The Secret Agent
Joseph Conrad and the dawn of terror
National Review, October 10, 2016
‘Freedom of Worship’ Isn’t Enough
On the meaning of religious freedom
Wall Street Journal, June 10, 2016
Is it real?
National Review, May 23, 2016
Listen and learn
National Review, January 25, 2016
Liberals don’t always win the culture wars
Wall Street Journal, January 12, 2016
The Books That Shaped Our Minds
Excerpted from the 60th anniversary issue
National Review, November 19, 2015
The rise of a movement
National Review, October 19, 2015
Our first photos will end a pleasing mystery
National Review, June 22, 2015
Nathaniel Hawthorne’s classic short story
Wall Street Journal, April 24, 2015
Byron, the Shelleys, Frankenstein, and Dracula
Claremont Review of Books, Winter 2014/15
One of My Kind
On having a common name
National Review, December 22, 2014
Making a Living with the Humanities
You don’t have to major in finance
National Review, October 20, 2014
Sympathy for the Devil
Marlowe’s Faustian masterpiece
Wall Street Journal, October 17, 2014
The master of the surreal ghost story
Wall Street Journal, August 22, 2014
The book behind the film
National Review, August 11, 2014
The great American actor
National Review, May 19, 2014
The Master of Modern Horror
The legacy of H.P. Lovecraft
Claremont Review of Books, Spring 2014
Meet the 18th-century conservative
National Review, February 10, 2014
The war against Orson Scott Card
National Review, November 10, 2013
Football and the American Character
Why we love the sport
Imprimis, September 2013
Book Review: Of Dice and Men
The story of Dungeons & Dragons
Wall Street Journal, August 27, 2013
Detroit Fire Sale?
The threat to a world-class art museum
Wall Street Journal, June 3, 2013
Thomas Gray’s quotable masterpiece
Wall Street Journal, May 18, 2013
Book Review: The Mummy’s Curse
The history of a dark fantasy
National Review, February 25, 2013
An appreciation of the 1984 cult classic
National Review, December 3, 2012
Charlton Heston’s Northwoods Boyhood
The actor in Michigan
Traverse, November 2012
Friends of the Lorax
Dr. Seuss’s politics for children
National Review, March 19, 2012
Lincoln’s Favorite Poem
“Mortality,” by William Knox
Wall Street Journal, February 11, 2012
A great writer of war, horror, and journalism
National Review, February 6, 2012
Book Review: Maphead
The author is Ken Jennings, of Jeopardy! fame
Wall Street Journal, October 8, 2011
You Can Go Home Again
My move back to Michigan.
Detroit News, August 18, 2011
Daniel Defoe’s The Storm
The world’s first modern work of journalism.
Wall Street Journal, August 13, 2011
Joseph Addison’s Cato
The Founders’ favorite work of literature.
Wall Street Journal, July 2, 2011
Paul Revere’s Ride
An appreciation of Longfellow’s classic poem.
Wall Street Journal, December 18, 2010
Book Review: Bloody Crimes
The chase for Jefferson Davis and the death pageant for Lincoln’s corpse.
Wall Street Journal, September 22, 2010
He may be America’s greatest author of fantasy literature for children.
Wall Street Journal, September 15, 2010
Meet one of the 20th century’s most imaginative and versatile writers.
Wall Street Journal, July 14, 2010
The story behind the storyteller.
Wall Street Journal, June 8, 2010
Once upon a time, the living dead were scary.
National Review, February 8, 2010
The invention and reinvention of literature’s most famous detective.
Wall Street Journal, December 23, 2009
This Texas author didn’t write Westerns, he wrote Western lit.
Wall Street Journal, November 24, 2009
The Haunting of Hill House is the best haunted-house story ever written.
Wall Street Journal, October 29, 2009
John Brown’s Body
Stephen Vincent Benét’s poem on the 150th anniversary of the Harpers Ferry raid.
Wall Street Journal, October 15, 2009
A once-popular writer of adventure fiction is rediscovered.
Wall Street Journal, August 27, 2009
In books known for their meticulous research and narrative flair, Bruce Catton established himself as one of the great historians of the Civil War.
Traverse, June 2009
L’Amour & Reagan
Western novelist Louis L’Amour was Ronald Reagan’s favorite writer. Here’s why.
National Review, May 4, 2009
Dickens & Drood
Charles Dickens died before finishing his last novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Ever since, other writers have tried to complete the story for him.
Wall Street Journal, March 17, 2009
Poe at 200
Two centuries after his birth, Edgar Allan Poe remains one of America’s eeriest writers.
Wall Street Journal, January 15, 2009
Michael Crichton, RIP
The author of Jurassic Park was a public intellectual who wrote potboilers.
Wall Street Journal, November 11, 2008
An annotated edition of Bram Stoker’s classic novel finds a way to make the old and familiar seem new and exotic.
Wall Street Journal, October 28, 2008
Ernest Hemingway in Michigan
The short story “Big Two-Hearted River” is Hemingway’s first great contribution to literature. But where did the author really go fishing?
Wall Street Journal, August 14, 2008
Dungeons & Dragons in a Digital World
With a set of revised rules, a classic 1980s game tries to survive in an age of pixels.
