Letters of James Agee to Father Flye

Spanning almost James Agee's entire lifetime, these letters between author and his priest cover alcohol, God, poetry, childhood, and a “mouthful of sweet potato.”

The Barefoot Lawyer

Chen Guangcheng's condemnation of the Chinese state is told through his story of legal activism, resulting torture, trial, house arrest, and an escape to the U.S.

Reading Left to Right

Biographer Randy Boyagoda paints Richard John Neuhaus as an unusually ambitious and politically engaged priest as public intellectual—but is his narrative too tidy?

Commonweal Interviews

Featuring the best of our interviews—including Woody Allen, Jorge Luis Borges, Mary Gordon, (Sister) Elizabeth McAlister, Christian Wiman, and Mario Cuomo...

Last Word: Max Baer in Chicago

Chicago, 1932. The night before he would knock Ernie Schaaf unconscious, the second time a fighter would die from one of Max’s blows. We were standing at the bar.

Barney Frank: A Life in Politics

Amusing and engaging, Barney Frank's stories (from sixteen terms in Congress) tell what kinds of “inside politicking” informed the presidencies of LBJ through Obama.

'James Merrill: Life and Art'

Langdon Hammer's biography of poet and writer James Merrill is "wholly definitive" in scope, and threaded throughout with Merrill’s brilliant, always enlivening wit.

An Interview with Kirstin Valdez Quade

The award-winning author of the story collection 'Night at the Fiestas' talks about her influences, the importance of empathy in fiction, and washing altar cloths.

The Young T.E. Lawrence

The pro-British kings archeologist-turned-spy-turned-colonel T.E. Lawrence helped establish in Arabia, Iraq, and Transjordan made "Arab unity" a "madman's notion."

Last Word: Senioritis

Often the way our society treats "senior citizens" assumes that as bodies age, individuality decreases. But aren't whiskers and white socks a sign of unique wisdom?

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?

The Catholic Rubens

The Catholic painter Peter Paul Rubens presents a particular challenge to classification—decorative, theatrical, busy, pagan, and only superficially Christian.
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