • IN OUR TIME

    White Like Me

    The aims of white separatists are geographical and political impossibilities, while the dreams of white supremacists are doomed by the demographics of the rapidly self-shrinking white world and by the facts of modern political life and the...

    Read More
  • Heresies

    Incidentally White

    The conservative “fights shy” with the white-nationalist ideologue, because the conservative is not alienated from himself or his own people. He does not see the important questions of life framed in abstract terms derived outside of his...

    Read More
  • IN OUR TIME

    Science and Democracy

    A virtue of America’s quadrennial election cycle is its success in revealing and giving form to whatever popular malaise has set in over the past four years, whether the results of the elections themselves address the disorder or not, and...

    Read More
  • VIEWS

    Pax in Our Times

    In 1970’s London, things were a bit more rudimentary than they are today: You considered yourself lucky to get through 24 hours without losing your electricity thanks to the latest “industrial action”, the trains were invariably late, and my...

    Read More
  • Breaking Glass

    Are You a Bigot?

    A major function of liberal society is inventing new forms of bigotry. You take an obvious idea—something believed always, everywhere, and by all—and show that in fact it is not just false, but a vicious form of hatred and discrimination.

    Read More
  • VIEWS

    Detroit: From Under the Rubble

    Two weeks before Apple began selling its new Apple Watch, Shinola Detroit took out a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal. Above a large photo of its analog watch, The Runwell, was the tag, “The Watch That’s Too Smart to Try and Be a Phone.”

    Read More
  • European Diary

    Mnemosyne’s Tricks

    Writers incline to solipsism, and I’m no exception. To write is to presume that your words matter to others, and this places you at the center of the universe you’re describing, with its sun, its Earth—to say nothing of the small potatoes of...

    Read More
  • UNDER THE BLACK FLAG

    Code Yellow

    Talk about the failure of fundamental journalism! In any other profession—medical, legal, financial—the guilty party would be struck off. In journalism, the guilty party—as in Rolling Stone—continues on its merry way of disinformation...

    Read More
  • REVIEWS

    The Great American Disintegration

    When a former colleague sent me a snippet from The New Yorker of September 22, 2014—a piece called “As Big As the Ritz,” by Adam Gopnik—the attention therein given to two recent books on F. Scott Fitzgerald caught my eye, not only...

    Read More
  • Perspective

    Family Tradition

    Michelle Parker, a young mother of two, disappeared from her Florida home in 2011 and has never been seen again. The only suspect in her disappearance is her husband, who has left the state with the two children.

    Read More
  • VITAL SIGNS

    A Master Accompanist

    Few jazz pianists are “accompanists” as gifted in knowledge, technique, and taste as Norman Simmons, able to back vocalists with consummate skill in chording, passing notes, and background lines, but also wise in the use of space.

    Read More
  • IN THE DARK

    Seized by the Moment

    Richard Linklater’s Boyhood became the critics’ darling upon its staged release at the end of 2014. From The New Yorker to the Daily News, reviewers have vied with one another to sing its praises. Most of them think...

    Read More
  • European Diary

    People of the Book

    Sometimes one opens the morning newspaper and, instead of fires, floods, or declarations of war, finds a parable. This one hit me with the force of a subway train back in January, and I duly rushed it off as a post on the Chronicles...

    Read More
  • VIEWS

    The Future of Minority Culture(s)

    Two challenging words of the title of this essay stand somehow between us and ourselves, so that we will have to get around the distortions unnecessarily presented by minority and culture in order to see the freedom and even the...

    Read More
  • UNDER THE BLACK FLAG

    Football Mafia

    The greatest criminal and most profitable enterprise in the world is FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association). As I write, billions are watching obscenely overpaid footballers competing for a cup that is long overdue for a total...

    Read More
  • REVIEWS

    A Necessary Book

    We have been enduring the cultural revolution of liberal modernity. It is hard to say exactly when that revolution began, but it took a great step forward in the 60’s, when social and religious tradition lost its last shreds of public authority,...

    Read More
  • Stories

    True Tar-Heel Tales

    Sometimes “Uncle” Bud disappears for a week or two on “fishing trips.” He always has a nice car for trips, usually a Buick with a big trunk. Pays cash for ’em, too. Always says he got the money from cashing in his “G.I. insurance.”

    Read More
  • VITAL SIGNS

    Jimmy Rowles

    Given his devil-may-care nature, it’s easy to overlook Jimmy Rowles’ status as one of the most gifted and technically versatile pianists of his generation. His initial inspirations were Tatum, Mary Lou Williams, and Teddy Wilson, and he once...

