Articles by Anthony Esolen

A Reign of Error

t the end of The Unheavenly City: The Nature and the Future of Our Urban Crisis (1968), Edward Banfield presents a prospect regarding race relations that seems to have been fulfilled since his tumultuous years and ours: a reign of error. Let me set the stage. America had become the wealthiest nation in the history […]

Kangaroo Nation

he premise behind much of the protesting we hear in our time from women, African Americans, gays, and other groups granted the special status of being in the minority (how that applies to women, who make up more than half of the population, is hard to see), is that they are to be believed when […]

The Indispensable American Family

n August 1884, Washington Gladden, possibly the most famous Christian preacher in the America of his day, wrote an article in The Century Magazine on “Three Dangers” besetting the welfare of the nation he loved. Of the first and third dangers he named, intemperance and gambling, I have little to say here. I will note […]

The Expectations Abyss

collect magazines. Not the brightly colored paper things that fall apart. My magazines are bound in large volumes of about 1,000 pages, six months at a time: The Century Magazine, Harper’s Magazine, Scribner’s, and others, and they date from around 1875 to 1930. In those magazines, you will find articles of what would strike us […]

A ‘Christmas Carol’
For Our Times

I have heard it said that Charles Dickens, by his famous novella about the miserly buyer of bad debts who is visited by a series of ghosts and who consequently learns to open his heart and his purse, “invented” Christmas for us speakers of English. That is how we have ended up with a holiday […]

Finding America
Among the Ruins

Under the town of El-Bahnasa, west of the Nile and 160 miles upriver from Cairo, lie the ruins and the garbage dump of the ancient city of Oxyrhynchus. The Muslims had governed the area for 1,200 years, and they had not bothered to search among the ruins. These were finally investigated in 1896 by British […]

Education Is Not About Your ‘Lived Reality’

Three years ago, I was smeared before all the students, professors, and staff members of Providence College, where I had taught since 1990. That was some 5,000 people. The authors of the smear were the president of the college, whose final term expires next spring, and the vice president, who will be taking over for […]

We Need More Fat, Boring, Sensible Men

Early in the spring, driving along Interstate 93 in New Hampshire, I passed a large billboard featuring a smiling, attractive woman, the caption “The Heart of a Soldier,” and the name “Tulsi.” She didn’t look like a soldier, and at the time I did not know who she was, so the billboard puzzled me. Of […]

How We Colored Our Public Squares Red

Reports tell us that church attendance among Americans is falling. I am acquainted with secular professors who apparently have learned nothing from the experiences of atheistic social experiments in the last century. Social experiments, I say, and not societies, because such monstrosities as Soviet Russia and Red China were never social enough to raise the […]

Politics is Crowding Out Culture and Childhood

Many years ago, when I was teaching at Providence College, I showed up for a meeting of the faculty senate. That was rare for me. I loathe campus politics. But a friend of mine had put forward a proposal for a program in Classics, and I attended to lend my support. It turned out that […]

Neither True, Nor Good, Nor Beautiful . . . But Redeemable

I belong to about a dozen “groups” on Facebook, all of which are conservative or Christian in outlook, except for one. This group is for college professors. I won’t mention the name, because the moderator has been generous with me and genuinely open-minded. I’d like to describe what I see there, as it reveals some […]

Sorting Out the New Color Wheel

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The Real ‘Toxic Masculinity’

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