I love poking through the magazine shelves of the local book superstore because there's always treasure to be found. At present, it's The American Scholar, a tough-minded left-leaning quarterly that doesn't flinch from covering academic, political, literary, and religious topics from unpopular vantage points if the facts undergird it. This issue has just about everything:
- The cover article declares: "The Earth Doesn't Care if You Drive a Hybrid," while Robert B. Laughlin talks about current climate issues through the lens of geologic time--and comes up with some surprising insights:
- Poet Christian Wiman, who grew up Southern Baptist before turning to atheism before returning to a full-fledged faith, writes about "Hive of Nerves," which is described as: "To be alive spiritually is to feel the ultimate anxiety of existence within the trivial anxieties of everyday life." I heard his presentation on this topic at Calvin College's Festival of Faith and Writing, and it was candid, penetrating, and reaffirming.
- An essay on how the writers of the early-to-mid 19th century struggled to find who Americans actually were. Then they foundthe unique literary voice of America.
- New fiction by short story master Charles Baxter.