“We are not who we think we are.”
In The Social Animal, David Brooks tells the story of a composite American couple Erica and Harold, from their first moments of life to their last. Weaving in and out of this tale of their early childhood, high school years, career highs and lows, and the opportunities and challenges of aging, Brooks offers insights from recent research in a variety of fields which provide a new understanding ourselves.
Continue reading “The Social Animal”
What would it be like for white Americans to be second-class citizens in their own country? What if we had to accommodate ourselves to a dominant culture that wasn’t native to us? What if we had to negotiate different values, different customs, different ways of speaking, and a lower economic status than we are used to–all with the vague fog of inferiority hanging over us constantly as we and others compare us to a superior race? What would it be like? How would it feel?
Continue reading “The Man in the High Castle”
Good news for all of us racked by guilt as a result of being raised Jewish, Catholic or Protestant! There is a whole different way to feel bad about ourselves, and it is called honor-shame.
Continue reading “Feeling Bad a Whole New Way”
The hillbilly or redneck culture of poor whites in Appalachia is largely hidden from view or intentionally ignored by much of the rest of the country, as the recent election showed. In Hillbilly Elegy, J. D. Vance, who himself grew up in this culture, offers a warm yet starkly honest view of himself, his extended family and his people.
Continue reading “Hillbilly Elegy”
One evening in June 1991, Michael Weisser and his wife, Julie, were unpacking boxes in their new home in Lincoln, Nebraska, where he had become the new Jewish Cantor at a Jewish congregation. The phone rang, and they answered it. “You’ll be sorry you ever moved in, Jew boy,” the caller said and hung up.
Continue reading “Fighting Hatred in an Unexpected Way”
Kevin Kelly, guru of Wired magazine, proves himself to be a polymath who is not afraid to have an opinion or two in his book What Technology Wants. His main provocative point is that technology is developing in certain predictable ways.
Continue reading “Where Is Technology Going?”
What is it like to grow up black and male in the United States? Ta-Nehisi Coates, author of the highly acclaimed Atlantic article on reparations, tells us in Between the World and Me, a memoir cum extended letter to his fifteen-year-old son. It is a life in which you don’t have final control over the most basic aspect of human existence–your own body. Your body can be thrown in prison or shot or just pushed aside at most any time for most any reason with little recourse.
Continue reading “Between the World and He”
After decades of sending quarterly newsletters to authors, I sent my last one last week. I received many encouraging responses to it. So I thought I would post it here for the rest of you.
Dear IVP Author:
Continue reading “Grace and Truth”
I was recently rewatching the 2002 Kurt Wimmer film Equilibrium when I suddenly realized this is Ray Bradbury’s 1953 classic Fahrenheit 451 all over again. But it wasn’t a crass failure of imagination. No, Wimmer was doing what many writers, artists and movie makers do–borrowing from a past work to offer an homage while providing a few twists of his own.
Continue reading “True Equilibrium”
Why do some people succeed and others don’t? Is it luck? Is it pluck? Is it talent the size of a truck?
That’s the question Malcolm Gladwell sets himself to in Outliers. The answer he finds is, often, none of these. To make his point, Gladwell compares Christopher Langan to Robert Oppenheimer.
Continue reading “The Myth of the Self-Made Man–or Woman (Outliers 1)”