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The Nightstand

A Testament to Friendship

Canadian author and broadcaster, David Cayley, who conducted two lengthy radio interviews-turned-books with Illich (in 1988 and 2000) and had a decades-long friendship with him, has written a gripping and unconventional biography of this deeply unconventional man.

Larry McMurtry: Myth Killer, Myth Keeper

Whether he takes us to the Texas frontier or to 1970s Houston, his prose never gets in the way of his story. He moves ahead with the precision and simplicity of one of the McMurtry boys telling a story on the front porch of the family ranch house in Archer County, Texas.

Larry McMurtry and Wendell Berry at the Dairy Queen

McMurtry couldn’t quite set the Bowie knife to the scalp of the Western like Cormac McCarthy did the same year, maybe because he knew those people weren’t grotesque caricatures; they were people he’d known and loved. And when he died last week, he was probably the last person in Archer City who had any connection to those people at all.

Communitarianism, Left and Right

Populism can in fact be seen as being precisely a reassertion of democracy against the anti-democratic tendencies of managerial, technocratic elites.

When Innovation Runs Out: The Vindication of Maintenance

The Innovation Delusion goes a long way toward demystifying and destigmatizing the ordinary yet essential work of maintenance.

The Professor and the Madman: Cancel Culture, Consequences, and Restorative Justice

Our society may sometimes be divided on how to define right and wrong, but that has not dampened enthusiasm for identifying wrongdoing.

Atticus, Scout, and the Gift of Children: On Reading To Kill...

This is the humbling gift our children offer. If we seek to shape their character, at some point in the journey we’ll find ourselves backed into a corner, faced with our own hypocrisy.

The Seven Ranges

I go forth strangely heartened and even hopeful that I might succeed in my attempt to describe and perhaps even explain the hill country presently looming off our port bow.

Grace Olmstead’s Uprooted Idaho, and My Own

Uprooted is partly a memoir of her extended family, partly a paean to a way of life that is both dying and which she never really understood while she grew up in the midst of it (and thus feels the loss of all the more deeply now), and partly a study of the causes of that dying, and how what has endured--the habits, the connections, the sense of place--has shaped her extended family nonetheless.

Tending the Soil of our Homes: Gracy Olmstead’s Paean to Roots

At the heart of Gracy Olmstead's book is the conviction that roots do not just serve the individual person or plant—they also are vital to the health of one’s soil, place, and neighbors.