Dr. Faustus

by John J. Miller on October 19, 2014 · 0 comments

in Blog Posts

My latest “Masterpiece” column in the Wall Street Journal is on “Doctor Faustus,” by Christopher Marlowe:

The central event of “Doctor Faustus” is well known: a deal with the devil. In this first “Faustian bargain,” the title character sells his soul in exchange for living his next 24 years “in all voluptuousness.” This is the opposite of deferred gratification. It’s deferred damnation, and Marlowe’s play about power, knowledge and fate fueled a narrative tradition that runs through Milton’s Satan and Goethe’s “Faust” to “The Screwtape Letters” by C.S. Lewis and “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” by the Charlie Daniels Band.

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Meet the Parents

by John J. Miller on October 17, 2014 · 0 comments

in Blog Posts

Here’s my Wall Street Journal article on professors and parents:

On Saturday I’ll do something that only a handful of professors in the country may do: meet the parents.

It’s Parents Weekend at Hillsdale College, a small liberal-arts school in southern Michigan. All morning, in a series of 10-minute sessions, my colleagues and I will visit with the mothers and fathers of our students. Think of it like speed dating, except that I’ll hand out syllabi rather than phone numbers, though I’ll hand out those as well, in case parents ever want to call me. I’ll also describe my courses and explain what I hope to achieve.

Finally, we’ll get around to the real purpose of these meetings and talk about their children. On just about every other campus in America, that’s against the law.

Washington Statue, Fall 2009

The Other President

October 13, 2014

The First Assassin includes about four references to Jefferson Davis. The president of the Confederate States is not an actual character in my novel, as Abraham Lincoln is. Yet he’s the subject of a new book by the great Civil War historian James M. McPherson, who assesses Davis as a commander-in-chief. Listen to our NRO [...]

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Oh, the Humanities!

October 6, 2014

My article on the practical benefits of an education in the humanities is in the new National Review: As the cost of college continues to rise, the humanities have gone on the defensive. Parents and students increasingly worry about the “return on investment” they’ll receive from tuition payments that can soar into six figures. In [...]

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Sign of Leo

September 14, 2014

My NRO podcast with Catherine Zuckert about Leo Strauss is here. Last year, I wrote a story for National Review on Harry Jaffa, who is one of Strauss’s best-known students.

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Crashing Land?

September 5, 2014

In the new National Review, I have a story on Terri Lynn Land and the Michigan Senate race: Land’s first priority is caution, and she hopes that national trends will lift her to victory. “She won’t be the 50th or 51st Republican in the Senate, but she might be the 53rd, 54th, or 55th,” says [...]

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