From Vasily Grossman, “Life and Fate”

tr. Robert Chandler: Viktor's hat fell to the ground. People were probably looking at them."Yes, yes, we have no right," he repeated.He kissed her hands. As he held her small cold fingers, he felt that the unshakeable strength of her resolve went hand in hand with weakness, submissiveness, helplessness.... … [Read more...]

“All the Single Laity”: My Terrible Pun at CNA

Writers often don't write their own headlines, but this one is all my fault: “It is not good that the man should be alone.”Being alone is the first thing God pronounces “not good,” after so many proclamations of the goodness of His creation. And yet being alone is an increasingly common condition in American life. The latest Census data found that over a quarter of Americans lived alone, up from 17 percent in 1970. Marriages happen later and less frequently than they used to. Catholic parish … [Read more...]

“Broke and Alone”: I review Coming Up Short: Working-Class Adulthood in an Age of Uncertainty

at The American Conservative: Because most of the traditional pathways to adulthood—marriage, economic independence, stable job—seem out of reach or prove to be reversible, working-class young adults have developed a new definition of maturity. This new pathway relies heavily on therapeutic culture: You become an adult by overcoming the trauma of your past, whether that involved abusive parents, drug addiction, mental illness, or less flamboyant hardships. Young adults who take on this new def … [Read more...]

“When a Child Is a Second Chance”: Me at Acculturated

continuing the series of posts on penitence: When I opened Doing the Best I Can: Fatherhood in the Inner City, I wasn’t expecting to include it in this series on portrayals of penitence. The new study by Kathryn Edin and Timothy J. Nelson picks up where Edin and Maria Kefalas’s 2005 Promises I Can Keep: Why Poor Women Put Motherhood Before Marriage left off. Sticking with the same economically-depressed Philadelphia neighborhoods, Doing the Best I Can asks young men how they became fathers, how … [Read more...]

From Jennifer M. Silva, “Coming Up Short: Working-Class Adulthood in an Age of Uncertainty”

In an era of short-term flexibility, constant flux, and hollow institutions, the transition to adulthood has been inverted; coming of age does not entail entry into social groups and institutions but rather the explicit rejection of them. … [Read more...]

“I Want a Fur Coat and a Villa and a Cat”

new book on 20th-c changes in English marriage ideals pushes back against my Weekly Standard piece: The longing for a home of one’s own was all-encompassing. As one commentator explained, “Where almost everything else is ruled from outside, is chancy and likely to knock you down when you least expect it, the home is yours and real.” Those who idealise long-lost working-class communities forget how many people married to escape their parents. David Kynaston, in his recent book Modernity Britain, … [Read more...]

In Defense of Living With Your Parents

me at the Weekly Standard:A few years ago I was getting a ride home from a party with a guy in his early twenties. I lived in a gentrified neighborhood I could no longer pretend to afford, and he lived, it emerged, with his parents. “Good for you,” I said. “I think that’s great.”We hit a stoplight and he turned to look at me. “Do you?” he asked, with a sudden edge of cynicism in his voice. “Do you really?” I could hear what he was thinking: I guess you’re trying to be nice or whatever, bu … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X