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Letter from Rome

Controversy over the canonization of California's founding father continues; Bishop Finn is finally gone; and Pope Francis will make visit to U.S. Seminary in Rome.

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?

Smart Guy

As mainstream news organizations were losing their claim on authority and trust, Jon Stewart used smarts and comedy to establish his own journalistic credibility.

Facing Down Death

No matter how accomplished, no matter how many titles and beach houses they accumulate, men crave some kind of red badge.

Browsers Welcome

From its inception Amazon has sought to disrupt the traditional bookselling market. Now France is trying to disrupt Amazon while protecting independent bookstores.

The Commonweal Catholic

Commonweal writers represent a heritage that traces all the way back to the greatest of early Christian theologians.

Consider This

Despite optimistic hopes for a new “democracy of opinion,” what is more like a new anarchy of opinion has not overcome public skepticism.

'The Leftovers' on HBO

This gloomy, powerfully acted series imagines the aftermath of a cryptic development: 2 percent of the world’s population has vanished, and no one knows why.

Serious Fun

In 'Waiting for the Barbarians,' Mendelsohn has collected essays originally published in the New York Review of Books, the New York Times, and elsewhere.

Recording Angel with a Camera

Among the virtues of Ryan Coogler's film "Fruitvale Station" is the way he shows how numerous definitions of the word "tragedy" may apply.

Before FEMA

The language of the Bible haunts the latest documentary by Ken Burns. There are descriptions of “plagues” that sound like the book of Exodus. At one...

Insoluble

“Taut” is not an adjective one usually associates with Charles Dickens. The great English writer composed novels that brim with expansive observations and leisurely...
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Book Reviews

Moral Agents

April 20, 2015 | 1 comment

Serious Fun

September 30, 2013 | 0 comments