Winter 2009


Putting Man Before Descartes

Human knowledge is personal and participant—placing us at the center of the universe

by John Lukacs

The Future of the American Frontier

Can one of our most enduring national myths, much in evidence in the recent presidential campaign, be reinvented yet again?

by John Tirman

Affirmative Action and After

Now is the time to reconsider a policy that must eventually change. But simply replacing race with class isn’t the solution.

by W. Ralph Eubanks

Spies Among Us

Military snooping on civilians, which escalated in the turbulent '60s, never entirely went away and is back again on a much larger scale

by Clay Risen

A Country for Old Men

Having reached the shores of seniority himself, the author finds a surprising contentment in the eyes of his fellow retirees

by Edward Hoagland

Collateral Damage

The Civil War only enhanced George Whitman's soldierly satisfaction; for his brother Walt, however, the horrors halted an outpouring of great poetry

by Robert Roper

My Bright Abyss

I never felt the pain of unbelief until I believed. But belief itself is hardly painless.

by Christian Wiman

The High Road to Narnia

C. S. Lewis and his friend J. R. R. Tolkien believed that truths are universal and that stories reveal them

by George Watson


Book Essay

Lunching on Olympus

My meals with W. H. Auden, E. M. Forster, Philip Larkin, and William Empson

Steven L. Isenberg

Book Reviews

Cal & Liz & Ted & Sylvia

The corresponding prose of midcentury poets

Sudip Bose

A Passion for Architecture

Nuggets from a critical gold mine

Stanley Abercrombie

Let Me Count the Ways

Are we getting more obsessive or more compulsive about diagnosing?

Richard Restak

Lucid Madness

A massacre of Apache women and children, and the difficulties of telling their story

William Howarth

Of Time and the Camera

An art critic and historian turns his attention to contemporary photography

Andy Grundberg