You are here

Published in print

Liberalism and social issues

Here’s a talk I gave to the H. L. Mencken Club a couple weeks ago, published at Crisis Magazine.


Beyond populism

I have a piece in the August issue of Chronicles about what’s needed in view of the populist upsurge symbolized by Trump’s rise and most recently Brexit.


The Donald

I give an explanation of the Trump phenomenon at Chronicles Magazine.


Technocracy Now

I have an essay in the current First Things on the current political and social situation and how to respond to it. The whole thing is available here.


The practice of politics

[The following review appeared in the December, 2014 issue of Chronicles:]

This is a history of liberalism as it appears to an intelligent, well-informed, and thoroughly convinced English liberal who worked for many years as an editor and correspondent for The Economist. It is useful as a sympathetic exploration of the stages through which the political outlook that rules us today has advanced.


Sex and the religion of me

The following essay appears in the December, 2014 First Things:


A necessary book

[The following review appeared in the June, 2014 issue of Chronicles:]

We have been enduring the cultural revolution of liberal modernity. It is hard to say exactly when that revolution began, but it took a great step forward in the 60’s, when social and religious tradition lost its last shreds of public authority, and another after the collapse of communism freed it to go wherever it wanted without a serious external check.


A highly acceptable man

The following review of Robert P. George’s Conscience and Its Enemies appeared in the October 2013 Chronicles:


Review of Garry Wills' Why Priests?

The following review of Garry’s Will’s Why Priests? appeared in the June 2013 Chronicles:

Garry Wills identifies himself as a Christian. He says he accepts the creeds, along with prayer, divine providence, the Gospels, the Eucharist, and the Mystical Body of Christ as the body of all believers. He thinks it a bad thing that “article by article, parts of the Creed are fading from some churches.” He also identifies as a Catholic, and tells us he prays the rosary and is devoted to the saints.


Out of the antiworld

Here’s an essay from the current issue of Modern Age that’s been posted at the Intercollegiate Review website. It gives an architectonic account of all possible political positions in present-day America that explains the necessity and awkward status of social conservatism. The piece started out as a lecture I gave a couple of years ago at a Catholic conference and then shortened and made a bit less papist to fit into an officially non-Catholic publication.


Against Inclusiveness

I’ve got a new book out, Against Inclusiveness: How the Diversity Regime is Flattening America and the West and What to Do About It. It develops some of the arguments from The Tyranny of Liberalism and applies them in a more focused way to debunk our supreme moral principle, or what now seems to count as such. Since it’s published by a Catholic press I could get more specific about the principles for keeping the various aspects of human relations in balance other than attempting to suppress one or another of them because it might cause trouble.


After Liberalism: Notes toward Reconstruction

That’s the title of an essay I wrote that appears in the Spring 2012 issue of the Intercollegiate Review.


Caught in the Morass

[The following review, somewhat edited in ways I did not have a chance to look at (and in some respects would not have approved), appeared under the title Libertarian Limits in the January 2012 issue of First Things]

On Tolerance: A Defence of Moral Independence, by Frank Furedi, Continuum, 224 pages, $22.95

The independently-minded British sociologist Frank Furedi has variously been a Hungarian refugee, a self-proclaimed revolutionary communist, and a libertarian public intellectual. The last tendency seems likely to stick, and it has led him to write this critical analysis of therapeutic and custodial liberalism and plea for the restoration of classical liberalism.


A Self-Contained World

[The following review appeared in the January 2011 issue of Chronicles.]

The Tyranny of Guilt: An Essay on Western Masochism, by Pascal Bruckner, translated by Steven Rendall. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press 256 pp., $26.95


Always something to say

[The following review appeared in the October 2010 issue of Chronicles.]

Neoconservatives: The Biography of a Movement by Justin Vaïsse, translated by Arthur Goldhammer. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press 376 pp., $35.00

There are very few neoconservatives, people disagree on who they are, and they have no popular following or definite organizational structure. Even so, they have deeply affected American public life for 40 years.


Squared circles squared

My review of Daniel Mahoney’s recent book has provoked a response from Professor Mahoney, which appears (along with my rejoinder) in the current (March 2011) issue of First Things.


Squaring the circle

That’s the title of my review of Daniel Mahoney’s The Conservative Foundations of the Liberal Order: Defending Democracy Against Its Modern Enemies and Immoderate Friends in the current issue of First Things.


Reason Defended?

[The following review appeared in the Spring 2010 issue of Modern Age.]

The Suicide of Reason: Radical Islam’s Threat to the West, by Lee Harris (New York: Basic Books, 2007)

What do we make of radical Islam? Of Islam in general? Of the present state of the West? It is easier not to deal with such large questions, but events force them on us. Lee Harris wants us to take them very seriously indeed, since he believes that weaknesses of the liberal West make radical Islam a threat to its very survival. To avoid disaster, he believes, we need to abandon a great deal of fuzziness, insist on the unique value and fragility of liberal society, attend to considerations drawn from sociobiology and social Darwinism, and moderate the liberalism we want to preserve.


Is Gifted and Talented Education Anti-American?

An old friend asked me to contribute something to an issue of the Mensa Research Journal he was guest-editing on the topic of “Barriers to Educating the Gifted” (vol. 40, No. 2; summer 2009). Here’s the result, plus or minus a few footnotes and editorial fiddles:

“Our children are our future.” 
“A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”
“Human ingenuity is our greatest resource.”
“In America we believe in education.”


More awakening

I expanded the lecture I gave last summer at Gardone into a series of three essays that can be found in the October, November, and December issues of The Angelus. You can also read a Google docs version of the series as a single document.



Subscribe to RSS - Published in print