Book Review: The Household and the War for the Cosmos by C. R. Wiley.” Jake Meador reviews The Household and the War for the Cosmos by C. R. Wiley, in which Wiley argues that households are the building-blocks of the world.

Hope Beyond Technique: On Jacques Ellul.” Robert Dean Lurie provides a clear guide to one of the most necessary thinkers of the past hundred years, linking Ellul’s critique of technique to his theology of freedom.

The Reflective Patriotism of Land of Hope.” John Wood Jr. writes glowing review of Wilfred McClay’s new history of America: Land of Hope: An Invitation to the Great American Story. In McClay’s telling, the Civil War marks the transition from an agrarian, decentralized America to an industrial, nationalized culture.

How The New York Times Is Distorting American History.” Wilfred M. McClay responds to the New York Times’s1619 project. For more context on this issue, see John Fea’s response to McClay.

The Rise of the Hippie Conservatives.” Freddie Sayers observes that the radical left and the radical right have more in common with each other than either side has with the “sensible centrists.” (Recommended by Mark Mitchell.)

Growing Kids on Vegetable Farms.” Liz Kolbe writes about the challenges and joys of raising children while farming.

Does This Mean Congress Is Finally Waking Up?” Greg Weiner argues that Congress may finally be reclaiming some of its responsibilities: “President Trump’s recent aggrandizement of the executive branch may have the ironic and salutary effect of shrinking the power of the presidency by awakening the countervailing power of a long-dormant Congress.”

To Prevent the Next Dust Bowl, Give Soil a Chance.” Gabe Brown and Ron Nichols write about the Dust Bowl for Civil Eats and argue that “if we care for the soil, the soil will care for us.

The Best Nature Books of 2019, Part 3.” Amy Brady surveys this summer’s new crop of nature writing.

Home on the Range.” Victor Davis Hanson reviews Richard L. Bushman’s new book, The American Farmer in the Eighteenth Century: A Social and Cultural History, which offers a detailed examination of this under-studied period of American farming.

The Fantasy of Opting Out.” If we can’t opt out of the surveillance state, Finn Brunton and Helen Nissenbaum recommend misdirection and obfuscation: “if obfuscation has an emblematic animal, it is the family of orb-weaving spiders, Cyclosa mulmeinensis, which fill their webs with decoys of themselves.”

Local Culture
Local Culture
Local Culture
Local Culture


  1. Glad to see coverage of Gabe Brown’s work here. I’ve been following Gabe’s work for years. Not only is he a thought leader in the building of soil and successful small grain and beef operation, but as a business person who understands the need to diversify an agricultural operation and generate multiple income streams on the same farm, on the same acre!

  2. re: Congress, it would be great if the legislature were reasserting its prerogatives, but that’s not remotely what’s happening. We’re seeing one party, plus factions of the other, attempting to use the secret police (which is what the CIA is, and it’s mind boggling to see “the left” cheering this on, until one remembers that the left is and always been inherently authoritarian) to remove a president. No matter how vile he may be, that, even though almost certain to be unsuccessful, is going to have disastrous consequences.

    In other news, I found this to be pretty terrifying as well:
    “The End of Bank Branching
    The U.S. banking industry is in the early stage of an epic transformation: banks are closing their branches in all states across the country. Branch numbers declined in every single year since 2009, amounting to a total net loss of 11,244 by 2018, or 11.4%. If Europe is any guidance, more than 8 out of 10 branches will be closed in the near future.”
    While we waste time, the destruction of all things local and the consolidation of power, political and economic and otherwise, just keeps accelerating.

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