“Sources for Rebuilding.” Anthony Barr reviews Yuval Levin’s A Time to Build and puts it in conversation with a variety of other voices that also celebrate those quotidian but essential virtues of repair and maintenance.
“The Self-Inflicted Derangement of the Conservative Intellectuals.” Damon Linker critiques conservative pundits who are irresponsibly denying the realities of the coronavirus. Conservatives can do better—and I hope the pieces we’ve been running on FPR demonstrate that. It’s possible to think the virus is a serious threat and to be critical of some of the political responses to it. As Mark Mitchell argued this week, the virus should prompt us to a renewed commitment to our local communities and economies, but it may instead lead to further political and economic centralization.
“Stewart Udall: A Remembrance.” John de Graaf recounts the career and passions of one of America’s most interesting and humble secretaries of the interior.
Two small farmers wonder if there will be increased demand for local food. Rory Groves reminds us of the many benefits of a local food supply, suggesting several ways families can begin building one, and Brian Miller remembers the popularity of small-scale farming after the Great Recession.
“The Pandemic Will Change American Retail Forever.” Derek Thompson predicts that in the wake of the coronavirus, “big companies will get bigger, many mom-and-pop dreams will burst, chains will proliferate and flatten the idiosyncrasies of many neighborhoods, more economic activity will flow into e-commerce, and restaurants will undergo a transformation unlike anything the industry has experienced since Prohibition.” Despite these grim prospects, Thompson holds out hope that if large cities become more affordable, perhaps they will eventually grow more vibrant. Of course, as Alan Jacobs remarks, all such predictions are made in the face of radical uncertainty about the effects of this virus.
“Why Are Farmers Destroying Food While Grocery Stores Are Empty?” Claire Kelloway explains why farmers are killing animals, plowing crops into the ground, and crushing eggs while grocery store shelves are empty. In other news, Wendell Berry was right.
“Why is Trump Insisting that Meat-Packing Plants Stay Open Despite Risks?” Art Cullen points out the human costs of trying to keep meat processing facilities open, particularly while testing remains woefully inadequate.
“How To Fight Decadence in the Age of Pandemic.” Rod Dreher talks with Ross Douthat about Douthat’s new book and where we might look for hope.
“If You’re Trying to Decide What Food to Grow Yourself, Here are 8 Places to Start.” Tamar Haspel offers some good tips for people wanting to get a garden started: “a lot of first-timers are making the same mistake: They’re listening to experts. Experts can make things grow that you can’t, because they are experts. What you need is a terrible gardener to tell you what anybody can grow.”
“Making a Garden out of Solitude.” In her newsletter this month, Gracy Olmstead reflects on how we might “turn the desert of loneliness and isolation into a garden.”
“Schooling Hope.” Stanley Hauerwas commends hope, patience, and a localist mode of postliberalism in this interview with Plough’s Peter Mommsen.
“How To Change The Rules Of Trade To Bring Manufacturing Home.” Marshall Auerback proposes steps to make manufacturing less global and more regional.
“Report: Fewer Small Businesses are Receiving Federal Relief Loans in States Dominated by Big Banks.” Stacy Mitchell examines the correlation between the health of a state’s small, local banks and the number of PPP loans issued in that state. Not surprisingly, small banks are much more responsive to the needs of their communities.
“Eavan Boland, Who Redefined Irish Poetry from a Woman’s Point of View, Dies at 75.” Matt Schudel remembers Boland and her remarkable poetic vision: “‘I think these small moments are immensely important,’ Ms. Boland said in 1998, ‘and have their place in poetry.’”