Commonweal is celebrating its 85th birthday this year, and our anniversary issue is on its way to subscribers now. Here's what you all can read online:

  • J. Peter Nixon's critique of the way the principle of "subsidiarity" has been abused in the debate over health-care reform: "When Bigger Is Better"
  • Patrick Jordan's review of John Allen's new book, The Future Church: "Cloudy Crystal Ball"
  • A reflection from the editors on the state of the union, and Commonweal's role: "Our Times"

Those of you who are not subscribers will want to fix that right away, because there's lots more good stuff in this issue. For example: a defense of the independent press by John Wilkins, former editor of the London Tablet. A roundtable discussion with Peter and Peggy Steinfels and the current editors about Commonweal's past and its future. A piece by Paul Baumann on the challenges of editing the magazine, and identifying the church's role in the larger culture, today. Cathleen Kaveny's column on the problems with analyzing health care through the logic of insurance. William Cavanaugh's short essay on the common good and the economy. Letters in response to "Sister X."Plus, reviews: Richard Alleva on the film The Informant!; David Castronovo on Morris Dickstein's Dancing in the Dark; Rodney Clapp on Greg Garrett's We Get to Carry Each Other: The Gospel According to U2; Brad S. Gregory on Eamon Duffy's Fires of Faith; Richard A. Rosengarten on Theordore Ziolkowski's Modes of Faith.And, to wrap things up, Sidney Callahan reflects on finding a letter sent long ago from Dorothy Day. Not a bad lineup, if I do say so myself. No wonder we've been around for 85 years! With your support, we'll make it to 100 and beyond. (Have I mentioned that Commonweal makes a great gift?)

Mollie Wilson O’​Reilly is editor-at-large and columnist at Commonweal.

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