The National Catholic Review

Books

  • August 3-10, 2015

    American ideals of social equality are taken from Greco-Roman political philosophy. Christian other-worldliness caused the fall of the Roman Empire. The form of government favored by the medieval ecclesiastical elite was theocracy. Western individualism originates in the Renaissance.

  • August 3-10, 2015

    Brian Moynahan, a former foreign correspondent for The Sunday Times (in London) and the author of numerous books, including three on the Soviet Union, has written a fine study of the city of Leningrad’s terrible trials from 1934 to 1942 at the hands of two tyrants, Adolph Hitler and Josef Stalin.

  • August 3-10, 2015

    After toiling in the trenches of the American criminal justice system for half a century, I had long abandoned any illusions that criminal justice policy is the product of rational analysis. But I saw faint glimmers of hope in recent measures ameliorating harsh drug laws. President Obama’s Fair Sentencing Act reduced the ratio between crack and powder cocaine for purposes of federal mandatory minimum sentences from the ridiculous 100 to 1 down to the...

  • July 20-27, 2015

    Few foreigners have captured the American imagination quite like the Marquis de Lafayette, the French-born aristocrat who became a hero of the American Revolution and protégé of General George Washington. Across America, his fame is immortalized in the more than 600 cities, towns, villages, counties, squares, parks, ships and submarines named after him. In homage to him, even American pilots volunteering to fly for France in World War I proudly called...

  • July 20-27, 2015

    “Hands up don’t shoot!” “Black lives matter!” “I can’t breathe!” Chants like these, accompanied by gestures of marching with hands in the air, accentuate the protests of present day multiracial activists as they decry the killing of unarmed black men, women and children by police officers in communities across the country.

  • July 20-27, 2015

    God’s Bankers is not so much about the history of money in the church as it is about the skullduggery surrounding it. When the pope was the absolute ruler of central Italy, there weren’t many money problems, because, like any king, he got his money from taxing his subjects. But after Italian nationalists took away the pope’s kingdom by 1870, leaving him only the miniature Vatican City, the money troubles began.

  • July 6-13, 2015

    Polite conversation tends to avoid the issues of war and peace. Many believe that conflicts leading to war are tragic but inevitable. A less common conviction, one often maligned as naïve, insists that conflicts can be addressed nonviolently. Without intelligent discourse about resolving conflicts, we are left with a widespread acceptance of war and romantic links to patriotism, sacrifice, honor and glory. We fail to see war as a short-term solution to...

  • July 6-13, 2015

    In the last two decades, 1,600 Catholic schools have closed. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia, for example, closed 48 schools in 2012. Similar steep statistics on Catholic school closures can be found for other dioceses, including Detroit, Chicago and Indianapolis. The number of students attending Catholic schools has decreased from a high of 5.2 million students in the late 1960s to only 2.1 million today. Many of these school closures have been of inner-city...

  • July 6-13, 2015

    Imagine you are separated from the person you love most by an insurmountable distance. Your life, however strange and disorienting, is filled with possibilities and hope, while your love faces only devastation and death. Your faith grows stronger, while she has lost hers. What do you do?

  • June 22-29, 2015

    If the United States Constitution is determinative in the life of the United States, to conceive of the nation as being “under God” has to be not a matter of law but of sentiment. Were it a matter of law, civil authorities would have to penalize that large minority of citizens who do not believe in God or who do not want to be measured by the formal invocations of God in public life. To say that the “under God” claim is a matter of sentiment is not to...