John McGreevy

John T. McGreevy is the I.A. O'Shaughnessy Dean of the College of Arts and Letters and Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame.

By this author

More Wikileaks

Amy Davidson of the New Yorker is good on the latest Wikileaks disclosures. My own nominee for startling fact: Saudi leaders urging an American military attack on Iran.

Mark Lilla on the election

The ever interesting Mark Lilla in the New York Review of Books on the election. Lilla's verdict: the Tea Party movement is as much Populist as Republican, despite the results, giving the Democrats a chance to seize political momentum in the next couple of years if they emphasize the theme of "fairness."

First read Peter Steinfels. Then talk about the Vatican and the Third Reich.

First read Peter Steinfels's superb piece in the current Commonweal on the crisis of attrition in the Church. On the big issues for Catholicism in the United States -- and why bishops (and other Catholics) don't talk enough about the big issues -- it strikes me as exactly right.If you've done that and are looking for something completely different you might take a look at the Journal of Modern History, June 2010 issue.

Dreyfus Affair

An excellent review by Stephen Schloesser, S.J., of an equally good new book on the Dreyfus Affair, by Ruth Harris. I've read the book, too, and Harris is especially good at showing how the repellent conduct of many Catholics during the controversy over whether Dreyfus had betrayed the French military (he had not) pushed some French liberals into decidedly illiberal views on religion's role in public life.

Duffy on Benedict XVI

An interesting piece by the distinguished historian Eamon Duffy on Benedict XVI's visit to Britain. The short version: Benedict enters an English culture where Catholic are, paradoxically, more accepted at all levels of society than before, but where a public anti-Catholicism is gaining renewed energy. The Pope's own combative orientation to the modern world is, in Duffy's view, unhelpful.

More on Catholics and Muslims

A short piece by Scott Appleby and myself on the mosque controversy.....I see now that we've been thinking along similar lines as Mollie O. and Paul Moses.

Out of the Ashes

A History of Europe Since 1945
Tony Judt
Penguin Press, $39.95, 896 pp.



I sat a few feet from President Barack Obama for almost three hours just over a year ago. True, we never spoke. Or even shook hands. And sitting next to me was a Secret Service agent carrying a large gun concealed beneath his borrowed-for-the-occasion academic robes.

Welcome to graduation at the University of Notre Dame.

The Economist on European Catholicism

A fascinating (basically gloomy, although not entirely so) article on the fate of Catholicism in Europe....

Summer Novel

My summer novel: The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman. Described as a witty look into the offices of a failing English language newspaper in Rome. Glorious reviews. But very imperfect. It's a quick read, but almost instantly forgettable too. I'm just not sure I'm up for Peggy Steinfels's selection.....