Margaret O'Brien Steinfels
Over the past fifty years, gender roles have changed. In The End of Men: And the Rise of Women, Hanna Rosin argues that women have managed the transition far more successfully than men.
When disaster strikes, swift relief and just recompense are expected for survivors. How best to compensate victims is rarely clear. Kenneth Feinberg has spent his career sorting through such conundrums.
Many factors will influence the outcome of the election. Swing states matter, as may voter turnout and voter-suppression efforts, job numbers, and events abroad. But is race playing any role in the 2012 election?
Diplomacy Still the Least Bad Option
Mitt Romney’s off-the-cuff foreign-policy remarks, at home and abroad, carry a menacing tone, though he’s usually attacking President Obama, not Putin or the Taliban.
What are the U.S. Catholic bishops really arguing about with the Obama administration? Is it religious liberty, as they insist? Is it contraception and sterilization, as the headlines in my archdiocesan paper stress? Is it simply anti-Obama prejudice? Maybe it’s all of the above, and then some.
Super PACs Place Their Bets
An Exchange about UN Sanctions
The deficit hawks in Congress are ardent promoters of the economic well-being of future generations. And yet, when you look at the cuts, both those proposed and those enacted by these wizards of finance, you have to ask what kind of future they imagine will follow from their slashing frenzy, if not for their own children and grandchildren then for everyone else’s.
Is Accommodation a winning hand?
Befitting its subject, The Longest War is a very long book, a comprehensive examination of the struggle that began slowly and surreptitiously in the early 1990s and continued—at least until Osama bin Laden’s killing.
When Qaddafi is finally deposed, the world may agree that “all’s well that ends well.” But first, some questions: Why did France & Britain lead the way? Why did the United States join the effort? How humanitarian is this humanitarian intervention? Is Qaddafi’s fitting end being achieved by doubtful means?
President Obama offered a robust defense of U.S. actions in Libya on March 28, but his words and ideas should not be taken for policy. What happens when Libya reaches the next of many forks in the road?
What's our end game in Afghanistan?
In a church without enemies, what are they to do?
The 2010 midterms will go down as one of the most fiercely fought campaigns in our political history. What was this strife all about? Yes, there were policies to fight over. But above all, there was a tsunami of money.
Where are the serious Republicans?
A review of John Cassidy's book How Markets Fail
How I became an adult Catholic
A review of two new books on the prospects for peace in the Middle East
Cleaning up after the Bush administration
A review of The Forever War by Dexter Filkins.
Gender in the French election.
The trouble with Israel’s relationship to the United States.
When a final accounting of the U.S. war in Iraq is toted up, we may learn why so many things went wrong. How did the best-equipped, most powerful army in the world sweep to victory and then so quickly lose control? How did astute politicians from Donald Rumsfeld to Colin Powell to John Kerry to Hillary Clinton so systematically miscalculate the consequences of going to war against a country so religiously complex and ethnically divided?
A few weeks before the pope died a reporter on the death watch called me. Among her questions: Is the papacy obsolete? My immediate reply was, “Yes, and it always has been.” I later revised my wisecrack, at least in my own head: the older the papacy becomes, the more obsolete it appears, because the longer it goes on, the more it has to preserve. To outsiders, like the reporter, the papacy seems so far behind the times that she could repeat a very old Protestant canard and describe it as obsolete. That, of course, is not how Catholics and many Christians, even Protestants, would describe it today.
The Missing Peace is a chronicle of the ups and downs (mostly downs) of U.S. negotiator Dennis Ross’s efforts to end the conflict in the Middle East. Margaret O’Brien Steinfels reviews.
Catholics face a curious choice in this year’s presidential election, writes Margaret O’Brien Steinfels. When Bush, a Methodist, is touted as the Catholic candidate and Kerry, a Catholic, is painted as a heretic, Steinfels writes, “you know that the Catholic community has been chopped and blended in the great American food processor.” Still, Catholic values can still inform a citizen’s vote. Steinfels explains how.
Daria Donnelly, Commonweal’s associate editor (at large), died September 21 at the age of forty-five. She was the mother of Leo and Josephine, two beautiful dark-eyed children, and married to the singularly devoted Steven Weissburg. Daria had multiple myeloma, a cancer of the blood and bone marrow. For three years she contested its claims on her bones, her stem cells, her energy, and her life. In her illness and in her dying, she manifested the same lively intelligence, curiosity, wit, and hospitality that were among her signal qualities in health and in life. Two stem-cell transplants, dozens of daily pills, treatments and transfusions, gloves and masks never closed her off from friends, conversations, e-mails, or even-last spring-from the Metropolitan Museum of Art to which she came to see the Byzantium exhibit and to stand in front of a miracle-working icon of Mary and pray to be healed.
From the archives: A response to Paul Griffiths
A College President Speaks