The Moral Philosophy of Captain America
April 02, 2014
If Aristotle could have imagined the Captain’s mission of giving everyone freedom to live as they choose, he would have reacted with incredulous contempt.
Was Nietzsche Right About Religion?
March 21, 2014
Two new books about the ghost at the atheist feast
Malcolm Gladwell Is America's Best-Paid Fairy-Tale Writer
November 21, 2013
What do you get when you read a book that reinforces your beliefs while making you feel nonconformist?
Margaret Thatcher's Unintended Legacies
August 23, 2013
She wanted a return to a conservative, middle-class England. The country she created is anything but.
The Knowns and the Unknowns
April 20, 2012
Sometime in the early 1970s I had an illuminating conversation with an expert on Soviet affairs.
November 09, 2011
The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution By Francis Fukuyama (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 585 pp., $35) Ideas about what it means to be modern are soon dated. Not so long ago theories were in vogue claiming that a “scientific-technical revolution” was under way that would lead to a single type of government spreading throughout the world. Originally promoted by Daniel Bell in the 1950s, the theory of convergence suggested that the Soviet Union would evolve to become like the advanced industrial societies of the West.
The Return of an Illusion
June 23, 2011
Why Marx Was Right By Terry Eagleton (Yale University Press, 258 pp., $25) How to Change the World: Tales of Marx and Marxism By Eric Hobsbawm (Yale University Press, 470 pp., $35) An intellectual revival of Marxism is one of the predictable consequences of the financial crisis. In the twenty years before the storm broke, the Marxisant intelligentsia was more marginal in politics and culture than it had ever been.
January 27, 2011
Ernest Gellner: An Intellectual Biography By John A. Hall (Verso, 400 pp., $49.95) John A. Hall concludes his account of Ernest Gellner by observing that his outlook on the world was austere. “But therein lies its attraction,” he goes on. “Not much real comfort for our woes is on offer; the consolations peddled in the market are indeed worthless.