“The Small and the Human, and ‘Free America’.” The University Bookman ran an excerpt from Allan C. Carlson’s forthcoming book, Land, True Liberty & Democracy: The Story of ‘Free America.’ It narrates the story of a distributist journal from 1937 to 1947. (Recommended by Bill Kauffman.)
“From Chicken to Tomatoes, Here’s Why American Food is Hurting You.” Maria Rodale points to the growing evidence that glyphosate causes cancer as symptomatic of the damage wrought by a food system based on killing inconvenient plants and bugs.
“The Birthday Party at the End of the World.” Matthew Loftus draws on his family’s experiences in South Sudan to explain how unhealthy eating habits have “far more to do with the psychosocial effects of poverty and wealth than the simple question of access.”
“The Oligarchy Unmasks Itself.” Justin Lee traces the way economic centralization enables corporations to subvert democracy, using Hollywood’s threat to boycott Georgia over its recent abortion restrictions as an example.
“The College Bureaucracy That Never Shrinks.” Heather Mac Donald contributes to the ongoing discussion around student debt by reminding us that “college tuition is not an act of God, beyond human control. It is a result of decisions taken by colleges themselves—above all, decisions to bulk up their bureaucracies.” (Recommended by Jason Peters.)
“There Are Better Ways to Do College.” The aptly named Alice Lloyd commends the work college model in this essay for the New York Times.
The Berry Center Journal has published its second volume.
“The Web of Life: Why We Should Care about the Loss of Biodiversity.” Writing in Commonweal, David Cloutier responds to the recent UN report on the rapid loss of biodiversity by drawing on Pope Francis’s Laudato si’.
“Save Our Food. Free the Seed.” Chef Dan Barber writes for the New York Times about the systemic problems with the seed market: “Big Seed keeps getting bigger, doubling down on a system of monocultures and mass distribution.”
“The Farms of the Future.” Isabel Marlens imagines how agricultural systems might become more local and sustainable.
“Four Farms Have Received More than $1 Million Each in Trump Trade War Bailout Payments, Treasury Data Show.” H. Claire Brown reports on government data that shows consolidated “family” farms are reaping the lion’s share of the money intended to ameliorate the effects of the tariffs. Michael Hiltzik confirms that big-ag will reap most of the benefits of these payments.
The Ahmari-French contretemps provoked a few essays worth reading. In “A Model of Christian Charity” Alan Jacobs takes to The Atlantic and draws on Neuhaus’s response to an essay by Stanley Fish. Jacobs reminds Christians that civility isn’t the highest good, but it is part of the call to practice charity. Jacobs offers a few further reflections on his blog. And Jake Meador offers a similar response, concluding with some wisdom drawn from Berry: “It is only candor that our foes do not understand, … an inner clarity that comes from knowing that there are goods in this world grander than political power and fates in this world more dark than martyrdom.” Finally, Ross Douthat takes stock of these conversations and surmises that Trump remains an impediment to a new conservative consensus.
“On Free Speech and War, Charles Beard Was No Trimmer.” Bill Kauffman reviews Richard Drake’s Charles Austin Beard: The Return of the Master Historian of American Imperialism and finds much to laud in the life and thought of this intellectually honest professor.
“A Striking, Joyful Portrait of America’s Greatest Divide.” Matthew Walther praises Chris Arnade’s Dignity for its celebration of human personhood. Keep an eye out for FPR’s review of Arnade’s book coming next week.
“You Can Go Home Again.” Matthew Kassel interviews several journalists who left jobs at national outlets to return to the beat for their hometown papers.