Tina Rosenberg’s Children Of Cain

One of the most haunting pieces of long-form journalism I’ve ever read was produced by the Wall Street Journal and written by David Luhnow, bearing the simple but effective title “Latin America Is the Murder Capital of the World.” It’s […]

Norman Lewis’ Naples ’44

I owe to Curzio Malaparte my introduction to the sufferings inflicted on the people of Naples in 1944, the year the Allies liberated it from Nazi occupation. His book The Skin is a semi-fictionalized account of that proud city’s descent […]

Aris Roussinos’ Rebels

For some years now, I have enjoyed the writings of Aris Roussinos, a former war reporter turned opinion writer with a particular interest in the lifecycles of civilizations, the blindspots of modern liberalism, and the barriers and pathways to cultural […]

Dwight Macdonald’s Masscult And Midcult

Literary reputations seem to rise and fall with the tides. Consider the fate of Dwight Macdonald, former staple of Time, The New Yorker and The New York Review of Books, and once a force in America’s mid-century intellectual scene. He […]

Rowan Williams’ Dostoevsky: Language, Faith & Fiction

Rowan Williams is the former Archbishop of Canterbury, whose tenure from December 2002 to December 2012 saw him presiding over royal weddings and various controversies involving the Church of England’s position on gay marriage or the ordination of female priests. […]

Christopher Caldwell’s The Age Of Entitlement

The thesis of journalist Christopher Caldwell’s latest book is painful but simple: America’s polarization stems from the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which did not just amend or augment the original American constitution, but inaugurated a “rival constitution,” that undermined […]

Peter De Vries’ Slouching Towards Kalamazoo

Both the title and accompanying illustration hint at the comic nature of Peter De Vries’ Slouching Towards Kalamazoo (1983). The slouching is mainly done by Anthony Thrasher, a precocious reader and indifferent student, already held back one grade for his […]

Patrick J. Deneen’s Why Liberalism Failed

Much ink has been spilled since 2016 on the subject of liberalism’s demise, but nothing I have yet read surpasses Patrick Deneen’s Why Liberalism Failed (2018) in insightfulness or force of argument. In measured language, and with requisite restraint, Deneen […]

Yukio Mishima’s The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With The Sea

Every new foray I make into the works of Yukio Mishima, Japan’s worst-kept literary secret, expands my appreciation for him as a writer of great conviction. He was a man at odds with his time, a vocal critic of post-war […]

William Ophuls’ Immoderate Greatness: Why Civilizations Fail

William Ophuls was a recent discovery of mine, and reading him made me deeply grateful for the introduction. He is a political scientist by training, with degrees from Princeton and Yale, but an ecologist in practice, one of the earliest […]

Helen Andrews’ Boomers

Rarely do I pre-order a book, but in the case of Helen Andrews, presently the senior editor of The American Conservative and one of the brightest young writers at work today, exceptions must be made. I have long enjoyed her […]

Mircea Eliade’s A History Of Religious Ideas (Vol.3)

In my ongoing effort to better acquaint myself with religious thought, I have arrived at the final volume of Mircea Eliade’s sweeping A History Of Religious Ideas, covering not only the appearance of Islam and the inevitable clashes with Christianity, […]

Eric Newby’s The Last Grain Race

In the Penn’s Landing port of Philadelphia harbour, there is docked a beautiful, four-masted ship, one of the last remaining “windjammer” commercial sailing ships that traversed the world’s oceans bringing grain and other goods. Today, she is a floating restaurant, […]

Simone Weil’s Selected Essays, 1934-1943

Simone Weil is one of the most impressive and interesting 20th century intellectuals, and sadly, until very recently, one of the most overlooked. She was born into a prosperous agnostic Jewish family in Paris in 1909, achieved fluency in Ancient […]

David M. Buss’ The Evolution Of Desire

A conspicuous and disturbing fact about the modern world is that full participation in it demands we accede to a growing number of lies. The mildest dissent is met with stigma and ostracism and character assassination, which is perhaps less […]