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.
When Roosevelt Montas immigrated to the Bronx from the Dominican Republic, he found a copy of Plato’s Dialogues in a garbage dump and took it home. It changed his life. Thomas Chatterton Williams writes on the importance of the classics for the underprivileged.
Adam Shatz, who has taught with me at Bard and spoken at Arendt Center Conferences and events, writes about his being assaulted, beaten up, and mugged in New York last month.
The voting reform agenda seems dead in Congress. One can argue about the quality of the two bills being proposed. And one can argue about the filibuster. Lawrence Lessig reminds us that the real problem is the untethered pursuit of partisan political power that has taken over our political system.
Rebecca Solnit asks why Republican voters keep believing the lies about the election told by Donald Trump. And to answer that question she turns to Hannah Arendt.
Simon van Zuylen-Wood has a profile of J.D. Vance that looks beyond the diatribes and tries to understand Vance’s evolution and his popular appeal. He argues that Vance represents an “alienated worldview” that appeals not only to disaffected white voters, but increasingly to multiracial working-class voters.
Sabrina Tavernise does a deep dive into the way the pandemic has intensified a larger fight over what it means to be an American.
When asked by Günter Gaus what was irretrievably lost when she had to flee the Nazis and leave Germany and Europe behind, Hannah Arendt answered: “The Europe of the pre-Hitler period? I do not long for that, I can tell you. What remains? The language remains.” In a profile of the writer Lydia Davis, Wyatt Mason dives into this question of how knowing many languages changes and enriches a writer.