Larry McMurtry: Myth Killer, Myth Keeper

Whether he takes us to the Texas frontier or to 1970s Houston, his prose never gets in the way of his story. He moves ahead with the precision and simplicity of one of the McMurtry boys telling a story on the front porch of the family ranch house in Archer County, Texas.

Teaching Banned Books: Huck Finn

The censorship of slavery no longer dictates Huck’s morality. Unlike Tom, Huck has begun to question his society’s standards, to weigh and consider what is just and right, and I hope that by reading this story, my students may follow him in this difficult endeavor.

Calvino’s Leonia and the Weight of History

The conservationist recognizes that the society we live in, as much as the natural world we live in, was given to us as a gift with the demand that we pass it on to future generations, and therefore it is neither easily discarded nor above reproach.

Larry McMurtry and Wendell Berry at the Dairy Queen

McMurtry couldn’t quite set the Bowie knife to the scalp of the Western like Cormac McCarthy did the same year, maybe because he knew those people weren’t grotesque caricatures; they were people he’d known and loved. And when he died last week, he was probably the last person in Archer City who had any connection to those people at all.

Grace Olmstead on Uprooted, Place, Idaho, and Prairie Lupines

Fidelity to place needn’t (and shouldn’t) result in stuckness, a condemnation of ever moving at all. But we must beware falling into that second trap: rejecting roots altogether.

Communitarianism, Left and Right

Populism can in fact be seen as being precisely a reassertion of democracy against the anti-democratic tendencies of managerial, technocratic elites.

Cesar’s Circus

The purpose of politics is to accrue power. Chavez knew this reality, and perhaps his funeral was his last, best opportunity to control the stage and direct the players.

Should We Begin To Reconnect?

Add the past year on to this already disturbing trend, and such destructive realities have only been further exacerbated. The need for human sociality is not a deficiency, nor is it something that we can just put on hold for an indefinite amount of time.

Stories That Bind Us

Despite differences that are exacerbated at the national level, we often share significantly more in common with our “enemy” when we interact with them at human scales.

When Innovation Runs Out: The Vindication of Maintenance

The Innovation Delusion goes a long way toward demystifying and destigmatizing the ordinary yet essential work of maintenance.

News and Notes

New from FPR Books

Durable Trades

Support FPR

If you value FPR, consider supporting our work and subscribing to our print journal.

From the Archives

Remembering After Coronavirus

Shortly after the 2001 terrorist attacks, Wendell Berry wrote, “The time will soon come when we will not be able to remember the horrors of September 11 without remembering also the unquestioning technological and economic optimism the ended on that day.” This, I fear, was one of the rare times Mr. Berry missed the mark. Collective amnesia is an American strong suit.

Gender is a Social Construct

In Gender, Illich reveals the depth and scope to which capitalist modernity has unsettled family life and relations between men and women in general.

When In Gotham . . .

“How does one critique globalism without succumbing to would-be nationalist despots like Bolsonaro or Trump?” This was the earnest and sensible question a friend put...