    Read More
  • European Diary

    Unfair Play

    A few months ago I found myself stranded in Piccadilly. There was a parade of women—of a decidedly Sapphic cast, I thought—carrying placards with slogans that admonished men for their proclivity to rape, violence, and pillage.

    Read More
  • American Proscenium

    Adam Lanza’s America

    Newtown has now joined the ranks of Columbine, Aurora, and Virginia Tech as ominous names that evoke memories of tragic violence. This one stings especially because 20 children, ages six and seven, were among the 26 murdered at the hitherto...

    Read More
  • Breaking Glass

    Predators

    In an earlier phase of my career, I researched the subject of serial murder. What struck me repeatedly was how many of the cases defied the common stereotype of the lone Jack the Ripper figure, always a white male.

    Read More
  • UNDER THE BLACK FLAG

    Cops on Camels

    This is the best news I’ve had since both the governor of the state of New York and a congressman from the depraved city of New York had to resign because of sex scandals. The latest good news is that Saudi Arabia will not have Uncle Sam to kick...

    Read More
  • VIEWS

    The Gynocratic Hive

    When, in her 1963 book The Feminine Mystique, second-wave feminist Betty Friedan characterized the American suburban home as a “comfortable concentration camp” for women, well under 30 percent of American women were employed outside the...

    Read More
  • VIEWS

    Men: Are You Ready to Lead?

    Life was much simpler for those of us who grew up in 1950’s America than it is for children today. We took for granted an intact family with a breadwinner father and a stay-at-home mom. America was the number-one manufacturing country in the...

    Read More
  • VIEWS

    Keeping Asheville Weird

    North Carolina’s second-largest zoo is in Asheville, where visitors from May through October walk the middle of the town, looking at Rastafarians, New Age gurus, tattooed women, people of various sexual preferences, cross-dressers, musicians and...

    Read More
  • VIEWS

    Tarzan's Way

    Last night we watched from the hotel terrace as a giant cargo ship cast anchor in the Tyrrhenian indigo and proceeded to unload fresh water for the whole of our sunburnt island, an enterprise which from that vantage point seemed a triumph of...

    Read More
  • REVIEWS

    Getting Here From There

    If you can remember the 1960’s, the old line goes, you weren’t really there. “There,” of course, means the counterculture represented by Woodstock, hallucinogenic drugs, antiwar protests, and Haight-Ashbury.

    Read More
  • UNDER THE BLACK FLAG

    Death Benefits

    Having been caught out by the demon memory gene of the sainted editor—I tried to recycle a Paris nostalgia piece—I shall nevertheless return to my brother-in-law’s funeral in Paris a few years ago, which prompted the recycle, and this time write...

    Read More
  • The Rockford Files

    A Tale of Two Cities

    The attraction of Charleston is that it is a real place, to which a string of buzzwords—walkable, livable, human-scale—could never do justice. And it is a living testament to how the character of a people can shape a city, which in turn molds...

    Read More
  • VIEWS

    The One Civilization

    Popular culture in the West, and especially in North America, is an illusion, mostly electronic, that does not feed the soul. Indeed, it claims to do nothing but feed the senses, and as such it tends toward universal barbarism, fostering...

    Read More
  • Perspective

    Children of the Revolution

    We are all children of the Revolution. Wherever we look, in the office or at church, whatever professions we examine or traditions we cherish, we are hard pressed to discover a single significant aspect of human experience that has not been...

    Read More
  • Heresies

    Mormon Apocalypse, Part I

    America is special. America has a mission. America is a beacon of liberty. America, God shed His grace on thee. We call it American exceptionalism—the belief that, from among the countries of the world, the United States of America has been...

    Read More
  • Correspondence

    Imagine No More Meresy

    A seven-foot bronze statue of the late Beatle John Lennon greets travelers at the international airport in Liverpool that bears his name. It’s fitting that Lennon’s impish image—hands inserted in pants pockets—is displayed at the airport...

    Read More
  • VIEWS

    Academic Sins

    A graduate student asked if he could take a reading course; sitting at my feet, I thought, talking with the rabbi. He was in his early 30’s, a little older than I was, and he had taught in a private school for boys for ten years.

    Read More
  • Perspective

    Break out the Booze?

    No healthy boy has ever wanted to go to school. I know I did not. Parents who are confronted with a son who has played hooky or feigned a stomachache will sometimes try to reason with him, explaining why it is important to get a good education....

    Read More
  • Perspective

    Looking Backwards

    “Whose picture is this, Daddy?” The little blond girl is 11 years old, and, as she flips through the iScraps, her smooth round face shows the first twinge of the questioning mind that will disturb the complacency on which all future happiness...

