Art & Culture

Amid an otherwise estimable analysis of the Pilgrims’ early years and legacy, Christopher Caldwell makes a common mistake in the Claremont Review of Books, describing Myles Standish not just as “brave, erudite, underhanded, and so diminutive that he was known (though not to his face) as Captain Shrimp”—all true—but as “a secular mercenary” to boot. [...]

Amid an otherwise estimable analysis of the Pilgrims’ early years and legacy, Christopher Caldwell makes a common mistake in the Claremont Review of Books, describing Myles Standish not just as “brave, erudite, underhanded, and so diminutive that he was known (though not to his face) as Captain Shrimp”—all true—but as “a secular mercenary” to boot. [...]

The Pilgrims first sighted land off Cape Cod on November 9, 1620, after spending sixty-five days at sea. They rejoiced, singing Psalm 100, a traditional song of thanksgiving. But as William Bradford recorded in Of Plymouth Plantation, it was winter when, “all things stand upon them with a weatherbeaten face.” “They had no friends to welcome them, [...]

A Crisis of Crèches

Today, religious art is the subject of an almost universal indifference. It’s no great task to see why. In September of 2019, Pope Francis (or, rather, Pope Francis’s coterie of managers, handlers, and other particolored eminences) installed a statue called Angels Unawares in Saint Peter’s Square on the snappily named World Day of Migrants and [...]

When I was a boy, every so often my father would take me to the National Press Building downtown for the gatherings of the Ottawa Chesterton Society. It was a merry, all-male club whose president used to say grinningly that GKC stood for “Girls Kan’t Come.” After enjoying a fine dinner with those well-dressed, garrulous [...]

What do Xi Jinping and Thomas Jefferson have in common? There may be a hundred interesting answers (which you can consider at your leisure), but as yet there is one that is both fairly substantial and sufficiently documented: both men set out to rewrite the Bible. Jefferson’s project—initially undertaken while president of the United States—was [...]

“We are victims of our century,” wrote one of the Carmelites of Compiègne before going to the guillotine in 1794, “and we must sacrifice ourselves that it be reconciled to God.” Attacks on Catholic churches, anti-Christian elites, and suffocating political correctness—the eighteenth century witnessed cultural conflict every bit as intense as our own today. Yet [...]

At the time of this writing (September 14, 2020) we are, by my count, in our third day of autumn. Without a jacket, the light breeze brings you a small shock, without the relief it might have brought a mere week ago when the humid lake air made your head and skin feel thick and [...]

Food for Thought

Some may be wary of the new book TerraFutura (“FutureWorld”) by Italian environmental activist Carlo Petrini, which features a series of conversations with Pope Francis about “integral ecology” five years after Laudato Si’. In these interviews, the pope comments very truly on something that will help our culture and our planet far more than eco-activism: [...]

Whither the WASP?

One of the disturbing things about the Cult of Wokeness is how many venerated institutions—educational, cultural, religious, and so on—have succumbed to it, as per our earlier published “Woke List.” One such that did not make that admittedly non-exhaustive numbering was the National Association of Independent Schools, the umbrella group for many of the most [...]

Living a Lie

Live Not by Lies: A Manual for Christian Dissidents Rod Dreher (Sentinel, 2020) Hardcover, $27.00 On September 18, Ruth Bader Ginsburg died at the age of 87. At once, this country was filled with the sound of progressives weeping and gnashing their teeth. From what I could gather, none of them knew Ginsburg personally. Most [...]

Occupy Harvard

You probably think North Korea is thousands of miles away. Actually, it is as close as your nearest university. By and large most of our universities and colleges have become little North Koreas—sealed enclaves of repressive ideology, stifled speech, and rigid thought control. Students enthuse to this jailed status through daily dosages of Huxleyan soma [...]

The American media lies, and lies damnably. This statement will come as no revelation to regular readers of Crisis magazine. We all remember the more glaring falsehoods peddled in the past few years, e.g., that Nicholas Sandmann and his classmates bullied and harassed a Native American tribal elder, that President Trump praised neo-Nazis as “very [...]

“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 [...]

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 [...]

MENU