Marriage Can Change Everything

Marriage Can Change Everything

Jack: A Novel by Marilynne Robinson. Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2020. Hardcover, 320 pages, $27. Reviewed by J. L. Wall Why, I ask students who are reading Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead, does John Ames never directly give us his wife’s name? It’s only learned late in the...
Worth a Second Reading

Worth a Second Reading

Second Readings: Literary, Philosophical & Liturgical Essays by James V. Schall, S.J. American Chesterton Society Books, 2020. Paperback, 293 pages, $14.95. Reviewed by John C. Chalberg Father James Schall is a permanent treasure, a treasure who has now gone on...
Retail Heaven

Retail Heaven

Convenience Store Woman: A Novel by Sayaka Murata. Grove Press, 2019. Paperback, 176 pages, $15. Reviewed by Eve Tushnet Keiko just wanted to do the right thing. Eager and goal-oriented to a fault, little Keiko Furukura found the world around her baffling, full of...
America’s Angriest Writer

America’s Angriest Writer

Mad at the World: A Life of John Steinbeck by William Souder. Norton, 2020. Hardcover, 464 pages, $32. Reviewed by Margot Enns In a key scene in John Steinbeck’s East of Eden, Cal, the darker, moodier brother, blackmails his brother, Aron, to keep quiet about Cal’s...
The Lakota: A Human Story

The Lakota: A Human Story

Lakota America: A New History of Indigenous Power by Pekka Hämäläinen. Yale University Press, 2019. Hardcover, 544 pages, $35. Revivewed by Santi Ruiz On this year’s Indigenous People’s Day I encountered a curious phenomenon. My social circles are largely...
The Soul of a Free Man

The Soul of a Free Man

Black Spartacus: The Epic Life of Toussaint Louverture by Sudhir Hazareesingh. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2020. Hardcover, 464 pages, $30. Reviewed by Kyle Sammin In the American Revolution, Enlightenment principles, natural rights, and the traditions of English...
The Last Plantagenet

The Last Plantagenet

Uncrowned Queen: The Life of Margaret Beaufort, Mother of the Tudors By Nicola Tallis. Basic Books, 2020. Hardcover, 416 pages, $32. Reviewed by Garrett Robinson The Tudors, unfortunately famous now primarily through film and pulp-histories, have a name for themselves...
Holding a Wolf by the Ears

Holding a Wolf by the Ears

Jefferson, Madison, and the Making of the Constitution by Jeff Broadwater. University of North Carolina Press, 2019. Hardcover, 296 pages, $30. Reviewed by Jason Ross No friendship in American history has been as consequential as that between Thomas Jefferson and...
A Refreshed and Refreshing Federalist

A Refreshed and Refreshing Federalist

Reflection and Choice: The Federalists, the Anti-Federalists, and the Debate that Defined America Edited by Gary L. Gregg II and Aaron N. Coleman. McConnell Center Books, 2020. Hardcover, 652 pages, $49.95. Reviewed by Michael Federici Since the original publication...
Naive Virtue?

Naive Virtue?

First Principles: What America’s Founders Learned from the Greeks and Romans and How That Shaped Our Country by Thomas E. Ricks. Harper, 2020. Hardcover, 416 pages, $30. Reviewed by Casey Chalk A classic, said Mark Twain, is “a book which people praise but don’t...
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