Matthew

THE READ: J.D. Salinger's Private Letters
April 21, 2010

Displayed under glass in the hushed, marbled precincts of the Morgan Library in Manhattan, the letters of J.D. Salinger to his friend Michael Mitchell feel incongruous. It’s not just their colloquial, occasionally profane tone, instantly recognizable to anyone who has read Catcher in the Rye. Reading the personal letters of America’s most famous literary recluse would be discomfiting under any circumstances, but somehow it feels particularly transgressive here, under the vigilant eye of a security guard in a room that also houses a Gutenberg Bible.

The Kings and I
March 17, 2010

Like a lot of writers, I have a Facebook page where I post articles that I’ve published. Over the past year or two, I’ve accumulated a few hundred followers--that is, Facebook friends--and, based upon the comments they leave, they tend to see the world the same way that I do. They’re left of center, by and large, and they believe fervently in health care reform. If they have something negative to say, it’s typically that President Obama and his allies in Congress aren’t being ambitious enough.

Creationism For Liberals
August 12, 2009

The Evolution of God By Robert Wright (Little, Brown, 567 pp., $25.99) I. Over its history, science has delivered two crippling blows to humanity's self-image. The first was Galileo's announcement, in 1632, that our Earth was just another planet and not, as Scripture implied, the center of the universe.