Reviews
Idealpolitik vs. Realpolitik
The Foreign Policy Debate We Need

How to temper idealism with the demands of responsible statecraft—without abandoning our commitment to democracy and human rights? This is the question facing America’s foreign policy hands as they look beyond the Trump presidency.

(Wikimedia Commons)
Dying Light
A Root Cause of Illiberalism?

A new book by Ivan Krastev and Stephen Holmes offers a provocative—if not entirely persuasive—answer.

(Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)
Untragic Nation
Hyman Bloom and the Art of Dying Well

In our death-fearing age, the artwork of a Jewish-American master—overlooked in his own time but the subject of a new exhibit at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts—has much to teach us.

© 2019 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Faith on Film
The Martyr’s Secret

Terrence Malick’s A Hidden Life probes the inner life of an Austrian farmer who refused to fight for Hitler—and asks what it means to be a martyr.

Maurycy Gottlieb, “Jews Praying in the Synagogue on Yom Kippur” (Wikimedia Commons)
American Jews and Israel
The Roots of the Rift

The controversy over President Trump’s executive order on anti-Semitism reflects a broader gap in how American and Israeli Jews understand themselves. A new book by Daniel Gordis explores the divide.

“The Thinker: Portrait of Louis N. Kenton” by Thomas Eakins (Wikimedia Commons)
The Literary Life
The Quiet American Novel

A new book by Steve Almond offers a deeply personal take on John Williams’s classic novel Stoner: a minor-key masterpiece about ordinary life, the pursuit of passions, and the lost art of paying attention.

(Wikimedia Commons)
Spies and Lies
John le Carré’s Lessons on Populism

In his two latest books, the world-weary spy writer trains his pen on Trump, Brexit, and populism—and offers a surprisingly optimistic take on the next generation.

(Art Institute of Chicago)
By Bread Alone?
The Poverty of Economics

Does economics have something to tell us about religion? Probably, but far less than it has to tell us about other issues.

(Wikimedia Commons)
Oral History
Voices from the Berlin Wall

A new book by Iain McGregor offers a vivid account of daily life in divided Berlin, collecting the stories of ordinary people who lived, worked, and served on either side of Checkpoint Charlie.

Photo by Tim Mossholder from Pexels
E Pluribus Unum
A Blinkered Case for Nationalism

In his new book, Rich Lowry makes a plausible case for an inclusive brand of American nationalism—but fails to see the malignancy of the version that is currently warping our politics.

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