Category Archives: Book Reviews


by on March 9th, 2015

Christianity hasn’t been considered and found untenable. It’s presumed unreasonable and left unconsidered.

by on February 25th, 2015

A new book offers the first truly comprehensive history of the pro-life movement.

by on February 12th, 2015

Thanks to its sympathy and its moral seriousness, Richard Brookhiser’s new biography of Abraham Lincoln is a fine study of statesmanship.

by on February 11th, 2015

James M. Oleske’s “review” of my new book is no review at all. It’s an intellectually dishonest hit piece.

by on January 22nd, 2015

A new book clearly examines and answers the most important questions surrounding medical law and ethics, especially in the realm of end-of-life issues.

by on January 20th, 2015

In a new book, Steven Forde offers a compelling portrait of a “non-Lockean” Locke who is neither morally corrosive nor oblivious to the tension between individual rights and the common good and whose philosophy develops in response to the new empirical science that shattered the classical and medieval worldviews.

by on January 8th, 2015

Jonathan Eig’s new book tells the story of the invention and popularization of the contraceptive pill. A pleasant, biographically-inflected history, the book repeats standard post-sexual revolution rhetoric, untroubled by too much complexity.

by on December 18th, 2014

A new book examines the philosophical and religious roots of American government. Amid scholarly disagreement, one thing is clear: America is a nation founded upon the truth of human freedom and equality—whether one arrives at this truth by way of Calvin or Locke.

by on December 16th, 2014

Contrary to popular belief, Leo Strauss was not a conservative, let alone a neoconservative. Yet Strauss and conservatism share an important aim: challenging the dogmatic dismissal of the past as irrelevant to our flourishing in the present.

by on December 4th, 2014

Novelist John Updike excelled at his craft, seemingly without effort. But it is his extreme existential doubt and ultimate decision to believe in transcendence that makes Updike’s life and literature approachable.

by on December 2nd, 2014

A new book by George Marsden offers a fresh analysis of American culture and religion in the 1950s. It also presents a way forward, based on the concept of “principled pluralism.”

by on November 21st, 2014

In his new book on Syria, Christian Sahner explores the rise of Islam, the place of Christianity, the emergence of sectarian politics, the autocratic state, and the Lebanese paradigm.

by on November 20th, 2014

The answer to our culture’s dramatic increase in out-of-wedlock births and children raised by single parents is not to lower the bar further. Rather than promoting “planned parenting,” we should work to build a culture of marriage.

by on November 6th, 2014

Patrick Lee and Robert P. George’s new book clearly establishes that the case for conjugal marriage is not based on irrational prejudice or sentimental appeal to tradition. It is based on a series of sophisticated arguments that deserve to be answered.

by on September 25th, 2014

In helping developing countries to increase their economic prosperity, we must remember that human welfare cannot be reduced to material realities.

by on September 23rd, 2014

A new book tells the story of an infertile couple that has children through Indian surrogacy services—but it glosses over the costs to egg donors, surrogate mothers, and children.

by on September 4th, 2014

Refusing to make exceptions to absolute moral norms is not unrealistic, imprudent, or inhumane. The purpose of norms is to promote human flourishing and protect what is good

by on August 15th, 2014

Edward Feser’s latest book gives readers who are familiar with analytic philosophy an excellent overview of scholastic metaphysics in the tradition of Thomas Aquinas.

by on August 5th, 2014

While Adam Seagrave offers a provocative and original reading of Locke, his assumptions about the self and ownership are deeply problematic.

by on July 18th, 2014

The “why?” we ask of God receives its most persuasive answer in the beauty, the love, and the heroic devotion of human life.

by on June 23rd, 2014

Today, we face a movement to accomplish on a societal level what those who embrace morally condemned behavior have always sought as individuals: rationalization.

by on June 11th, 2014

A new book tells the harrowing story of Memorial Medical Center, where some physicians took the lives of their patients during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

by on May 13th, 2014

Abolitionism provides the example for how to fight for a cause: underscore the humanity of those whose humanity is denied, provide compassionate care for those affected, name the lies that dehumanize and kill, and tirelessly argue for the truth about “who counts.”

by on April 28th, 2014

It is ethically permissible to deliberately choose actions that lead to the death of an innocent person—but not to intend his or her death.

by on April 16th, 2014

Steven Smith’s new book implies that it is still possible—though difficult—to recover what made the U.S. a land of free and flourishing belief.

by on April 7th, 2014

Although Nigel Biggar’s new book on just war has many strengths, the author gets himself into a moral muddle over the question whether the deaths of innocent non-combatants can be deliberately chosen in war.

by on March 31st, 2014

Why bother with American culture? Bottum recommends despair.

by on March 18th, 2014

For Justice Clarence Thomas, the foundation of all our law lies in the self-evident truths of the Declaration of Independence, beginning with human equality.

by on February 25th, 2014

Both natural law thought and the Catechism agree: animals are not part of the same justice community as human beings, because they do not possess the dignity that comes from existing as a rational being.

by on February 24th, 2014

Animals are not simply “a gift for human beings.” The needless cruelty inflicted on animals by factory farming not only violates a duty to provide them just treatment, but far outweighs the goods that humans gain by eating such meat.

