Art & Culture

“A decline in courage may be the most striking feature which an outside observer notices in the West in our days,” the great Solzhenitsyn told America’s intellectual elite at Harvard in 1978. It was heartening, therefore, to read a letter of “Advice to Students in a Time of Strife,” published by First Things in late [...]

“A decline in courage may be the most striking feature which an outside observer notices in the West in our days,” the great Solzhenitsyn told America’s intellectual elite at Harvard in 1978. It was heartening, therefore, to read a letter of “Advice to Students in a Time of Strife,” published by First Things in late [...]

  Restless Heart is available now from Crisis Publications.            

Amidst the witches’ sabbath that the news has become, a rather pleasant centennial has come and gone—that of the birth of Ray Bradbury. The late Mr. Bradbury is author of such novels as The Martian Chronicles and Something Wicked This Way Comes, numerous short stories, plays, and film and television scripts. It was my pleasure [...]

Marco Pontecorvo’s new film Fatima, a drama based on the apparitions of the Virgin Mary in Portugal in 1917 and the three young seers who experienced them, debuted August 28 with balanced but mostly-favorable reviews in major outlets like CNN and The New York Times, as well as in Catholic publications. It’s encouraging that mainstream [...]

It has been 56 years since Flannery O’Connor passed from the earth at the all-too-young age of 39. Her legacy as an outstanding writer and extraordinary human being seemed firmly established. However, two precipitating factors have led to her previously untarnished legacy being questioned and the removal of her name from a residence hall at [...]

Back in July there was a minor brouhaha on Twitter, that reliable indicator of the latest tergiversations of woke thought. One of the trending hashtags was “#CancelHamilton.” For the benefit of those who have lived in a cave for the past five years, let me explain. Hamilton is the smash hit, hip-hop musical (now available [...]

In this vale of tears one often meets unpleasant people. These are the sort of people who say things like, “You have too many books.” Yet sometimes the criticism sticks in one's craw. As you lie upon the bed at night, you wonder, “Why on earth do I have so many (yet not too many) [...]

In 1963, the premiere of German playwright Rolf Hochhuth’s The Deputy was met equally with praise and protest. The play’s non-controversial condemnation of Nazism came at the expense of Pope Pius XII, who in the opening act is denounced by a fictitious cardinal as “a criminal.” Pius is cast as a cold-hearted politician whose failure [...]

There is a strong push from President Donald Trump, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, and educators across the country for schools to resume in-person, full-time instruction despite the fears and dangers associated with Covid-19. Even the CDC issued an article recently on the importance of reopening America’s schools this fall, estimating that it is actually [...]

It was a good year for many of us. An economy that had sustained a heavy blow under President Jimmy Carter was recovering under Ronald Reagan. Aside from the skirmishes in Lebanon, the nation was at peace. And as a college freshman away from my mother’s scrupulous gaze, I was at last free to leave [...]

In the ethnic tradition of Anglo-Saxons, the “patter songs” of Gilbert and Sullivan have been the equivalent of contemporary rap music. Learning the repertoire was part of the expected rites of passage and, in the 1960s, I did my duty, even attaining to the heights of playing Sir Ruthven Murgatroyd, a baronet disguised as young [...]

“The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it’s a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us of all that [...]

Man is a rational animal. The capacity for reason is ingrained in his nature. He cannot be truly himself without living by the light of human reason. Saint Thomas Aquinas understood the social implications of reason and saw it as a means by which all people can communicate with each other on a common basis. [...]

The recent toppling of statues regarded as representing white supremacy is a sign that James Joyce’s Ulysses may soon be toppled from its top rank on the lists of great novels. Not only is James Joyce a dead, white, European male, but his work, particularly Ulysses, demands an understanding of Irish politics, Dublin geography, and [...]

The world lost a tremendously important voice on January 12, 2020, when Sir Roger Scruton passed away. Like all great artists and critics, his spirit lives on, and it is fitting that the great aesthetician and music scholar has bequeathed to the world a final—and fitting—contribution of cultural analysis, music criticism, and Wagnerian scholarship. In Wagner’s [...]

Why do young people leave the Faith? I was asked that question the other day, and I replied, off the cuff, that it was two things: Their imaginations had not been formed by the Faith and our magnificent heritage of arts and letters, and they wanted to have sex. Most of the reasons that people [...]

In Bruce Catton’s famous book A Stillness at Appomattox, which won both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award in 1954, the historian recounts a meeting held by Abraham Lincoln with his two generals, Ulysses S. Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman, just before the inevitable surrender of the Confederacy. “The principal order of business,” Catton [...]

We are living in a strange time, to be sure—a strange amalgam of the last short years of the antebellum South and Weimar Germany. If we were selling it to a studio as a film idea, we would have to say it’s the first half-hour or so of Gone with the Wind meets Cabaret. Amid [...]

The story of the American founding usually begins in the East. In that account, we speak of the War of Independence, the establishment of the American republic, and prominent founding fathers like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. However, there is an older story involving other founding fathers which took place in the West. Nearly 80 years [...]

The American city is built on efficiency. Roads weave and connect, and gas stations populate major street corners. Fast food restaurant chains pepper the highways so that drivers can eat as soon as they are hungry. Mountains are leveled and rivers are redirected so that the greatest number can fit in the smallest area. Buildings [...]

Let Teddy Stay

Navigating the current political waters can seem not only difficult but pointless. In our times, leadership has failed in almost every sector of society: families are broken, schools are in need of desperate aid, governors and senators vow false promises they know they will not keep, and mob rule appears to be replacing the ethical [...]

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