America: Christian or Jacobin?

The following review originally appeared in the Summer 2005 edition of The Intercollegiate Review, and appears with the permission of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute.   Who Are We? The Challenges to America’s National Identity, by Samuel P. Huntington, New York: Simon and Schuster, 2004, $16.   This is a rare book—erudite and readable, analytical but … Read more

Peace in the Home

The following review was first published in the August 1998 edition of Crisis Magazine.   Domestic Tranquility: A Brief Against Feminism F. Caroline Graglia, Spence Publishing, 1998, 451 pages, $20.   Caveat lector: Domestic Tranquility is anything but a tranquil book. F. Carolyn Graglia may celebrate the virtues, satisfactions, and substantial rewards of women’s domestic … Read more

Decentralizing the Church?

The following review originally appeared in the March 2000 edition of Crisis Magazine. The Reform of the Papacy: The Costly Call to Christian Unity John R. Quinn, The Crossroad Publishing Company, 189 pages, $18.00. The new year brought ugly news from Beijing. Chilling what had begun to look like a thaw in Vatican-China relations, the … Read more

Say It Loud: Bourgeois and Proud

The following essay, which first appeared at FrontPage Magazine, continues yesterday’s symposium on the “bourgeois spirit.” See also Dawson’s Catholicism and the Bourgeois Mind, Jeffrey Tucker’s reply, In Defense of Bourgeois Civilization, John Peter Pham’s classic review of A Humane Economy, and Gerard Russello’s account of Dawson’s contribution. The 20th century, for all the scientific … Read more

The Virtuous Bourgeois

This book review first appeared in the June 1999 edition of Crisis Magazine. It continues yesterday’s symposium on the “bourgeois spirit.” See also Christopher Dawson’s essay, Catholicism and the Bourgeois Mind, Jeffrey Tucker’s reply, In Defense of Bourgeois Civilization, Gerard Russello’s account of Dawson’s contribution, and Crisis editor John Zmirak’s essay, Say It Loud: Bourgeois … Read more

Crisis Magazine Summer Reading List 2011

With summer fully, oppressively upon us, it’s time once again for the Crisis Magazine Summer Reading List. We’ve asked writers, staff, and friends to share with us some books they’ve recently enjoyed and what they recommend to while away a muggy afternoon. Their picks cover everything from classics to new favorites, fiction to history to … Read more

Summer Flood

The musical levees have broken and I am inundated with new CD releases. In these brief reviews, I will also be playing catch-up on some overlooked items of merit. I shall proceed chronologically, which means we begin with my favorite period of music, the Classical era. The CPO label (777 526-2) has released a disc … Read more

Guidelines for the Protection of Priests

When the United States bishops meet in Seattle in June for their semiannual conference, they will review the implementation of the 2002 “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.” It has served, for almost ten years, as the primary mechanism to safeguard minors from sexual abuse in the American Catholic Church. While the … Read more

LA archdiocese still missing the big picture on abuse cases

A priest who confessed to having sex with a teenage girl in the 1960s has just stepped down from ministry in the Los Angeles archdiocese — and appallingly, that’s still not the most outrageous part of this story: The priest, the Rev. Martin P. O’Loghlen, was once a leader in his religious order and was … Read more

Insert terrible confession pun here.

The Interwebs are really lighting up with the story of a new iPhone app that aids Catholics in making a good confession. The app allows users to create a secure personal profile that then leads to a guided examination of conscience based on one’s age, gender, and state in life. You then “select” your sins … Read more

The Specter of Broken Fatherhood

“When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.“ — Mark Twain Wes Anderson is a hard case. As a director … Read more

Archbishop Dolan takes on the New York Times

Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York City is not happy with the New York Times. In a post from his personal blog yesterday, he bemoaned “the common, casual way [the paper] offends Catholic sensitivity, something they would never think of doing — rightly so — to the Jewish, Black, Islamic, or gay communities.” He cites … Read more

The President Starts to Whine About Persecution

It had to happen eventually.  This president is too thin-skinned to take the high road for very long.  Yesterday, at a labor rally in Milwaukee, Obama went off his prepared remarks (a big mistake for him!): [O]ver the last two years, that’s meant taking on some powerful interests — some powerful interests who had been … Read more

Yet another adult stem cell breakthrough…

Family & Life, an independent pro-life organization in Ireland, reports on the latest medical innovation involving the use of adult stem cells: a boy in Northern Ireland became the first child to undergo a successful trachea transplant. The 11-year-old underwent the operation which involved the removal of his trachea and its replacement with a donor … Read more

Cost cutting?

Imagine Jeffery Immelt, Steve Jobs, or Richard Branson issuing an edict that asks their legion of employees to submit ideas for cost cutting.  Let’s say they receive thousands of suggestions and then open the suggestions to their peers for voting. Then the creator of the winning idea gets a photo-op with the CEO. And yet, … Read more

‘Hating Films For All The Wrong Reasons’

Jeffrey Overstreet, of the Looking Closer blog, is one of the film critics I look to with great regularity, particularly when it comes to identifying and analyzing the more “spiritual” components of cinema. (His book “Through a Screen Darkly” examines the ways in which “artists – whether they know it or not – have captured … Read more

The Mormonocity of Meyer’s Vampires

My contact with Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series — a cultural phenomenon of truly staggering proportions — has been blessedly limited. Other than a quick sampling of a few pages from the first book (which left me semi-horrified at the level of prose on display) and a brief brush with most-amusing-if-still-not-entirely-appropriate RiffTrax ever, I am essentially unTwilighted. Even Matthew … Read more

Friday Free-for-All

Good morning! Today’s links are all odds and ends that wouldn’t fit anywhere else this week — feel free to drop your own news items in the comments:  Why you’ve never really heard The Moonlight Sonata. Don’t miss the clips. The story of the British POW who snuck into Auschwitz: “I knew in my gut … Read more

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