by on February 12th, 2014

Thomas Paine’s rationalistic emphasis on freedom, equality, and rights form the basis of our political discourse. Even so, Edmund Burke has something essential to teach us: the way we order our society will always be the consequence, first and foremost, of the way we love.

by on January 30th, 2014

The differences between Edmund Burke and Thomas Paine shed light on contemporary politics, argues Yuval Levin in his new book. But they also shed light on something deeper: two fundamentally contrasting orientations toward the world.

by on January 17th, 2014

The embrace of a materialist and mechanistic view of the world, taking its inspiration from the rise of modern science, results in a loss of the sense of transcendence. But God is not simply some finite object in a universe of other objects—he is reason, being, and order itself.

by on January 7th, 2014

Every economic system is based upon an implicit vision of the human person. Maciej Zieba’s new book provides an introduction to Catholic social thought that examines the anthropologies of Catholicism, liberal democracy, and the free-market economy.

by on December 20th, 2013

Because animals are not truly our equals, advocating that we should treat them as such weakens the pro-life cause. But animals are meant to be part of our households, and the way we treat them should express beauty and virtue, not decay, pride, and domination.

by on December 19th, 2013

Charles Camosy’s new book argues that we should treat animals with the same Christian justice that underlies our treatment of other people. But human beings and other animals are not fundamentally equal in the way that all human beings are, as free and rational beings created in the image of God.

by on December 18th, 2013

Infertile parents who desperately seek a child might see anonymous sperm donation as the solution to their fertility difficulties. But as the stories in the Anonymous Us collective reveal, the difficulties faced by donor-conceived children are just beginning.

by on December 12th, 2013

How should Christians form relationships with Muslims?

by on November 25th, 2013

With optimism, precision, and intellectual elegance, Russell Kirk’s “The Conservative Mind” defined what it meant to be an American conservative for the second half of the twentieth century.

by on November 22nd, 2013

Jonathan Rauch, in his memoir Denial, argues that only access to the institution of marriage can make gays and lesbians whole. In doing so, he purposefully suppresses the truth that there are many other options available to those who are attracted to persons of the same sex.

by on November 18th, 2013

One Body, by Alexander Pruss, melds rigorous philosophical analysis and insightful moral theology to advance a clearly-articulated system of sexual ethics based on the call to love.

by on November 4th, 2013

In most cases, Catholic social teaching provides the correct principles for resolving complex social and economic questions, not specific policy requirements. Nathan Shlueter reviews Sam Gregg’s new book in the voice of Paul Ryan.

by on October 24th, 2013

Radical, by Maajid Nawaz, brings the reader inside the individual human dynamics of one young man’s transition into extremist Islamism and his eventual departure from it.

by on July 29th, 2013

A young Muslim author learns to seek the truth about God through questioning instead of blind faith.

by on July 19th, 2013

In his new book on Abraham Lincoln, Rich Lowry depicts our famous president as a lover of freedom, commerce, and progress whom we revere on the same plane as the founders because he, like them, articulated enduring principles that we still value.

by on June 25th, 2013

Gabriel Schoenfeld’s new book, A Bad Day on the Romney Campaign, offers an insider’s account of how misguided campaign tactics led to Mitt Romney’s defeat in the 2012 presidential election.

by on June 5th, 2013

In The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Rod Dreher eulogizes his little sister with a hagiography worthy of St. Therese herself, while also evaluating his own relationships—to people and to place—according to the virtue of stability proposed by St. Benedict.

by on April 5th, 2013

As Stephen Krason’s new book argues, America has departed from the founders’ design, and the founders may be partially responsible. But this claim is only as strong as the interpretation of the founding behind it.

by on February 26th, 2013

Jonathan Last’s new book attributes population decline and the birth dearth to two trends that started in the Enlightenment era—first, an effort to limit death; second, an effort to control birth. Both trends are guided by a desire to control nature.

by on February 22nd, 2013

Calvin Coolidge is an exemplar for conservative leaders because he was the very opposite of an ideological dreamer; he saw his vocation as a duty to provide the country that elected him with honest and frugal government that respected limits.

Featured


by Dawn Stefanowicz on April 24th, 2015
Americans need to understand that the endgame of the LGBT rights movement involves centralized state power—and the end of First Amendment freedoms.
by Walt Heyer on April 27th, 2015
The dark and troubling history of the contemporary transgender movement, with its enthusiastic approval of gender-reassignment surgery, has left a trail of misery in its wake.
by Katy Faust on February 2nd, 2015
Take it from the adult child of a loving gay parent: redefining marriage promotes a family structure in which children suffer.
by Jean Lloyd on December 10th, 2014
May I make two requests? Love me, but remember that you cannot be more merciful than God. It isn’t mercy to affirm same-sex acts as good. Don’t compromise truth; help me to live in harmony with it.
by Mark Regnerus on August 11th, 2014
Churchgoing Christians who support same-sex marriage are more likely to think pornography, cohabitation, hook-ups, adultery, polyamory, and abortion are acceptable. And it’s reasonable to expect continued change in more permissive directions.

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