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The Bookshelf: Exploring Great Lives

We mere mortals may have more in common with history’s unknown shoemakers and privates. But to understand our history, it is more often necessary to look up to the heights occupied by the most visible human beings—those whose thoughts, words, and actions have had the most far-reaching effects.

The Meaning of Kansas: Lessons from a Pro-Life Defeat

The recent defeat of a pro-life constitutional amendment in Kansas was not a consequence of strategic overreach, nor was it a rebuke of Dobbs. In fact, it followed from the difficulty of communicating complex legal and political principles, as well as navigating the fear and distortion generated by abortion advocates and their media allies. To help secure a pro-life future, we must learn the correct lessons of the Kansas loss, including the need to harness the emotional power of truthful narrative to shape political choices.

Natural Law, the Common Good, and Limited Government: Friends, Not Foes

Traditional conservatives and others committed to the principles of limited government have nothing to fear from natural law-based accounts of the political common good. In fact, natural law accounts offer the strongest principled basis for defending liberty and limited government by showing how such values are themselves core aspects of the common good.

What Public Schools Can and Can’t Do

In her new book, Ilana M. Horwitz shows how public schools are both more formative and more limited than is often assumed. While they serve an important role in the academic and social formation of students, schools stand as just one institution among many in contributing to student outcomes. As we emerge from the significant educational disruptions occasioned by the COVID pandemic, Horwitz’s research suggests that we must work toward rebuilding schools and other institutions alike.

Does Dobbs v. Jackson Threaten The Supreme Court’s Legitimacy?

The only way that we can really meaningfully grapple with the Supreme Court's legitimacy is to ask: what was it actually built to do? Roe was wrong. It had become the political equivalent of a black hole, totally devoid of substance, but with such immense gravity that it distorts everything around it. Abortion, of course, isn’t going away as a political issue. The difference now will be that instead of having debates about Roe, we’ll debate about abortion.

Rediscovering Statesmanship

In The Statesman as Thinker, Mahoney seeks to restore principled statesmanship through portraits of six figures who combined political authority with uncommon reflection: Edmund Burke, Alexis de Tocqueville, Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, Charles de Gaulle, and Václav Havel.

Conservative Family Policy Must Be Conservative

As conservatives become more interested in family policy, they should avoid two extremes: rebutting any use of government, on the one hand, and on the other hand, assuming that trillions can be spent without negative repercussions. A social insurance model like the Family Security Act 2.0 strikes this balance: it provides modest but worthwhile support and preserves families’ authority to determine their own work-life balance.