January 24, 2014

Commonweal, January 24, 2014
Friday, January 24, 2014

Articles in this issue

Blank Checks

In spite of historical lessons, blank checks remain the currency of allied nations. During the twentieth century, seemingly competent leaders have issued them.

Darwin’s Tree of Life

An exclusive excerpt from Elizabeth A. Johnson's forthcoming book, 'Ask the Beasts: Darwin and the God of Love.'

Letters | Passing on the Faith, Married Priests

Readers continue to respond to two of our most talked-about stories.

Moving Day

There’s nothing easy about watching one’s father drift out of his own life. Alzheimer’s, old age, senility—whatever you call it—is distressing for everyone.

Not Beanbag

Ignatieff’s constructive approach to politics, like his commitments to democracy and social justice, remains untainted by the bitter experiences he describes.

Squeaky Hinge

Thomas Cahill's words are not easy to understand but point to a persistent presentism, a tendency to view the past through the lens of the present.


'Story of a Secret State' promises an insider’s perspective on Poland’s Home Army, the largest resistance organization in Nazi-occupied Europe --- and delivers it.

Borrowed Voices

Averill Curdy’s poems seek to widen the reader’s sense of self by finding room for several selves, real and imagined, within a single mind.

The Last Word: The Crewcut

One day in elementary school a boy on the playground punched a nun in the belly. His name was Billy and her name was Marie. It was an accident.

American Innocence

'The Irony of American History' shines a klieg light on the so-called war on terror and the current debate over the operations of our “national security state."

Odd Couples

Judi Dench radiates from a still center, and Emma Thompson confirms that she is the best movie actress in the English-speaking world.

Poem | Springtime in Chicago in November

Springtime in Chicago in November. / My forty-first year to heaven. / My left hand wants to know / what my right hand is doing.