September 10, 2008
IN LATE OCTOBER 1987, Barack Obama and Jerry Kellman took a weekend off from their jobs as community organizers in Chicago and traveled to a conference on social justice and the black church at Harvard. During an evening break in the schedule, they strolled around campus in their shirtsleeves, enjoying the unseasonably warm weather. Two-and-a-half years earlier, Kellman had hired Obama to organize residents of Chicago's South Side. Now, Obama had something to tell his friend and mentor. It had to do, in part, with his father.
Books: The Whole Horror
September 10, 2007
The Years of Extermination: Nazi Germany and the Jews, 1939-1945 By Saul Friedlander (HarperCollins, 870 pp., $39.95) With the publication of The Years of Extermination, Saul Friedlander adds to his already well-established reputation as one of the world's pre-eminent historians of the Holocaust and of its place in modern European, German, and Jewish history.
The Big Test
January 15, 2007
Damon Linker's 2007 article looks into the religious implications of a Romney presidency.
Poland And The Jews
January 09, 2007
Stefan Cardinal Wyszynski, a name out of the deep past, had been bishop of Lublin where my parents were born. I heard his name as a child when he became first archbishop and then cardinal of Warsaw. My parents, and my mother especially, had bad memories of Wyszynski with regard to the Jews. Yes, the old Polish thing about the Jews. But, when he was arrested and incarcerated by the Communists, they softened on him, maybe even admired him a bit. His case was quite different from that of Josef Cardinal Mindszenty of Hungary.
October 09, 2006
Monday, October 9 Dear Damon, On your blog, which you've recently shut down, you posted links to two diametrically opposed reviews of your new book, The Theocons: Secular America Under Siege. One, by Adrian Wooldridge in The New York Times, calls your tone "admirably restrained, dispassionate and scholarly when it could so easily have been rank and recriminatory." The other, by Commonweal Editor Paul Baumann, accuses you of being "exaggerated and alarmist," not to mention "tendentious" and "frequently cartoonish" in your portrait of your former compatriots on the religious right.
The Golden Ticket
August 14, 2006
The fairy tale began to unravel in the most unlikely of locations: The electronics aisle at Target. It was late September, the day after the Anderson family, as they had come to be known, first made their journey from a shelter in Houma, Louisiana, to a home in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The family, all of them refugees from Hurricane Katrina, had relocated to the Midwest at the invitation of a Catholic church group based in Kalamazoo.
May 08, 2006
Alan Wolfe: What the immigration debate tells us about who Americans are, and who they want to be.
Without a Doubt
April 03, 2006
CATHOLIC MATTERS: CONFUSION, CONTROVERSY, AND THE SPLENDOR OF TRUTH By Richard John Neuhaus (Basic Books, 272 pp., $25) Liberal modernity exasperates traditional religion. It fosters a pluralism that denies any one faith the power to organize the whole of social life. It teaches that public authorities must submit to the consent of those over whom they aspire to rule, thereby undermining the legitimacy of all forms of absolutism. It employs the systematic skepticism of the scientific method to settle important questions of public policy.
Not in the Heavens
February 20, 2006
WITNESSING THEIR FAITH: RELIGIOUS INFLUENCE ON SUPREME COURT JUSTICES AND THEIR OPINIONS By Jay Alan Sekulow(Rowman & Littlefield, 349 pp., $27.95) I. THE CONFIRMATION OF JUSTICE Samuel Alito brings to five the number of Catholics on the Supreme Court of the United States. All Americans can be proud of this fact, or more precisely, proud of the fact that Alito’s religious affiliation never became an issue during his confirmation process.
February 06, 2006
THE MIND OF THE MASTER CLASS: HISTORY AND FAITH IN THE SOUTHERN SLAVEHOLDERS’ WORLDVIEW By Elizabeth Fox-Genovese and Eugene D. Genovese (Cambridge University Press, 828 pp., $70) DWELLING PLACE: A PLANTATION EPIC By Erskine Clarke (Yale University Press, 601 pp., $35) I. FOR ALL THE INK THAT HAS been spilled, for all the quarrels and the debates that have erupted over the past century and a half, popular and scholarly understandings of the Civil War almost universally share one view in common: that the war was a great tragedy in American history and American life.