Book Reviews

The Coup at Catholic University

Peter Mitchell's take on Charles Curran and the "dissident theologian" strike at Catholic University in 1967 presents a conspiracy so big it's literally incredible.

Accountability, Anyone?

Why has there never been a culture of accountability in the American university? James Keenan, SJ believes the teachers of ethics should practice what they preach.

Backhanded Complementarity

In this collection of essays, authors draw on “Theology of the Body" to present the Church as a place where women’s leadership can flourish. The results are mixed.

The Arab Had a Name

Narrated by the nameless victim's brother, Kamal Daoud's novel asks: Did Camus intend to use the Algerian murder victim in 'The Stranger' as a disposable prop?

The Wisdom of the Beguines

Swan’s book does a good job of explaining both the beguines’ spiritual practices in the context of their own times and how their continuing legacy affects us today.

The Road to Character

Brooks thinks character is what’s missing in our self-centered society, yet has written a self-help book for an age he believes values the self much too highly.

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Anne Enright's new novel suggests something simple—family, for good or ill, keeps forming us even when we try to escape it—but her prose constantly surprises.

Embryos under the Microscope

In her new book, Jane Maienschein lays out the history of embryonic science—going back to Aristotle—hoping to answer an old question: When does a human life begin?

Barney Frank: A Life in Politics

Amusing and engaging, Barney Frank's stories (from sixteen terms in Congress) tell what kinds of “inside politicking” informed the presidencies of LBJ through Obama.

An Unlikely Union

Paul Moses's history of Irish-Italian relations in 19th century New York delves into the causes for "race war" between the immigrant groups and how they overcame it.

'James Merrill: Life and Art'

Langdon Hammer's biography of poet and writer James Merrill is "wholly definitive" in scope, and threaded throughout with Merrill’s brilliant, always enlivening wit.

Our Kids

The pattern of income inequality is more than a social problem, Robert Putnam says; it's a social tragedy, most devastating in the lives of poor American children.
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