    Read More
  • REVIEWS

    Sympathetic Magic

    America is regarded, and regards herself, as a “can-do” country where almost anything is achievable, and everyone can aspire to “the American dream.” As Ehrenreich states, “In the well-worn stereotype, we are upbeat, cheerful, optimistic, and...

    Read More
  • VITAL SIGNS

    Regional Cinema

    Like it or not, movies are the main art form of our time, the storytelling medium that reaches the largest audience and captures the attention of us all, high and low, wise and foolish.

    Read More
  • REVIEWS

    Chorus Lines

    The catastrophic burst of the housing bubble in the fall of 2008 shook the foundations of the world economy and instilled a fear of a new depression. Morris Dickstein notes with irony that he completed his cultural history of the Great...

    Read More
  • VIEWS

    For the Children

    Political measures can be undone, but every child whom we save becomes a living witness—an icon—of the love of God and a testimony that we as Christians live what we preach.

    Read More
  • VITAL SIGNS

    A Poverty of Spirit

    A little-known federal program called Supplemental Security Income (SSI) fosters dependency and destructive behavior among our nation’s poor. SSI was begun in 1974 with the intention of helping aged, blind, and disabled people of little or no...

    Read More
  • Perspective

    Save the Children

    Modern Americans are going to live forever. We must believe that; otherwise we would not rise up in spontaneous outrage whenever a stuck accelerator causes a car to crash or a surgical procedure goes awry.

    Read More
  • REVIEWS

    Gobbling Poison

    Throughout recorded history, rites open to the initiated only have been performed in restricted sanctuaries; this not only provides a feeling of superiority to the participants but allows outsiders to indulge in endless speculation about “what...

    Read More
  • Perspective

    Cheating "Honest" Men

    Sometimes I like to remind myself of what a nobody I am. It does not take much to trigger these fits of humility. A glance in the mirror or at the ever-expanding bulge in my vest is usually enough to call to mind at least two deadly sins that...

    Read More
  • REVIEWS

    Love Is a Decision

    Small-town America is dying, but not without help. According to Patrick Carr and Maria Kefalas, it takes effort to leave your home, and small towns are doing a fantastic job of encouraging their best and brightest to do just that.

    Read More
  • REVIEWS

    Don't Worry, Be Happy

    Empire is a scattershot look at a variety of topics ranging from the porn industry to elite education. Chris Hedges believes that Americans have forsaken reality for a world of lies and empty entertainment.

    Read More
  • Cultural Revolutions

    Mommy's Eco-Scold

    The scene opens with children at a playground, laughing and yelling as they swing and jump rope. The camera zooms in on a dark-haired little girl, seven or eight years old, running her finger through a dirty puddle. Suddenly, thunder tears...

    Read More
  • Perspective

    When the Going Gets Tough. . .

    Hesiod’s works are masterpieces of history. History, remember, is not what happened in the past, but neither is it the nit-picking exercise of dissertation writers stringing footnotes together in an exercise of what Clyde Wilson calls “honest...

    Read More
  • VIEWS

    Privilege Displaces Equality

    None of us growing up in Atlanta in the 1940’s were under the delusion that we were equal. We were aware of a myriad of differences that had nothing to do with race or gender. Some were better football players. Others were better baseball players.

    Read More
  • Heresies

    Christmas With the Devil

    “The true meaning of Christmas gets lost when we believe contrary worldviews,” the prisoner writes. “Our beliefs determine our views in a world where absolutes are fading away.” The prisoner is dictating this for his newsletter.

    Read More
  • VITAL SIGNS

    Who’s Insane?

    A piece appeared recently in my local newspaper by one Anthony C. Infanti, professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. He wrote in support of a pending state antidiscrimination bill that would ban discrimination on the basis of...

    Read More
  • Correspondence

    A Living Past

    It is a small town in Bavaria, and it is at least 32 degrees C. The camera weighs heavy in my hands, and I can feel speckles of sweat accumulating beneath my black rucksack, as it soaks up the sun like a square and sinister sponge.

    Read More
  • Perspective

    The Good Life

    “Say, I guess America is just about the best country that has ever existed in the history of mankind.” I have been hearing this assertion all my life and never fully understood what is intended, unless it is merely one of those ahems that we...

    Read More
  • Heresies

    Breast Implants and Barbarians

    When Miss California’s assets were revealed to be fakies, I immediately thought of a line from Roland Bainton’s excellent and concise history The Medieval Church: “The real point,” he wrote, “was . . . ” Well, first, the story.

    Read More
  • REVIEWS

    The Right Fork

    The chronological niche which the generation of D.J. Taylor’s title occupies, 1918-40, will be remembered by future historians—if, indeed, there should be any such creatures among the oafish homunculi now incubating in the totalitarian crucibles...

