Gifts without a Giver

All Things Shining
Reading the Western Classics to Find Meaning in a Secular Age
Hubert Dreyfus and Sean Dorrance Kelly
Free Press, $26, 272 pp.

One of the stories that came out of the Tucson tragedy is that the alleged shooter, Jared Loughner, in a prior public meeting in 2007, had asked Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords the following cryptic question: “What is government if words have no meaning?” According to Loughner’s friends, Giffords’s inability to answer the question stoked the troubled young man’s anger and frustration. Though I doubt that it would offer consolation to anyone touched by the shooting, Loughner’s question and...

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About the Author

Francis Kane is professor emeritus at Salisbury University and co-director of its Institute for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement. He is the author of Neither Beasts nor Gods (Southern Methodist University Press).