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“We are immigrants still, who travel in time,
Bound where the thought of America beckons;
But we hold our course, and the wind is with us.
-Richard Wilbur[1]
 
“After the teacher asked if anyone had
            a sacred place
and the students fidgeted and shrank
 in their chairs, the most serious of all
            said it was his car,
being in it alone.”
-Stephen Dunn[2]
 
Not long after he left the…

The American Road Trip and American Political Thought. Susan McWilliams Barndt. Lanham: Lexington Books, 2018.
 
Susan McWilliams Barndt’s new book is motivated by a provocative premise: “That stories of American road trips are an important form of American political thought, and certainly more central to American political thought than almost anyone has recognized before” (xv). But if Barndt is a provocateur,…

In 2006, the McCormick Tribune Freedom Museum conducted a survey to measure Americans’ knowledge of their First Amendment constitutional freedoms (the freedoms of religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition), comparing it to Americans’ knowledge of popular culture, particularly their knowledge of the well-known television series, The Simpsons, shortly before the release of The Simpsons Movie. The results, perhaps unsurprisingly, revealed…

The United States Constitution in Film: Part of Our National Culture. Eric T. Kasper and Quentin D. Vieregge. Lanham, MD. Lexington Books, 2018.
 
In his opinion in the case of United States v. Syufy Enterprises, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Kozinski worked into his text some 200 movie references.  Yet it would be hard to say all that movie…

Francis Graham Wilson (1901-1976), an eminent political scientist, lifelong scholar of public opinion, and a central figure in the postwar American conservative intellectual movement, was born near Junction, Texas, to Horace Ernest and Stella Jane (Graham) Wilson. He graduated from the University of Texas in 1923 and earned a master’s degree in political science the following year. He spent a…

"Never has anyone ruled on this earth by basing his rule on any other thing than public opinion."
In these words, Jose Ortega y Gassett, most famous for a book entitled Revolt of the Masses, affirmed the eternal truth and problem of rule by consent. Ortega y Gassett, a classical liberal theorist from Spain, spent his career warning readers of the…

After Christine Blasey Ford testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on September 27 of last year, the editors of Commonweal singled out one moment as the sharpest “heartbreaking detail” in her entire remembrance. It was the laughter, they noted, in her words “the uproarious laughter of the two, and their having fun at my expense.” They judged it “forthright testimony”…

The following is an interview with Daniel J. Mahoney, the Augustine Chair in Distinguished Scholarship at Assumption College, about Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s Between Two Millstones: Book 1: Sketches of Exile, 1974-1978 which was published by the University of Notre Dame Press in the fall of 2018.  Professor Mahoney wrote the “Foreword” to the aforementioned work. He has written widely on Solzhenitsyn…

Today marks the one hundredth anniversary of the March 1st Movement, which sparked the Korean resistance to Japanese colonial rule (1910-45) and now is celebrated in South Korea annually as Independence Movement Day. On this day one hundred years ago in Seoul, thirty-three Korean nationalists and students declared Korea’s independence, which triggered a nationwide civil protest and was the catalyst…

Every second year, the first week of January is a time of change in US politics.  Some senators and members of the House of Representatives leave national, legislative politics, either voluntarily, because they retire, or involuntarily, because they are defeated, and a new crop of legislators is sworn into office.  Last week saw more change than normal.  Many Republican members…