The National Catholic Review

Books

  • April 27, 2015

    In 1972 the book Bare Ruined Choirs: Doubt, Prophecy, and Radical Religion appeared. Written by Garry Wills, it was a provocative analysis of what happened to the church in the wake of the Second Vatican Council. The punch line of the book was Wills’s claim that the council “let out the dirty little secret...that the church changes.”

  • April 27, 2015

    Fifty years after President Lyndon Johnson ordered a massive escalation of American forces in Vietnam, U.S. policymakers continue to be haunted by the ghosts of that disastrous intervention. Like the French Bourbon kings, who learned nothing and forgot nothing, successive American presidents have repeated the same mistakes that largely destroyed that small rural country and severely damaged the United States for generations.

  • April 27, 2015

    It takes courage to read one’s life in psychological, social and spiritual terms. Oftentimes the venture requires metaphor, and metaphor is the substance of art. Style gives form to content, and creative content acts as a catalyst for understanding.

    The stories of the Japanese Catholic writer Shusaku Endo are filled with the content of his life. He wrote: “I have forged intimate familial ties with these characters, who are...

  • With the coming of April 2015, the sesquicentennial of the Civil War draws to a close, giving ample cause to look back on one of the most cataclysmic months in the nation’s history. It is now hard to imagine the surge of contrasting emotions that Americans felt, first on April 9, 1865, when General Lee surrendered at Appomattox, and then only six days later, when the news came that President Lincoln had been murdered at Ford’s Theater.

  • April 13, 2015

    As the United States evolves into a multicultural society, few Americans are now old enough to recall the Great Depression and postwar economic boom that shaped our nation’s WASP elite. But James Lee Burke’s 24th novel, Wayfaring Stranger, revives the world of “traditional America” with a passionate aim to comfort all who were marginalized by this period of unparalleled prosperity arising from Hollywood and the oil fields of Texas.

  • April 13, 2015

    This is the latest work of one of America’s most extraordinary and prolific Catholic theologians. Gerard Sloyan, a priest of the Diocese of Trenton, is a prominent Catholic scholar whose years of service have stretched beyond the biblical warrant of “four score and ten” and yet has not missed a beat, as the quality of this book on Jesus attests.

  • This is a major book by a major historian of American religion about a major religious figure in American history. Grant Wacker, recently retired from Duke Divinity School, believes that Graham belongs with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Pope John Paul II, as the three most important religious leaders of the second half of the 20th century. I agree, though a strong case can also be made for Pope John XXIII.

  • April 6, 2015

    I grew up in Omaha, the youngest in a large Catholic family. We belonged to the Jewish Community Center, where I took swimming lessons in its bleak and echoing indoor pool. I failed Beginners three times. I never made it to Minnows. I thought I would never properly learn to swim. It was a dark time.

    This hasn’t much at all to do with a poetry review.

  • April 6, 2015

    A basic Dante bibliography would now run in excess of 50,000 items; something new appears on the list every day. So why would Prue Shaw add yet another introduction, albeit one with a droll cinematic subtitle, to the Divine Comedy?—because she holds that the “sacred poem,” notwithstanding what she calls its antiquated theology and erroneous science, illumines the individual’s role in society and the cosmos, even for readers who do not share Dante’s...

  • March 30, 2015

    We have selected books which represent emerging approaches in biblical studies, including the use of models from trauma studies, diaspora studies and migration studies. One thing leading to another, attention to trauma and to migration raises issues of social justice and poverty.