Wall Street Journal, July 1, 2008
His best-selling books take on utilitarian bioethics, the nature of freedom, and the reality of evil.
National Review, June 2, 2008
Arthur C. Clarke, RIP
A blend of science and mysticism distinguished his best books.
Wall Street Journal, March 20, 2008
Five for Fighting
John Ondrasik, the man behind FFF, supports the troops in song and deed.
National Review, March 10, 2008
The late fantasy author wrote stories of imperfect men and women who perform feats of martial courage in the face of long odds.
Wall Street Journal, January 28, 2008
It’s a small miracle that this Anglo-Saxon epic has survived the ravages of time and now flourishes in the 21st century.
Wall Street Journal, November 13, 2007
Horror aficionados esteem him as a weird-fiction pioneer for his ability to locate bizarre terrors in what appear to be ordinary surroundings.
Wall Street Journal, October 30, 2007
We’re in the midst of a Verne renaissance brought on by new manuscripts, improved translations, and scholarly reassessments.
Wall Street Journal, September 18, 2007
Robert A. Heinlein
The preeminent science-fiction author of the 20th century was a man of the Right. Also includes a short list of conservative SF titles.
National Review, July 9, 2007
The Purpose of Libraries
Should libraries be cultural storehouses or more like actual stores that stock best-selling books for readers who’d rather not buy them?
Wall Street Journal, January 3, 2007
Robert E. Howard’s Conan
Before the films, comics, and games, the barbarian from Cimmeria was a character in literature.
Wall Street Journal, December 13, 2006
The Lincoln Bicentennial
Poor leadership, lackluster vision, and regional factionalism doom a federal commission.
National Review, November 20, 2006
The late, great king of the English ghost story.
Wall Street Journal, October 31, 2006
“Yeah, I’ve killed Castro two times,” says the author of military thrillers such as Flight of the Intruder. “Anything worth doing once is worth doing twice.”
Wall Street Journal, October 24, 2006
Rockin’ the Right
The 50 greatest conservative rock songs.
National Review Online, May 26, 2006
The Wizard of Oz
L. Frank Baum’s iconic book is one of the most overinterpreted stories of all time.
Wall Street Journal, May 11, 2006
The Screwtape Letters
The C.S. Lewis masterpiece, on stage and page.
National Review Online, April 20, 2006
Some Additions to the Menu
Why it’s okay to eat certain rodents for Lent.
Wall Street Journal, March 3, 2006
The legend of the mischief-making monkey.
Wall Street Journal, February 2, 2006
Stone-Age Throwing Sticks
Enthusiasts rediscover an ancient weapon called an atlatl.
Wall Street Journal, January 18, 2006
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
The C.S. Lewis classic becomes a movie.
National Review, December 5, 2005
The author of The War of the Worlds was wrong about a lot.
Wall Street Journal, June 21, 2005
Exorcism: The Comeback
There’s a revival movement.
Wall Street Journal, June 3, 2005
Bound for Canaan
A definitive book on the Underground Railroad.
Wall Street Journal, March 29, 2005
A short history of Native American fakery.
National Review, March 28, 2005
The influential afterlife of a horror-fiction pioneer.
Wall Street Journal, March 15, 2005
The best saint for Irish America.
Wall Street Journal, March 11, 2005
I Was a Teenage Half-Orc
D&D lives on, after all these years.
National Review Online, October 15, 2004
The world’s first great story.
The New Criterion, October 2004
My favorite heavy-metal album, Powerslave.
National Review Online, September 15, 2004
It’s probably a forgery, but the story behind it fascinates.
Wall Street Journal, July 6, 2004
The Da Vinci Code and its discontents.
Wall Street Journal, April 23, 2004
My favorite reference works: the Oxford Companion series.
National Review Online, December 12, 2003
The Good “Dr.”
Dr. Seuss was a liberal, but he wrote at least one great conservative book.
National Review Online, November 21, 2003
America’s Birth Certificate
The Library of Congress buys the Waldseemuller map.
Wall Street Journal, July 25, 2003
A conversation with Ray Bradbury on the 50th anniversary of his classic novel.
Wall Street Journal, May 14, 2003
Russell Kirk’s Ghost Stories
The author of The Conservative Mind wrote about apparitions.
National Review Online, January 23, 2003
The Two Towers
J.R.R. Tolkien poured Christian values into a pagan world.
Wall Street Journal, December 6, 2002
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
The meaning of a great Middle English poem.
The New Criterion, December 2002
In the Line of Duty
The DC sniper’s last victim: Virginia State Trooper Mark Cosslett.
National Review Online, October 25, 2002
Why he endures.
Wall Street Journal, May 3, 2002
When languages die, should we care?
Wall Street Journal, March 8, 2002
The Stalinist and the Stamp
Why is the Post Office honoring Frida Kahlo, a foreign Communist?
Wall Street Journal, July 6, 2001
The Fierce People
Napoleon Chagnon and the wages of anthropological incorrectness.
National Review, November 20, 2000
Edgar Rice Burroughs & Tarzan
The literary entrepreneur and his iconic action hero.
Reason, August/September 1999
MacArthur Returns Again
A book review of The Emperor’s General, a novel by James Webb
National Review, June 14, 1999
Book review: Two titles on the Mexican artist
National Review, January 25, 1999