Writing & Reviews

2017
“Poet in History,” First Things, January 2018
Czesław Miłosz’s poetry holds up, but The Captive Mind does not.

“Zimbabwe’s Trauma,” National Review, December 2017
From Rhodesia to majority rule with Robert Mugabe.

“Keynes Unable,” Weekly Standard, November 2017
An underwhelming little book on the Hayek–Keynes rivalry.

“Far Out,” Modern Age, Fall 2017
Seeking freedom, Seventies style.

“Shiny Happy People,” Hedgehog Review, Fall 2017
None of the great utilitarians died happy.

“This Economy Kills?” Library of Law & Liberty, August 2017
Against Catholic socialism.

“A Magnificent Anomaly,” Education & Culture, July 2017
The apocalyptic sci-fi of daily Mass-goer R.A. Lafferty.

“Romance & Socialism in J.S. Mill,” American Affairs, Summer 2017
Did Harriet Taylor Mill make her husband a socialist?

“Pilate Error,” Weekly Standard, 27 March 2017
Pontius Pilate didn’t wash his hands.

“George Eliot’s Rebellions,” Catholic Herald, 24 March 2017
Don’t take life advice from a moral solipsist.

“Lessons of Algeria,” Claremont Review of Books, Winter 2017
France needs Jean Lartéguy at home more than we needed him in Iraq.

“Saint Louverture,” First Things, March 2017
The Haitian Revolution was a disaster, with the exception of one man.

“The Swiss Kafka,” Quadrant, January–February 2017
Robert Walser and other Swiss lit.

“Tocqueville in the Gutter,” First Things, January 2017
How can Tocqueville save us if civil society is dead?

 

2016
“¡No Pasarán!,” the University Bookman, December 2016
A Spanish Civil War anthology with actual Spaniards in it.

“Ivy League Laughs,” The Weekly Standard, 5 December 2016
Does Harvard have a sense of humor?

“An Eroded Culture,” National Review, 15 August 2016
Is the white working class to blame for its own predicament?

★ “The New Ruling Class,” Hedgehog Review, Summer 2016
The meritocracy is hardening into an aristocracy—so let it.

“A Satirist in Exile,” Books & Culture, May/June 2016
Teffi, a female Chekhov? Not even a female Bunin.

“Dangerous and Suspect Men,” Books & Culture, March/April 2016
The gay marriage debate finds a French revolutionary precedent.

“The Green and the Brown,” First Things, March 2016
Timothy Snyder gets Nazi agronomy wrong.

 

2015
“Cowards, Patriots, and Pasternak,” Quadrant, December 2015
Dr. Zhivago is a Siberian soap opera but the Cold War made it something more.

“PC Revivalism on Campus,” National Review, December 2015
Political correctness is a religion.

“AA Envy,” Hedgehog Review, Fall 2015
Addiction recovery is the last acceptable path to spiritual growth.

“Australia and the Post-Colonial Novel,” Quadrant, October 2015
Why do so few novelists get empire right?

“Helen Vendler’s Idolatry,” Books & Culture, September/October 2015
Has the poetry doyenne read the Gettysburg Address?

“The Heritage of Ta-Nehisi Coates,” University Bookman, August 2015
Marxism, violence, cheap misdirection, intellectual slipperiness—have I left anything out?

“The Anti-Paglia,” University Bookman, July 2015
Terry Castle is America’s greatest living essayist.

“Siberia’s Surprisingly Australian Past,” Quadrant, June 2015
Honeymooning on the Trans-Siberian Railway.

“A Cause Lost—and Forgotten,” University Bookman, March 2015
Women against suffrage.

 

2014
“Stewardship of the Reading Eye,” FirstThings.com, November 2014
One cheer for censorship.

“Their Decadence, and Ours,” FirstThings.com, October 2014
Husymans, Wilde, Pater, me, and you.

“Counterfeit Goods,” First Things, August 2014
Teju Cole is not the real deal.

“Master-Slav Dialectic,” American Spectator, May 2014
More about the Russian soul, please.

“Underburked,” American Spectator, March 2014
Yuval Levin gazes into the Burkean mirror.

“Bloodless Moralism,” First Things, February 2014
Social science shouldn’t be our only basis for moral arguments.

 

2013 and earlier
“Up from Colonialism,” Claremont Review of Books, Winter 2013/14
Chinua Achebe ruined African literature.

“18th Century Fox,” American Spectator, October 2013
There were low-brow conservatives in Edmund Burke’s day, too.

“Charles Lamb’s Confessions,” FirstThings.com, September 2013
The first recovery memoir.

“A Measure of Forgiveness,” Books & Culture, May/June 2013
Ngugi wa Thiong’o comes across nicer than usual in his second memoir.

“Cronyism’s Charms,” First Things, May 2013
Fairness bad, machine politics good.

“Sex in the Meritocracy,” First Things, February 2013
College hook-up culture is depraved, but not the way Nathan Harden suggests.

“A Visit from the Big Society,” Spectator Australia, 1 September 2012
Philip Blond comes to Canberra.

“An American Abroad,” Spectator Australia, 7 July 2012
Spectator diary about my first month in Australia.

“In Defense of Robert Moses,” Weekly Standard, August 2010
Take that, Caro.

“The Smoker’s Code,” Proud to Be Right: Voices of the Next Conservative Generation
“Perhaps my favorite essay in this book,” says Jonah Goldberg’s introduction.