Month: June 2020

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Books in Brief
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Books in Brief

The Art of Statistics, by David Spiegelhalter (Basic Books; 448 pp., $32.00). Eminent statistician David Spiegelhalter has written a primer on his expertise intended for the general reader. It’s one of those “for the rest of us books” which

Go Big or Go Home
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Go Big or Go Home

Before the coronavirus slammed into the United States in a way that few foresaw, it seemed Donald Trump was heading to reelection based on a record of genuine, though modest, accomplishments. Despite being treated as an usurper by the media,

The Pandemic of Godlessness
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The Pandemic of Godlessness

It is a universally acknowledged truth that when epidemics strike, men and women turn to God.

In this latest of epidemics, most churches the world over have been closed and their worshippers have been directed to websites where leaders hold

Monocultural Resilience
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Monocultural Resilience

At the end of the ongoing global melodrama’s first quarter, it seems reasonable to predict that this will be a two-act play with the final curtain coming down in July. It will end as a tragedy, not because the outcome

Empire States of Mind
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Empire States of Mind

Imperial Legacies: The British Empire
Around the World

by Jeremy Black
Encounter Books
216 pp., $25.99

Although this relatively short book is closer to an extended, episodic essay than to the comprehensive history of the British empire implied by the

Praying Alone
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Praying Alone

When Americans look back on 2020, the year of the virus, they will see multiple transformations. I fear that some of the most sweeping changes will come in the realm of religion, marking a grim turning point in the story

Remembering Whittaker Chambers
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Remembering Whittaker Chambers

At first glance, the personal history of Whittaker Chambers does not suggest a conservative frame of mind. His favorite poet was Walt Whitman, the bard of unshackled emotion and free-verse effusions. The most influential novel in his life was Victor

The Mind Behind Big Brother
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The Mind Behind Big Brother

The Ministry of Truth: The Biography of
George Orwell’s
1984

by Dorian Lynskey
Doubleday
368 pp., $28.95

Few works in literature are as terrifying as 1984, that look into the future written by George Orwell and published in 1949.

A Skeptic on the Road of Saints
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A Skeptic on the Road of Saints

A Pilgrimage to Eternity:
From Canterbury to Rome
in Search of a Faith
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by Timothy Egan.
Viking Press
384 pp., $28.00

“Men go abroad to admire the heights of mountains, the mighty waves of the sea, the broad tide

Plague Literature: The Threshing Floor
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Plague Literature: The Threshing Floor

Over the centuries, plague has been understood variously as a purely natural phenomenon, astrological fatalism, the judgment of God, or, most perplexing, a manifestation of divine mercy. Since plague is one of those natural disasters whose origin cannot be assigned

Hankering Hereafter
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Hankering Hereafter

The Invisible Man (2020)
Directed and written by Leigh Whannell ◆
Produced by Blumhouse Productions and Universal
Pictures ◆ Distributed by Universal Pictures

Seven Stages to Achieve Eternal Bliss (2018)
Directed by Vivieno Caldinelli ◆ Screenplay by
Christopher Hewitson, Clayton

What the Editors Are Reading
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What the Editors Are Reading

Robert Louis Stevenson’s novella of split personality, the Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886) immediately caught the attention of the late Victorian reading public and has been catching attention from new audiences ever since. It has provided

The Theatrical Tradition of Dorothy Sayers
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The Theatrical Tradition of Dorothy Sayers

In 1941, bestselling novelist Dorothy L. Sayers (1893-1957) ignited a religious controversy that reverberated throughout England. Leading to discussion in Parliament, her BBC radio plays about Jesus were accused of being subversive and irreverent. Ironically, Sayers was motivated not by