Notes on Woke

Sometimes it seems as if the institutions of our seasick culture have embraced the same way of thinking, that is, that every problem is a public-relations problem crying out for a public-relations solution. This obsession with creating appearances instead of addressing realities...
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More than Memories

The last time I saw the Twin Towers, they stood with amazing grace. Shimmering with the flaming colors of sunrise, the often gaudy-seeming weights at the lower end of the city’s skyline exuded a double-barreled beauty against a clear, brightening sky. Having grown up a few blocks...
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UK Cuts UNFPA Abortion Funds

[The following is adapted from a column that originally appeared on the (Italian) website The New Daily Compass (newdailycompass.com) and is reprinted with permission.] Since the beginning of the year, most of the reproductive rights focus has been on the restoration of United...
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Targeting Down’s Today, Autism Tomorrow

As I went through the paperwork, I was aware of a familiar hollow feeling in my chest. It was the one I had when my older son was diagnosed with autism. This past March, while the world was still in COVID-crisis mode, my husband and I were in a crisis of our own. We had applied...
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Calling Out Chesterton

At the risk of being labeled a heretic, I must confess that to my mind there’s something not quite right with G. K. Chesterton. I assume that many in this audience would strike the virtual match to my imagined pyre, and I would not blame them. Who am I to criticize one of the...
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Waiting for Dobbs

I have been reading The Mystery of the Charity of Joan of Arc, a play that French poet Charles Peguy wrote more than a century ago. For the French especially, Joan of Arc’s life and death are an inspiring patriotic touchstone to return to in times of national crisis or...
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The Fullness of Forgotten Lives

When I was in graduate school, using the word “agency” was a favorite signal of one’s in-group status. In the cutthroat world of graduate history seminars, “agency” is a way to criticize “tropes” about people in the past. A commonly called-out “trope” is that “subalterns,” or...
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Commencement—What Next?

The task of the commencement speaker is a curious one. After all, what can students learn inside of an hour that they have not learned over the long haul of four years? Cartoonist Garry Trudeau once said “Commencement speeches were invented largely in the belief that outgoing...
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Heritage and Culture

Following the natural order of things, my paternal great-grandfather died well before I was born. I bear the same name he did, except, of course, he was Pietro. A Calabrese who left his homeland for the confounding strangeness of this new world, he came over on the SS Virginia,...
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Can the GOP Save the Hyde Amendment?

I spent part of the past weekend reviewing articles written by reporters who attended the National Right to Life convention last week. I did so not only because it is my job as the organization’s communications director, but also because I am genuinely curious to know how the...
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