Books

Books

Saints and sinners

If you know about Jane Addams, you probably know the Jane Addams of Hull House, the Addams who worked for social justice, women’s suffrage and world peace and whose settlement house was a place where people met across racial, ethnic and class lines. Becoming this Jane Addams was an arduous process, as Louise W.

Widow's walk

Among the inside-the-beltway commentariat, it goes without saying—although the commentators frequently say it anyway—that the United States is in the midst of a culture war.

Parking lot palms

Toward the end of Zadie Smith’s shrewd and entertaining novel, Kiki Simmonds gets into an argument with her husband, Howard Belsey: “All you ever do is rip into everybody else,” she tells him. “You don’t have any beliefs—that’s why you’re scared of people with beliefs.”

Lenten roadmap

An engineering professor from Germany who was attending my course on the Genesis debates was flabbergasted to learn that in the U.S. a sizable number of people think that modern science is optional. “In my country,” he explained, “whether it’s a state school, a Lutheran school, or a Catholic school, we all teach the same science.”

Life-giving law

Virginia Woolf wrote in her essay “On Being Ill”: “English, which can express the thoughts of Hamlet and the tragedy of Lear, has no word