A Great Historian’s Inner History.” Jeff Reimer reviews Peter Brown’s Journeys of the Mind and describes the particular genius Brown has for imagining the lives of those far separated from him in time: “Brown’s writing itself is alive with his imagination. He is ever alert for the arresting image, the elegant phrase, the carefully chosen metaphor that captures the spirit of his subject.”

All Illusions Must Be Broken.” Two Birds Film, led by Laura Dunn and Jef Sewell, made the Look & See documentary about Wendell Berry. Now they are preparing to launch their new film, which explores “the denaturing of American childhood in this age of ‘electronic screens’ through the lens of provocative American cultural anthropologist Ernest Becker.”

How Millennials Learned to Dread Motherhood.” Rachel M. Cohen explores some of the paradoxes that mark being a mother in America today: “How to explain why, in survey after survey, it is women with the most financial resources, and the highest levels of education, who report the most stress and unhappiness with motherhood? We hear often that the US is the least family-friendly country in the industrialized world, but American women who describe the most dissatisfaction are also those most likely to work in jobs that do offer maternity leave, paid sick days, and remote-work flexibility.” She was surprised to find that eighty percent of parents enjoy parenting. And as she worked on reporting this story, she kept finding people who felt pressured to portray caring for their children as a burden rather than a joy: “When I started asking women about their experiences as mothers, I was startled by the number who sheepishly admitted, and only after being pressed, that they had pretty equitable arrangements with their partners, and even loved being moms, but were unlikely to say any of that publicly. Doing so could seem insensitive to those whose experiences were not as positive, or those in more frustrating relationships. Some also worried that betraying too much enthusiasm for child-rearing could ossify essentialist tropes or detract from larger feminist goals.”

There’s a Crisis in the Yukon River.” Marlena Sloss and Dino Grandoni report on declining salmon runs in the Yukon and how the people who depend on these fish are coping: “Compared to about the last three decades, the Yukon’s chum populations declined by around 80 percent in the period between 2020 and 2022, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Chinook salmon numbers, meanwhile, dropped by nearly two-thirds during the same time.”

Kayaking with Lambs.” Josh Kearns and Jason Snyder from the Doomer Optimism podcast talk with Brian Miller about his new book and his journey toward an agrarian lifestyle.

One Good Day.” And over on his blog, Brian begins a multi-part series describing one day on the farm: “A really good day on the farm slips its way into being, sly and unnoticed. The day is planned—only the how-it-will-turn-out remains uncertain.”

Sen. Chris Murphy: ‘This Party Has Not Made a Firm Break From Neoliberalism.’” Luke Goldstein chronicles Murphy’s growing interest in antitrust, the masculinity crisis, and the importance of religion: “To Murphy, the issue of corporate concentration runs deeper than just consumer pricing and equitable growth. It strikes at the core of why Americans feel powerless about the fate of the country. People have a palpable, though not always articulable, sense that the most crucial decisions governing their daily lives are now being made far away from their communities in corporate boardrooms, rather than by elected officials in the halls of government or by extension themselves. Many of the country’s morbid symptoms, in Murphy’s estimations, trace back to this friction between the public and their corporate overlords.”

Preserving Hope for Humanity.” This review essay is part of a symposium that Commonweal published last month of Adam Kirsch’s Revolt Against Humanity. The book is well worth reading, but Gilbert Meilaender’s response to it identifies the book’s greatest shortcoming: humans are not the source of value. “‘The head rules the belly through the chest,’ C. S. Lewis wrote in The Abolition of Man. That is to say, rational insight and argument alone cannot enable us to live well. There is a humility here that draws back from thinking of ourselves as the source of all value.”

How the Poet Christian Wiman Keeps His Faith.” Casey Cep profiles Wiman for the New Yorker and discusses his new book, Zero at the Bone: “Loving God is not possible, Wiman suspects, unless we love creation; easy when it’s your wife or your daughters, harder when it’s your father’s addiction or your own cancer. But he believes we are called to love it anyway, especially in absence and brokenness, even when it kills those we love, even when it might crucify us.”

Warm Planet, Cool Heads.” Nicholas Clairmont commends Mike Hulme’s Climate Change Isn’t Everything: Liberating Climate Politics from Alarmism for its efforts to sort through the fraught political decisions that climate alarmism overlooks: “Climatism is alluring, put simply, because it offers a grand narrative of heroes and villains with nothing less at stake than the future of earthly life. Like the 2021 movie Don’t Look Up, about an impending comet strike that is meant as a metaphor for climate change, it is apocalyptic, with sudden doom virtually guaranteed.”

Why Sneer at Wetherspoons?” Chris Arnade praises the human dignity of a pub chain in the UK: “I would go into a Wetherspoon whenever I was near one, and I came to respect them even more than I respect McDonald’s. Partly because they are so pleasant: there is no blasting music or blinding lights. They have comfortable chairs with actual fabric. They are thoughtful, too, with separate spaces for every type of customer, from large families with rambunctious toddlers to sullen singles wanting to bond only with their pint.” (Recommended by David Mills.)

Local Culture
Local Culture
Local Culture
Local Culture

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