Acton Institute Powerblog Archives

Post Tagged 'history'

Is G. K. Chesterton Still Relevant? Why, Yes

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) is considered by many to be one of the most brilliant thinkers of the 20th century. But you’d be hard-pressed to find him discussed in any public high school (or even most colleges or universities, for that matter.) A prolific writer (he penned everything from a popular mystery series to epic ballads), he thought himself mainly a journalist. Continue Reading...

Is Knowledge Of Religion Important To Culture?

We Americans are rather ignorant about religion. We claim to be a religious folk, but when it comes to hard-core knowledge, we don’t do well. The Pew Forum put together a baseline quiz of religious knowledge – a mere 32 multiple choice questions – and on average, Americans only got about half of them right. Continue Reading...

Is American Innovation Fading?

In a fascinating essay in Mosaic, Charles Murray examines the spirit of innovation in America. He asks, As against pivotal moments in the story of human accomplishment, does today’s America, for instance, look more like Britain blooming at the end of the 18th century or like France fading at the end of the 19th century? Continue Reading...

‘A Vision of the Impossible’: Taft on Progressives and Panaceas

In a wide-ranging discussion of the Progressive Era in her new biography of Calvin Coolidge, Amity Shlaes quotes a striking excerpt from a little-known speech by President William Howard Taft. Given in the middle of the 1912 election, in which Taft competed (poorly) against Woodrow Wilson and former President Teddy Roosevelt, the speech focuses on the predominant themes and schemes of his opponents, handily highlighting their limits. Continue Reading...

Women of Liberty: Joan of Arc

(March is Women’s History Month. Acton will be highlighting a number of women who have contributed significantly to the issue of liberty during this month.) Joan of Arc 1412-1431 The Maid of Orleans Young Joan, by any account, had a plain beginning to an extraordinary life. Continue Reading...

Men of God and Country in World War II

  I frequently noted in the field, how chaplains – to a man – sought out front line action. And I assume that was because, as one put it, at the time: ‘There is where the fighting man needs God most – and that’s where some of them know him for the first time. Continue Reading...

Summers on Catholics in the American Civil War

Mark Summers, a historian in Virginia, wrote two articles for Religion & Liberty on faith issues in the American Civil War. Summers wrote about the evangelical revival that swept through the Southern armies and then in a subsequent 2011 issue focused on the Catholic Church in the Civil War. Continue Reading...