The National Catholic Review

Books

  • October 27, 2014

    My colleague from up the road, Michael Roth, the president of Wesleyan University, has written an accessible, useful, intelligent book on a topic that concerns many of us in higher education and about which there has been much discussion of late.

  • October 27, 2014

    As The National Catholic Reporter marks the 50th anniversary of its founding this October, it’s worth considering how long the odds were against the paper’s success. From the start, the editors had small budgets to finance their big dreams. Despite meager resources, the founders set out to create an independent newspaper that circulated nationally. They focused coverage on a set of self- described progressive issues, hardly the stuff of long-term, mass-market...

  • October 27, 2014

    In 2007, a major secret in Jesuit education was revealed. When the wife of the late Hugh Grant, Jr., Lucie Mackey Grant, died, the fact that the Grant family had been almost single-handedly supporting Regis High School became public. Upon the death of her husband in 1910, Mrs. Julia Grant inherited $9,000,000 (roughly $200,000,000 today). Mrs. Grant purchased the land on 84th Street and Park Avenue in Manhattan, paid for the construction of Regis High School...

  • October 20, 2014

    In July of last year, aboard a plane returning to Rome from the World Youth Day celebration in Rio de Janeiro, Pope Francis made clear to the world that he was pontificating in a new key. He walked back to the press compartment and stood in the aisle for 81 minutes, answering every question in a spontaneous exchange with reporters and uttering his now-emblematic “Who am I to judge?” remark about gays. Scarcely noted was another comment by this product of the...

  • October 20, 2014

    Historian George Marsden, an influential expert on Protestant fundamentalism and also on secularization in the academy, chooses in this book to critique two ways of conceiving America that he claims prevailed about three-score years ago. That was the zenith time of public Protestantism and “consensus-based” reliance on aspects of the 18th century Enlightenment. In Marsden’s image for the change, “twilight” is now here. Over against the darkness which would...

  • October 20, 2014

    A word of warning to book reviewers, especially for Catholic periodicals like this one: what you say about what Catholic authors are saying about our current cultural reality may someday become fodder for a critical construction of what is not being said, or more precisely, what is forbidden to be said, about the same in more theological and ecclesial circles. In other words, whether you know it or not, you’re more than simply commenting about...

  • October 13, 2014

    There’s no place better suited for supermen than long distance cycling. Take the Tour de France, the sport’s greatest race. This year’s event covers 3,656 km over 21 days (think Detroit to Los Angeles with the Alps standing in for the Rockies and the Pyrenees for the Sierras). As one 1924 rider put it, the (then shorter) tour “is like martyrdom.

  • October 13, 2014

    The African novel has come of age in the early 21st century North American diaspora. Straddling homelands, histories, myths, looking for values and identity somewhere in between—those are the grand topics of the African novel.

  • October 13, 2014

    When I was in doctoral studies in philosophy, a Jesuit professor in another discipline asked me what my dissertation topic was. “Plato!” he chafed, “What could you possibly have to say about Plato that hasn’t already been said?” His remark provided me with ample motivation to finish my dissertation. From the standpoint of academic scholarship, Rebecca Goldstein doesn’t offer much that is new about Plato. Instead, in Plato at the Googleplex, she does...

  • October 13, 2014

    Few works deliver on the promise of their title with such success as Mary Christine Athans’s book on Mary. The scholarship is solid, the prose accessible and her personal reflections engaging. The book can also be provocative, since discussions of Mary lead to questions about the contested role of women in the church.