We need thinkers. Angry thinkers, sure. But also thinkers who have patience enough to puzzle out the problems beneath the sensation, the titillation, that fuels our culture of online outrage.

Given Burgess’s reputation as a promiscuous homosexual and traitor, many close to him in his life subsequently distanced themselves. Letters were destroyed or certainly not made available. Burgess did keep letters in an old guitar case — for blackmail rather than sentimental purposes — but these disappeared into the MI5 archives after his disappearance in 1951.

Where Are the Professors?

by Charles J. Sykes

Nothing annoys academics more than pointing out how little time they actually spend teaching students. The average professor at a major university rarely teaches more than two courses a semester. Since the average class hour is actually 50 minutes that translates into about five hours of teaching a week.

Some years ago, an unstable young man committed one of the most notorious terrorist acts in U.S. history. He was American-born, but his parents were immigrants, and his allegiance to a radical ideology with foreign origins terrified the public. “They and those like them should be kept out of this country,” railed Theodore Roosevelt, President of the United States, “and if found here they should be promptly deported to the country whence they came.”

I’m often asked about the challenge of writing about a time and place with which I have no direct connection; and whether, as a woman, it was difficult to write about a young man’s experience of war. But the central challenge of writing this novel wasn’t that I’m British woman in her thirties; it was navigating the wealth of cliché associated with a war that has been the subject of so many representations in film, television, and print.

Anyone observing America’s ongoing culture wars, especially as they surface in the current presidential election cycle, is forcefully reminded that we are not a country divided by red and blue states; it’s an urban-rural divide that represents the political and cultural fault lines in the nation.

Joseph Smith: Genius

by Jack Kelly

He’s one of the oddest of the characters who roamed through our early republic. Joseph Smith Jr., at age 24, founded the only cult to become a world religion since Mohammed kicked off Islam in the year 622.