2011-05-06

Date: 
Friday, May 6, 2011

Telling the Christian Story

The idea that the universe is ultimately without meaning—an idea advanced by many of the new atheists—has often struck me, and other believers, as nihilistic and...

Wrong Path

As the United States gradually emerges from its worst recession since the 1930s, Washington has again turned its attention to the nation’s debt. Both parties agree...

Engerland

The phrase “national identity” is popping up everywhere in Britain. I have read two recent books with those words in the title, and they recur throughout an article...

View Finders

A photograph often tells more about who was behind the camera than what lies in front of it. From its invention in 1839 in the workshops of Louis Daguerre and Fox...

Outside Gravity

The story begins on a bright afternoon many years ago, one I remember as though I’d seen it. (This is natural enough in a family like ours, with its canon of...

The Fighter

One of the most moving collections of essays I know is Broken Vessels by Andre Dubus II. Almost twenty years ago I recommended it to Commonweal readers, praising...

Marx, scandal, Libya

Supporting the Middle Regarding Terry Eagleton’s “Was Marx Right?” (April 8): I had thought that what had been making Marx wrong for many decades, at least in the...

Hopkins Agonistes

Toward the end of his life, Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844–89) suffered several long bouts of depression. His “dark sonnets” record these episodes with an admirable...

What We’ve Lost

Daniel Patrick MoynihanA Portrait in Letters of an American VisionaryEdited by Steven R. WeismanPublicAffairs, $35, 608 pp. Age of FractureDaniel T....

Finishing Well

Lucian Freud—along with Andrew Wyeth, Alex Colville, George Tooker, and Philip Pearlstein, all born between l917 and 1924—opposed the prevailing tide of abstraction...

On the House

Journalists have a long and essentially uncomplicated relationship with alcohol. “Between 1899 and 1904 there was only one reporter south of the Mason-Dixon Line...

Risky Business

I recently returned from four days of imprisonment. I was trapped in a catacomb of exhibition halls, hotel suites, seminar rooms, and coffee vendors. Everyone knew...