“Best of Bacevich.” Mark G. Brennan reviews Andrew Bacevich’s new collection of essays and finds his assessment of American foreign policy to be, as one would expect, pugnacious and provocative.
“The Machine Stops.” The New Yorker released a new essay by Oliver Sacks, who died in 2015, in which he reflects on our era’s rapid technological and social changes: “Younger people, for the most part, who have grown up in our social-media era, have no personal memory of how things were before, and no immunity to the seductions of digital life. What we are seeing—and bringing on ourselves—resembles a neurological catastrophe on a gigantic scale.”
“‘I wanted to do more for people than just pray’: Pastor Blends Faith, Farms to End Food Insecurity in Black Churches.” Rachel Nania reports on the work that Rev. Heber Brown III is doing in Baltimore to help local farmers sell their produce to parishioners and the surrounding community.
“The Local Life: Berry Center.” Dr. Leah Bayens, student Emma Stein, and Executive Director of the Berry Center Mary Berry talk about the Wendell Berry Farming Program.
“A (Not So) Secular Saint.” James K.A. Smith reviews Timothy Larsen’s John Stuart Mill: A Secular Life and commends its rendering of Mill as fascinated by and interested in religion.
“The Nervous Laughter of the Super Bowl’s Robot Ads.” Will Oremus notes the prevalence of robots in Super Bowl advertisements as evidence of our culture’s fear of, yet fascination with, automation and AI.
“Rage against the Machines?” Michael Brendan Dougherty asks the chicken-and-egg question about smart phones: “How much of the decline in socialization is due to screens, and how much of the uptake in screens is due to a decline of socialization?”
“A Productive Manifesto.” Brian Dijkema reviews Oren Cass’s The Once and Future Worker and considers what sorts of policies might allow our work to contribute to the common good.
“Andrew Jackson: Our First Populist President.” When Jeff Taylor picked up In Defense of Andrew Jackson by Bradley Birzer, he “feared this might be a lightweight pro-Jackson tract, with a trendy Donald Trump tie-in. I was wrong.”
“Lionel Trilling: The Genre of Discourse.” The publication of a selection of Trilling’s letters provides Paul Dean with the occasion to reconsider Trilling’s contribution to literary and cultural criticism.
“Submit to God, Not the Market.” Eric Miller reviews Kathryn Tanner’s Christianity and the New Spirit of Capitalism and finds her critique of our finance-dominated capitalism makes space for a genuinely Christian hope.
“On the Road with Thomas Merton.” Fred Bahnson retraces Merton’s 1968 trip to California and New Mexico and ponders the meaning of spiritual journeys.