Book Reviews

Believe It or Not

“New atheists” like Richard Dawkins have made a splash with aggressive attacks on religion. But Michael Ruse, philosopher and reflective atheist, is not impressed.

No Turning Back

Published posthumously, Margaret O'Gara's collection of essays introduces the ecumenical perspective to a general audience in vivid first person.

The Liberal Arts vs. Neoliberalism

Deresiewicz not only critiques the idea that college education is about learning marketable skills; he also revives the old quest for meaning, self, and soul.

Medieval Christianity

This integrative, enjoyable "book for beginners" still may hold surprises for scholars: nuns absolving sins, petitioners humiliating saints, a woman pope, and more.

Moral Agents

Mailer, Trilling, Macdonald, Kazin, Maxwell, Bellow, Auden, O'Hara—men with public moral concerns, who seized power to shape American literature. But who were they?

There's Something I Want You to Do: Stories

Baxter reads fiction to “see bad stuff happening.” He writes characters who get into serious trouble, and face their own "human wreckage" at someone else's request.

One Nation Under God

Original and convincing, Kruse claims that the association of patriotism with Christianity comes from a libertarian reaction in American business to the New Deal.

God's Bankers

Posner’s attempt to intertwine Vatican finance with a history of the papacy—"rampant corruption, pervasive nepotism, unbridled debauchery"—isn't neutral, or correct.

The World Beyond Your Head

How can we choose to have agency over our lives when we are bombarded by choices? Crawford proposes a way to reclaim your attention span and thereby reclaim yourself

American Reckoning

Appy’s view is that American exceptionalism is an obnoxious and dangerous delusion, and his broadside against it recounts a litany of Vietnam atrocities.

Hitler's First Victims

This story is fascinating in its own right, but what makes the shootings of these four Jews a worthy subject of Timothy Ryback's arresting new book is their timing.

A Backpack, a Bear, and Eight Crates of Vodka

The humorous tone of Lev Golinkin’s new memoir doesn’t prevent him from engaging with topics of deadly importance: tryanny, communism, anti-Semitism, and childhood.