“Rich Lowry’s Nationalist Review.” Patrick Deneen extends the argument he made last summer at the National Conservatism Conference in a review essay of Lowry’s The Case for Nationalism: How It Made Us Powerful, United, and Free. Deneen critiques such nationalism as too big, neglecting the vibrant local cultures and languages within the United States, and as too small, failing to honor those ideals and standards that transcend any nation.
“Sit Awhile: Front Porch Project Aims to Restore Entries, Build Community in Uptown Harrisburg.” Maddie Conley profiles the East Uptown Front Porch Project, which is fixing up front porches in their neighborhood in hopes of strengthening the community. (Recommended by Jesse Hake.)
“Review: Is There Still Such a Thing as a Catholic Writer?” Liam Callanan reviews Dana Gioia’s recent collection of essays and assesses Gioia’s contributions to Catholic letters.
“Millennials Are Finding Religion, But Not at Church.” Gracy Olmstead suggests that while millennials may not be returning to church, they still inhabit an enchanted world.
“Even Bigger than the Great Lakes: On Nancy Langston’s Sustaining Lake Superior.” Brian James Leech reviews a new book: “Those looking to better understand the long-term consequences of additional contaminants in the Great Lakes would . . . be well served by reading Sustaining Lake Superior. What happens in the upper Midwest, or the North, or whatever you want to call it, affects the rest of the world, and vice versa.”
“Iran Loses Its Indispensable Man.” Andrew Exum grapples with the consequences of killing Qassem Soleimani and concludes that “The only thing I know for certain is that the people of the Middle East will suffer greatly in the weeks ahead. Which, sadly, has been a safe bet for far too long.”
“The 2010s Were Supposed to Bring the Ebook Revolution. It Never Quite Came.” Constance Grady traces how Amazon’s near monopoly on book sales and the publishing industry’s consolidation have led to a warped market for print and electronic books.
“The Historian as Moralist.” Yuval Levin reviews the life and scholarship of Gertrude Himmelfarb, who aimed “to learn from the past what the present has forgotten.” As a scholar of Victorian intellectuals, she found much that we certainly need to remember. As Levin puts it,
Her interests in the paradox of liberalism and in the place of intellectuals were much connected. The fate of liberal societies must sometimes rest on the work of cohesive, confident, but small and insular communities of thinkers and writers. And these could only serve their purposes if they were infused with a moralism that was frequently (albeit not necessarily) religious, and thus gave them some distance from liberalism’s failings while investing them in its success.
“Misenchantment.” David Bentley Hart commends Eugene McCarraher’s The Enchantments of Mammon. (Recommended by Jesse Hake.)
“Become a Defiant Holy Fool.” Gracy Olmstead reviews Andrew Peterson’s new book: “Adorning the Dark is part memoir, part how-to manual for aspiring musicians and writers. But it is also, in a larger sense, about what it means to be a “sub-creator”—to see the teleological end of your creative work as lying beyond yourself.”