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Roger Kimball’s Tenured Radicals

Strange things have been happening at universities of late. Actually, strange things have been happening at universities – and, in particular, their humanities departments – for some time, but the general public seems to show only periodic concern. There was, for […]

Jonathan Rauch’s Kindly Inquisitors

I came across Jonathan Rauch by accident when I stumbled upon a video of him defending free speech on behalf of F.I.R.E., the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, a non-profit group established to defend civil liberties, particularly the freedom of […]

Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass

I first read Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass in 2005, on the 150th anniversary of its publication, and I must confess that it confused me unlike any poetic work I had yet read. Shakespeare, Tennyson, Keats, Poe – these were the poets […]

Alan Turing

It was learning about Alan Turing’s life and death that inspired me to create this section in recognition of those people who have contributed positively to our advancement as a species without their due of public accolades or historical renown. […]

Richard Feynman’s Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!

Richard Feynman was America’s best-known theoretical physicist, a Nobel laureate and, according to a 1999 poll of 100 of the world’s most highly esteemed scientists, one of the ten greatest physicists to ever live. It is difficult to comprehend intellect […]

Some Words on John Milton

In the parlance of today’s academic culture, John Milton is not just a “dead white male,” he is the dead white male, epitomizing all of the pejoratives this neologism connotes: his works are archaic, stylistically and syntactically complex, and long and dense […]

Why Read Shakespeare?

We read deeply for varied reasons, most of them familiar: that we cannot know enough people profoundly enough; that we need to know ourselves better; that we require knowledge, not just of self and others, but of the way things […]

David Foster Wallace’s The Pale King

Much is owed to Michael Pietsch, the long-time editor of David Foster Wallace, who out of the boxes of manuscripts, character sketches, notes and errata has crafted a coherent and forceful novel worthy of its departed author. In his preface, […]