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What magic is there about the word "modern" that makes us assume what we think has no affect on what we do? And how can we now, when the fragility of the planet is every day more obvious, be giving ourselves over to an ethic of competition and self-seeking, a sort of socioeconomic snake handling, where faith in a theory makes us contemptuous of very obvious perils? And where does this theory get its seemingly unlimited power over our moral imaginations, when it can rationalize stealing candy from babiesー or a more contemporary illustration, stealing medical care or schooling from babiesー as readily  as any bolder act? Why does it have the statue of science and the chic of iconoclasm and the vigor of novelty, when it is, pace Nietzsche, only mythified, respectablized resentment, with a long dark history behind it?

Marilynne Robinson in The Death of Adam


Immigrant Faith: Patterns of Immigrant Religion in the US, Canada, & Western Europe by Phillip Connor

All That Man Is by David Szalay

Refugees, Terror and Other Troubles with the Neighbors by Slavoj Žižek

The Idiot by Elif Batuman

Syria Burning: ISIS and the Death of the Arab Spring by Charles Glass

Twice A Stranger: How Mass Expulsion Forged Modern Greece & Turkey by Bruce Clark

Independent People by Halldór Laxness

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

The People in the Trees by Hanya Yanagihara

Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977-2002) by David Sedaris


The Sickness Unto Death by Søren Kierkegaard

Manifest Destiny by Anders Stephanson

Nation and Nationalism Since 1780 by E. J. Hobsbawm

Nationalist Mobilization and the Collapse of the Soviet State by Mark R. Beissinger

Balkan Ghosts: A Journey Through History by Robert D. Kaplan

The Reformation by Diarmaid MacCulloch

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

The Death of Adam by Marilynne Robinson

The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson

The Story of My Teeth by Valeria Luiselli

Pagans: The End of Traditional Religion & the Rise of Christianity by James J. O’Donnell

The Nature of the Gods by Cicero

On Augustine, The Two Cities by Alan Ryan

The Last Days of Socrates by Plato

In Other Words by Jhumpa Lahiri

Timaeus & Critos by Plato

Lafayette in the Somewhat United States by Sarah Vowell

The Dictator's Handbook: Why Bad Behavior is Almost Always Good Politics by Bruce Bueno de Mesquita

Alexander Girard: A Designer's Universe by Mateo Kries

Notes on the State of Virginia by Thomas Jefferson

Oaxaca Journal by Oliver Sacks

Twice A Stranger: How Mass Expulsion Forged Modern Greece & Turkey by Bruce Clark

A Rage for Order: The Middle East in Turmoil, from Tahrir Square to ISIS by Robert F. Worth

The Idealist: Jeffrey Sachs and the Quest to End Poverty by Nina Munk

The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York by Robert A. Caro

City of Thorns: Nine Lives in the World's Largest Refugee Camp by Ben Rawlence

The Devil's Highway: A True Story by Luis Alberto Urrea

Against Everything by Mark Greif

The Selfishness of Others: An Essay on the Fear of Narcissism by Kristen Dombek

Mexican New York by Robert Courtney Smith

What I Saw at the Revolution: A Political Life in the Reagan Era by Peggy Noonan

Nicotine by Nell Zink

The Logics & Politics of Post-WWII Migration to Western Europe by Anthony M. Messina

From Open Door to Dutch Door: An Analysis of U.S. Immigration Policy Since 1829 by Michael C. LeMay

Asylum Denied: A Refugee's Struggle for Safety in America by David Ngaruri Kenney and Philip G. Schrag

Off the Sidelines by Kirsten Gillibrand

Child Migration & Human Rights in a Global Age by Jacqueline Bhabha

Guarding the Golden Door: American Immigration Policy and Immigrants Since 1882 by Roger Daniels


Afghanistan from the Cold War through the War on Terror by Barnett R. Rubin

The Formation of Islam: Religion and Society in the Near East, 600-1800 by Jonathan P. Berkley

A History of the Modern Middle East, Fourth Edition by William L. Cleveland

A History of Arab Peoples by Albert Hourani

The Ottoman Empire 1700-1922 by Donald Quataert

The Living City by Frank Lloyd Wright

Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Schteyngart

The Wallcreeper by Nell Zink

A History of Modern Iran by Ervand Abrahamiam

All The Shah's Men by Stephen Kinzer

A History of Economic Thought by William J. Barber

Happiness, Ten Years of n+1 by Various Authors

A Lover's Discourse by Roland Barthes

Rise To Globalism by Stephen E. Ambrose, Douglas G. Brinkley

The Possessed by Elif Batuman

Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson

The Collapse: The Accidental Opening of the Berlin Wall by Mary Elise Sarotte

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

Home by Marilynne Robinson

Lila by Marilynne Robinson

The Death of Adam by Marilynne Robinson

When I Was A Child I Read Books by Marilynne Robinson

The Giveness of Things by Marilynne Robinson

Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson

Nature & Selected Essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson