Death and Dying

A Death to Celebrate?

During the Middle Ages—the historical context for the rise of what would come to be known as the “just war” tradition—violence under any circumstance was deemed a...

Channeling History

If you’re a fan of the History Channel, you’ll feel right at home watching Robert Redford’s recreation of Abraham Lincoln’s murder near the beginning of The...

Pass the Cudgel

We’re still debating whether what we’re doing in Libya can rightly be described as war, though bombs dropped amid an “intervention” are just as deadly. But where’s...

Trading Places

Jane Gross’s book on caring for aging parents is both an invaluable guide and a terrifying read, a book that tells you things that you didn’t even know you didn’t...

Self-destruct Sequence

According to Ron Rosenbaum, when the Cold War ended—and especially after September 11 raised the specter of a nuclear attack by terrorists—people “succumbed to a...

Kashima & the Catfish

The apartment building in Chiba where my wife Keiko and I have spent most of our adult lives and where our four children grew up looks across the bay to Tokyo and...

Lightening the Load

Then we who are alive, who are left, shall be taken up together with them in the clouds to meet Christ, into the air: and so shall we be always with the Lord. —1...

Hallowed Ground

While visiting my sister Mary and her husband recently in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, I saw a beautiful cemetery and asked Mary to pull the car over so I could take...

Fetal Positions

Americans living in the mid-nineteenth century knew almost nothing about the human fetus, at least in a biological sense. Prior to a mother’s perception of fetal...

Sick Minds

For the past fifteen years, my sister Meg Kaveny has worked with the homeless in Portland, Oregon. Many of them are mentally ill. Meg moved to the Pacific Northwest...

Readers Will Always Be Grateful

The novelist and critic Wilfrid Sheed, who died last month at eighty, served as drama critic and literary editor of Commonweal from 1964 to ’69, and continued to...

Beyond Black & White

Here are some things you might expect to find on HBO: Prohibition-era gangsters. Post-Katrina New Orleans jazzmen. Vampires. Bill Maher. Here’s something you might...
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Book Reviews

Bring Out Your Dead

September 26, 2013 | 3 comments

Trading Places

April 25, 2011 | 0 comments

Self-destruct Sequence

April 25, 2011 | 0 comments

Fetal Positions

March 14, 2011 | 0 comments

The Banality of Eagleton

May 31, 2010 | 0 comments

Full Stop

October 20, 2008 | 0 comments