There has always been an uncomfortable connection between Sunday-morning and Monday-morning Christianity. On Sunday morning the classic virtues of faith, hope and love are preached and sometimes practiced.
A premier public intellectual and an award-winning author of books on American history, Garry Wills has turned his attention more recently to religious topics and figures, in Papal Sin; The Rosary; Why I Am a Catholic; a wonderful study of Augustine; and an energetic translation of Augustine’s masterwork, Confessions.
The Book of Job feels unnecessarily long, but we tolerate the repetition because the final payoff is powerful. Along the way, the arguments against Job form concentric cages of folly, cant, common sense and basic theology, and Job must either accept being their prisoner or stage some kind of personal break.
Overton’s message is in his subtitle. He’s not writing about a one-time election theft or even a 2000/2004 double whammy. A professor of law at George Washington University, Overton details multiple ways in which officials of both parties are manipulating the election process to keep incumbents in office.
There are some writers—a handful, a very few—who by looking intently and penetratingly at one place reveal piercing things about all places and all people, and so paradoxically they are the very antithesis of regional writers. Among them: Faulkner on Mississippi, Walker Percy on Louisiana, Steinbeck on California—and Alice McDermott on Irish Catholic New York.