What was life like for Kentucky slaves who lived so close to the Ohio River that they could see freedom’s shore? What distinctive anxieties plagued their masters? What special opportunities existed for local abolitionists?
A good biography, expertly researched and finely crafted, conveys not just the trajectory of someone’s life but also a feeling for the era in which the person lived. This superb telling of the “still far from finished” life of William Sloane Coffin is just such an accomplishment.
Marvin Ellison introduces his treatment of same-sex marriage not with a consideration of the history or theology of the Christian practice of marriage, but with a wide-ranging account of marriage law and social theory.
The phrase “family values” became an early catchword in the culture wars. The way people define those values and implement them politically marks a bitter line of division between liberals and conservatives.