Alan Wolfe

In Remembrance of James Q. Wilson
March 03, 2012

Jim Wilson opted to spend his last couple of years at Boston College, and I, and all my colleagues, were enriched by his presence. Jim, of course, was a conservative, and I am a liberal. But before I go on about how we nonetheless saw eye to eye on this issue or that, there was something else he represented that I both admired and, to the best of my ability, tried to emulate.

One Right
October 27, 2011

Against nearly all other leftists writing about rightists, Corey Robin believes that there is only one kind of conservatism. Whether expressed in the

The Power Lover
July 13, 2011

Machiavelli may not have been the greatest political philosopher of all time, but he certainly was the most notorious. As Miles J. Unger argues in his

Religious Realism
June 27, 2011

Everyone seems to love Reinhold Niebuhr these days, but not everyone gets him right. Especially when it comes to matters of foreign policy, where the

The Visitor
April 21, 2011

Max Weber in America? The idea seems almost preposterous. We often think of Weber as the quintessential European thinker: abstract, worldly, brooding,

The Big Shrink
March 10, 2011

Rather than a shift from left to right, we have witnessed, according to Daniel Rodgers, a transformation from big to small. The intellectuals who shap

Studies Show
March 02, 2011

The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement By David Brooks (Random House, 424 pp., $27)   Why would David Brooks, the frequently interesting and reasonable-even-when-you-disagree-with-him columnist for The New York Times, write a book offering the latest insights from brain research? And why would he do it by adopting the method pioneered by Rousseau in Émile—that is, by inventing fictional characters whose adventures in life are meant to illuminate larger questions of individual development and social obligation?

The Grounds of Courage
January 13, 2011

Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy By Eric Metaxas (Thomas Nelson, 591 pp., $29.99) Early in January 1939, the precocious German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, age thirty-two, learned that all males in his age cohort had been ordered to register with the military. A dedicated opponent of the Nazi regime, he might have responded by declaring himself a conscientious objector, but there were two problems with such a course of action.

Remembering Alienation
September 09, 2010

As hard as it might be to imagine in our wildly polarizing times, thinkers from both the right and the left once found themselves intellectually linke

Everywhere and Nowhere
July 05, 2010

Terry Eagleton has written a book about evil in order to demonstrate that there is no such thing. Evil, he writes, is boring, supremely pointless, li