The National Catholic Review

Books

  • May 25-June 1, 2015

    For all its popularity, the Internet is raising very important social, cultural and political questions. Headlines remind us that texting while driving can have lethal results. University professors find themselves competing unsuccessfully with student smart-phone use in class. Parents find it necessary to place filters on computers to protect their children from exposure to pornography and violence. Hackers invade nations and corporations, leaking secret...

  • May 25-June 1, 2015

    The word “shame” appears twice on the first page of John Boyne’s novel of Irish priesthood, A History of Loneliness. The Rev. Odran Yates’s shame is both personal and institutional. As he tells his story in a scrambled chronology that covers his life from 1964 to 2013, he confronts the sources of the failure that marks his 35 years as a priest.

  • May 25-June 1, 2015

    Enter Pope Francis, unburdened by the richly threaded horse collar-like stole in which newly elected popes had traditionally planted the staff of their authority on St. Peter’s loggia, as monarchs once did their flags on the beaches of newly conquered lands or the fallen cities of conquered ones. The crowds that stretched around the electronically girded world witnessed something very different on that March evening two years ago.

  • May 18, 2015

    With Lila, Marilynne Robinson completes her astonishing trilogy of books focused on the Midwestern minister John Ames and his community in the small town of Gilead, Iowa. Robinson earned a triple crown of critical recognition for these novels, having won the Pulitzer Prize for Gilead (2004) and National Book Award finalist nominations for Home (2008) and Lila. Recently Lila also won the National Book Critics Circle Award for...

  • May 18, 2015

    I am a narcissist. So are you. That’s a good thing, according to Elizabeth Lunbeck, the author of The Americanization of Narcissism. Why? Because narcissism helps us develop creativity and empathy and is most certainly where we develop ambition. Lunbeck takes her claim further: our cultural finger-wagging over the supposed rise of narcissism in American society involves a misplaced emphasis on a misused term. Leave narcissism for the psychoanalysts, in...

  • May 18, 2015

    In Fallen Leaves Will Durant, best known for the best-selling History of Philosophy and popular 14-volume History of Civilization, seeks to express “how I feel, now that I have one foot in the grave, about those ultimate riddles I dealt with so recklessly years ago….” including life, love, war, religion and God. He began these reflections in March 1967 and continued working on them until his death on November 7, 1981.

  • May 11, 2015

    Go Set a Watchman, Harper Lee’s recently rediscovered first novel, is a best seller on Amazon, and Marja Mills is likely among those eager to read the reclusive Lee’s first published work in more than 50 years.

    Mills’s interest in Lee’s rediscovered novel may be keener than most because of her unanticipated and improbable friendship with the novelist, which Mills recounts in her intriguing memoir The Mockingbird Next...

  • May 11, 2015

    Walter Lippman was a unique voice in American economic and public policy debates for half the 20th century. His career spanned two world wars, the Gilded Age and the Great Depression, the postwar economic boom and the reckoning of the Vietnam War. In Walter Lippmann: Public Economist, Craufurd D. Goodwin mines Lippman’s books and journalism to provide a comprehensive economic intellectual history of the time.

  • May 11, 2015

    “I write this book for people who will never buy it,” says the labor lawyer Thomas Geoghegan in his most recent essay on the American labor movement. “It’s for people who know little or nothing about—or care little or nothing for—labor unions.”

  • May 4, 2015

    James T. O’Reilly is an attorney and a much published author of legal handbooks. He was president of the Cincinnati archdiocesan pastoral council when Joseph Bernardin was archbishop. Margaret S. P. Chalmers is a canon lawyer who is chancellor of the personal ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, the special arrangement put in place by Pope Benedict XVI for Episcopalians wanting to come across to Rome. They describe themselves as two explorers who entered...