What We’re Reading (Summer 2012)

The Bookman is a reliable source for books worth reading, thanks in no small part to our reviewers, who cull through the massive numbers of books published to focus on those worth reading, discussing, and digesting. So we have asked some of our regular contributors...

For a Thousand Memes to Sing

Absence of Mind: The Dispelling of Inwardness from the Modern Myth of the Self by Marilynne Robinson. Yale University Press, 2010. 176 pages, $24. Marilynne Robinson is America’s leading literary Calvinist. This title may give her short shrift, for she is also a...

Liberal Idealism Critiqued

Cultural Conservatism, Political Liberalism: From Criticism to Cultural Studies by James Seaton. University of Michigan Press, 1996. 287 pp., $42.50 cloth. This wonderful book defends a tradition of American cultural self-criticism that includes Irving Babbitt, H. L....

Signs of Contradiction

The Pen and the Cross: Catholicism and English Literature, 1850–2000 by Richard Griffiths. Continuum (London & New York) xii + 260 pp., $35 cloth, 2010. In 1989, Gregory Wolfe uttered a cri de coueur bemoaning academic neglect of the modern “Catholic Intellectual...

The Perceptivity of Isaac Hecker

Isaac T. Hecker, The Diary: Romantic Religion in Ante-Bellum America edited by John Farina. Paulist Press (“Sources of American Spirituality” Series) 1988, 456 pp., $14.95 cloth. Americans are an incorrigibly religious people. In spite of the predictions—primarily by...

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