Mars Hill was an evangelical church founded by a charismatic figure Mark Driscoll that was based in Seattle. Driscoll proved a controversial figure, at once a brilliant evangelical leader and a bullying leader also accused of plagiarism and fraud. Mike Cosper tells this story in his podcast The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill. The podcast speaks to our present moment, whether or not one is interested in Christianity or in megachurches. It is an extraordinary example of how to tell a story of our time through an in-depth exploration of one exemplary cultural catastrophe. I had the pleasure of speaking with Cosper and Yuval Levin- who will also be speaking at our Fall Conference -on the most recent episode of Cosper's podcast.
Zach Montellaro looks at a theory increasingly embraced by Republican state legislators and four Supreme Court Justices that would allow state legislatures to have near absolute authority to determine which candidate for President to award that states’ electoral votes.
David Remnick interviews Stephen Kotkin about Russian History and its influence on Vladimir Putin. He asks, “What is Putinism?” and why do the special characteristics of Putinism lead to the invasion of Ukraine.
It is widely believed that the Final Solution began in German at the Wannsee Conference led by Reinhard Heydrich, deputy to SS Chief Heinrich Himmler and superior to Adolf Eichmann. Christopher R. Browning argues that the Wannsee Conference was only one step in an often conflicted and unclear Nazi effort to make good on Hitler’s promise to make all of Europe Judenrein, free of Jews.
Peter Maguire reminisces about his time at Bard when his “teachers cared about my education, they did not care about my ego.” Maguire reprints some of the comments he received on the end of term criteria sheets that Bard professors still fill out for every student.
Wordle is a simple daily word game that has captivated the internet's attention and fostered an earnest community of players who obsess and bond over the game's unique challenge. Its creator, Josh Wardle, has had a long career trying to foster online communities that promote collaboration, play and kindness rather than division and hate.
It was Vladimir Lenin who said, “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” And now it is Vladimir Putin who has punctuated Lenin’s remarks. Our world has changed.
The Jewish born Christian philosopher Simone Weil wrote: “Only he who has measured the dominion of force, and knows how to respect it, is capable of love and justice.” What war teaches, Weil argues, is the experience of utter misery, the reduction of man to a mere thing, a plaything of fate.
The recent invasion of Ukraine by Russia marks not just a seismic change in the global geopolitical order, but a historiographical shift in how citizens take in the documentation of war.
Hannah Arendt wrote about war, genocide, and totalitarianism. Her mantra was to look reality squarely in the face and seek to understand it and to resist it. But first to understand it. The Russian war of aggression against Ukraine is a human tragedy. It is also a geopolitical earthquake that threatens to transform the world in which we live.