Category Archives: Book Reviews


by on April 29th, 2016

The humanities have much to offer to professionals in every field, from science to law to finance—if only their defenders knew how to make a convincing case to the general public. Donald Drakeman’s new book offers several approaches to making that case.

by on April 20th, 2016

Daniel K. Williams’s Defenders of the Unborn offers an in-depth history of the pro-life movement in the years before and after abortion’s legalization. Williams does his readers a great service by highlighting the ideological diversity of pro-life activists throughout the movement’s history.

by on February 24th, 2016

In a political climate saturated with insincerity and cynicism, Donald Trump’s unfiltered candor—however abrasive—seems like a welcome relief. But the problems with our modern political climate begin with our own unrealistic expectation that politicians care about every facet of our daily lives.

by on February 11th, 2016

A new book written from a liberal humanist perspective provides insight for conservatives who want to make a more broadly compelling case against euthanasia. It also suggests a basis for an effective coalition between liberals and conservatives.

by on February 9th, 2016

By arguing that religion is intolerant and should not be tolerated, a new book inadvertently demonstrates that liberalism grounded in personal autonomy is the least tolerant religion of all.

by on January 29th, 2016

An understanding of the transcendence of creation forms the essential foundation of natural science. But does that understanding require revelation?

by on January 8th, 2016

Bradley J. Birzer’s intellectual biography of the twentieth-century conservative thinker Russell Kirk highlights the complexities of the American conservative movement and its ongoing challenges.

by on December 18th, 2015

The irony of Obama’s presidency, with its ambitious calls for “hope” and “change,” is that circumstances have assigned him the duty of presiding over the last days of the old regime. Our postwar political order, it seems, has sown the seeds of its own dissolution.

by on December 7th, 2015

Anyone interested in defending marriage and family life must first expose the built-in biases and hidden moral teaching within the contemporary liberal perspective.

by on November 11th, 2015

In her memoirs of teaching at Hunter College for nearly forty years, Alice von Hildebrand shows aspiring academics the importance of perseverance, courage, and love in the face of hostility toward one’s moral and religious views.

by on October 30th, 2015

We hear endlessly of “change” and “reform” in China, and the United States has premised its policies on these promises. The memoirs of Chen Guangcheng paint a very different portrait.

by on October 29th, 2015

A best-selling new novel taps into an angst that has become an obsession in Europe.

by on October 8th, 2015

A superb collection of essays engages, challenges, and praises the work of the formidable John Finnis. Always acute in mental power, Finnis is also at turns witty and profound.

by on September 30th, 2015

By taking seriously the thinking of a scholar-politician who transcended the contours of our political divide, Greg Weiner illuminates possibilities for American politics that have been lost with Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s passing.

by on September 22nd, 2015

A new book captures the heart of Chuck Colson’s message: love your country, but love your God more.

by on September 2nd, 2015

A new book powerfully examines the most important questions surrounding lying and argues that to assert falsely is to commit an act of self-induced practical schizophrenia.

by on August 31st, 2015

Although economic factors certainly play a role in the growing gap in marriage rates between higher income, college-educated Americans and those with lower levels of education and income, the impact of changing cultural mores should not be underestimated.

by on August 25th, 2015

Good work connects us more deeply to the world around us. By contrast, automation can often alienate us from the physical world, changing the way we think and act.

by on July 31st, 2015

The nature of poverty has changed substantially over the past fifty years. In Our Kids, esteemed social scientist Robert Putnam compares the conditions and opportunities of the rich and the poor in Port Clinton, Ohio, his hometown, both in 1959 and today. But the government programs that Putnam proposes won’t solve a problem that starts with the family.

by on June 24th, 2015

Those who would follow in Father Richard John Neuhaus’s footsteps would do well to note these lessons of his life. Religion and vocation matter more deeply than political wrangling, and we must continue to build intellectual families that combine conviviality with fighting for the greatest causes.

by on June 2nd, 2015

In a time of intense debate about global capitalism and the power of economic elites, Michael Novak’s work is essential reading for those who seek to work for free and virtuous societies. Novak’s life is also a lesson in charity.

by on May 29th, 2015

Candida Moss’s book on the history of Christian persecution is a case study in how scholarship gives way to politicized polemic—but it’s also an important reminder for contemporary Christians.

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.

Featured


Senator Rubio is on the firmest possible scientific ground when he says that science shows that the child in the womb, from the very point of successful fertilization, is indeed a human being.
by Jeremy Neill on December 2nd, 2015
The emotional and physical devastation produced by the collapse of familial bonds may take decades to fully manifest itself. Once it does, the essential human need for restrictions on sexuality will again become clear.
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 C. 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.

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