    Read More
  • VIEWS

    The Obesity Epidemic

    It is a sign of the times that one of the most talked-about reality-TV shows of the season centers on a woman who desires to lose weight. Lots of weight. The show’s star, Ruby Gettinger, now tips the scales at around 500 pounds, having once...

    Read More
  • Perspective

    Uncle Sam's Harem

    These days bipolarism appears to be the “in” childhood malady touted by leftist psychologists, who previously promoted ADHD to explain away the disturbed behavior exhibited by postmodern children and adolescents.

    Read More
  • NEWS

    Rich Man, Poor Man

    When the late Tony Snow stepped down from his position as President George W. Bush’s press secretary, he explained that he simply could not “make it on $168,000 a year.” The comment didn’t play well in Peoria.

    Read More
  • VITAL SIGNS

    Frummie's Song

    Frummie and his friends were beside themselves a few months ago over the nerve of Vanity Fair. It quoted them! And they were surprised that Vanity Fair was . . . unfair. “Out of context! Out of context!”

    Read More
  • REVIEWS

    Man on Holiday

    John G. West’s primary thesis in Darwin Day in America is that our culture and politics have been dehumanized by a scientific materialism (or reductionism) that sees man merely as the sum of his parts, and that this dogma has taken over the...

    Read More
  • VITAL SIGNS

    The West’s Guilty Feelings

    The decline of the West may sound like a well-worn cliché, but this shouldn’t blind us to the fact that there might be some truth to it. The modern West has emerged from a rebellion against the old one, which was at least in part a parricide.

    Read More
  • The Hundredth Meridian

    The Hobbyist

    The joyous return to Rancho Juárez was dampened, but in no way spoiled, by a certified letter awaiting Mr. and Mrs. Héctor Villa on their arrival. Mailed from the Belen Municipal Court, it threatened their daughter with juvenile detention if she...

    Read More
  • VITAL SIGNS

    Be Not Afraid

    In Leviticus, God gives Israel a number of blessings and curses that describe the benefits and consequences of keeping (or failing to keep) the Sinai covenant. One of the “covenant curses” is curiously descriptive of the jittery culture of fear...

    Read More
  • VITAL SIGNS

    Umpires

    Mike Carey was the first “African-American” to head a crew that refereed a Super Bowl—the one in which the sainted Tom Brady got his butt kicked by the lowly Giants.

    Read More
  • VIEWS

    Videites

    Perhaps more than most I wax nostalgic for the 50’s, which was not a decade but an era that began in the late 1940’s and lasted through the early 60’s. It was the best of times for Southern California kids to grow up, especially for those of us...

    Read More
  • Perspective

    Lost in the 50’s

    It was about 1965, in Jimmy Dengate’s “club” in Charleston, when I got my first clue to what the 50’s had been all about. I met an unusual sportswriter. Let us call him Jack, if only because it was his real name.

    Read More
  • VIEWS

    Yankee, Go Home

    Sixty years ago an incident lodged in my memory forever as it seems, as I walked with the beautiful redheaded young lady who paused to ask me a question. There above an old outbuilding—I hesitate to call it a barn—there was a weathervane...

    Read More
  • The Rockford Files

    Summertime Blues

    Driving from Rockford to St. Paul, Minnesota, is a bit like going back in time. St. Paul (like La Crosse, Wisconsin, where we crossed over the Mississippi River just hours before it began to burst its banks) is relatively well preserved, unlike...

    Read More
  • VITAL SIGNS

    Rockin’ in the 50’s

    When the mode of music changes, Plato remarked, the walls of the city shake. When the mode of music changed back in the 1950’s, the denizens of Plato’s Pad and their peers saw more fingers than walls shaking: The music they were listening to,...

    Read More
  • Correspondence

    Christmas in Abbeville

    Last winter, I traveled to Abbeville, South Carolina, for its Fifth Annual Olde South Christmas. To the casual observer, this event might appear to be merely an instance of savvy small-town marketing—an attempt to capitalize on the trade in...

    Read More
  • VITAL SIGNS

    Whispers From Kirk

    Stan Evans has described bodies of thought as having “lifecycles”; they emerge, thrive for a while, and, unless continually nourished, eventually hollow out and pass away. Having reached the end of its lifecycle, liberalism, as a coherent body...

    Read More
  • VIEWS

    Virtual Education Reality

    In his book Decadence and Renewal in the Higher Learning (1978), Russell Kirk wrote of the “personal and social danger” caused by sham schooling in American colleges.

    Read More