How Luther invented mass media

Media historian Andrew Pettegree has written a new book entitled Brand Luther:  How an Unheralded Monk Turned His Small Town into a Center of  Publishing, Made Himself the Most Famous Man in Europe—and Started the Protestant Reformation.

He tells about how Luther, along with his collaborator the artist and printer LUCAS CRANACH, used the printing press in such a way that the Reformation went viral.  He shows how the two used visual design to, in effect, “brand” the publications.  Luther became the most published author ever, though, in the words of reviewer Ronald K. Rittgers, “he never made a pfennig from his publications.”

Of Luther’s writing style, Rittgers writes, “Unlike the typical theology books of his day, Luther’s early works were clear, engaging, entertaining, and accessible (he frequently wrote in German). And above all, they were brief.”

This is a book I want to read.  The review is excerpted and linked to after the jump, and I have links to Amazon. [Read more…]

How feminism was hijacked by the pro-abortionists

Feminism at first was not pro-abortion.  Not only were the 19th century Suffragettes pro-life, pioneering 20th century feminists like Betty Friedan were at most ambivalent about abortion.  The fact is, the early pro-abortion movement was led by men.  In 1967, though, the pro-abortionist leader Larry Lader gained the endorsement of the National Organization for Women and abortion became a feminist cause.

This story is told by an early activist, Sue Ellen Browder, who later converted to Catholicism in her book Subverted:  How I Helped the Sexual Revolution Hijack the Women’s Movement.   Abigail Rine Favale reviews the book for First Things, excerpted and linked after the jump. [Read more…]

Voting for Hillary under the Hamilton Rule

Some Never Trump conservatives are saying they will vote for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump.  Not that they like Clinton.  They are invoking what they call the “Hamilton Rule” from the founder who, in opposing fellow Federalist John Adams, said, “If we must have an enemy at the head of government, let it be one whom we can oppose, and for whom we are not responsible.”

[Read more…]

Similarities & differences between libertarians and conservatives

In the course of an essay on the history and negative consequences of progressivism, Bradley J. Birzer discusses its two main opponents, conservatism and libertarianism.  He gives both what they agree on and what they disagree on.  See what he says after the jump.

Is libertarianism really a major opponent of progressivism, or is it rather, with its dismissal of traditional authorities, a particular manifestation of it?  If conservatism has a communal dimension, as opposed to libertarian individualism, does that put it closer to the corporate emphasis of progressivism?

But here is the big question, highly relevant to the current election:  Given the differences between these three ideologies, does it make sense for a conservative to vote libertarian against a progressive presidential candidate?  Or is the gulf between conservative and libertarian too wide for that?   [Read more…]

Both sides are too nostalgic about the ’50s

Today’s political problems come from both liberals and conservatives being too nostalgic about the 1950’s.  Liberals miss the dominance of unions, job security, and good wages.  Conservatives miss the strong families, social stability, and conservative values.  None of that is possible anymore, and yet both sides are fixated on bringing part of that back, while still opposing the other part.   So argues a new book by Yuval Levin, reviewed by Michael Gerson after the jump.

I would just add that both sides are also nostalgic for the ’60s.  Now even conservatives are anti-establishment, and the left is nostalgic for the good feelings of the civil rights movement and is seeking to replicate that by championing other groups.

I would also propose developing policies that restore what was good about the 1950s from both sides:  economic security for ordinary workers plus conservative social values, two areas that might themselves be related to each other.  Being sure to include minority groups in both the prosperity and the values.  Do you think both sides could rally to that cause?

[Read more…]

Harriet Tubman on the $20 and other money changes

The plan was originally to drop Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill and replace him with a woman.  But that was before the hit Broadway musical Hamilton.  So Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew decided to replace Andrew Jackson, the Democrat responsible for the Trail of Tears, instead.  The woman to be featured:  The former slave turned abolitionist activist Harriet Tubman.  (See this on her Christian faith.)

Though Hamilton will stay, the back of the $10 bill will feature a tribute to the women’s suffrage movement and will picture a number of early feminist activists.  Details on these and other planned changes after the jump. [Read more…]


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