Poverty and blame in Appalachia

More jobs would help, says J. D. Vance. So would a stronger work ethic.

The Boys in the Bunkhouse, by Dan Barry

This harrowing story chronicles the decades-long indentured servitude of a group of intellectually disabled men that persisted until 2013. Journalist Dan Barry explains how the residents of a small town in Iowa interacted with the men who lived in their old schoolhouse, offering a mix of paternalism and kindness while failing to see the conditions under which the men were being kept.

Decent folks next door

Does democracy create good neighbors? Or is it the other way around?

A Small Porch: Sabbath Poems 2014-2015, by Wendell Berry

Wendell Berry continues to spend Sunday mornings in the Kentucky woods, and his readers will be rewarded. At age 82, he notes that “life does not relent or become easier as death approaches.” He asks, “How then may you come yet alive to right-mindedness and right prayer?” Although grief and “nightmares of the age” interrupt his sleep, he is eased by nature’s “numinous and exalted” presence.

The homophile church

Protestants were deeply involved in the gay rights movement—even before the Stonewall Riots.