Philip H. Clark

Robert Musil’s Posthumous Papers of a Living Author

The Austrian author Robert Musil is best known for The Man Without Qualities, a sprawling, 1,700-page opus regularly ranked alongside Ulysses and In Search Of Lost Time among the 20th century’s greatest novels, but it remained incomplete until his death […]

James Burnham’s Suicide Of The West

James Burnham passed away in 1987, the year I was born, but he’s experiencing a second life as his writings – many previously out of print – are finding new favor among the growing dissident Right, not only in America but […]

Walker Percy’s The Moviegoer

I don’t yet know how to define our modern malaise, but I see it everywhere. Our obesity epidemic, frequently blamed on sugar and processed foods, is at bottom a spiritual crisis, a desperate attempt to fill a nameless void. Another […]

Charles Murray’s Facing Reality

On or about May 25, 2020, American society went insane. The death of George Floyd, recorded for the world to see, marked a turning point in American culture and politics as surely as the assassination of JFK or the felling […]

Kevin Myers’ Watching The Door

The title of Kevin Myers’ memoir of life in Northern Ireland during the period we now know, euphemistically, as “the Troubles,” won’t make much sense to readers until they’ve almost turned the final page, but that’s what subtitles are for, […]

Robert Walser’s Jakob von Gunten

Robert Walser is one of the 20th century’s forgotten masters. Born in Biel, Switzerland, in 1878, the seventh of eight children, to an unstable mother and a father who struggled to make a living as a bookbinder, Walser’s formal schooling […]

John W. Dower’s Embracing Defeat

John W. Dower is an American historian and former “Ford International Professor of History” at MIT, best known for his 1999 work Embracing Defeat: Japan In The Wake Of World War II, which won nearly every award for which it […]

Joseph Massey’s Illocality

Joseph Massey is an American poet possessed with rare and authentic talent. He came to my attention two years ago, when he published a personal essay in Quillette about his experience of being “cancelled,” of having his reputation tarred and […]

Robert Putnam’s Our Kids

The most consequential shift in American family life after World War II occurred entirely along class lines, handicapping children born to growing numbers of lower- and middle-class parents in ways that would have been considered shocking and unacceptable to every […]

Joseph Frank’s Dostoevsky: The Mantle of the Prophet, 1871-1881

The concluding book of Joseph Frank’s magisterial five-volume Dostoevsky biography picks up where the last left off: Dostoevsky has returned to Russia from extended European travels, designed to give him temporary relief from his financial obligations. He has published three […]

Jason Manning’s Suicide: The Social Causes of Self-Destruction

Suicide is a fascinating subject, any way you look at it. What prompts someone to take their own life? Hamlet’s “To be or not to be,” the most famous lines in English literature, speak to the central importance of the […]

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 […]