John Wilson | National ReviewWhen you reach a certain age, as I have, everything reminds you of something and often of someone. Thinking about this column, I remembered a day in , around this time of year, when I saw an unfamiliar logo on the shelf of Bungalow News in downtown Pasadena, where I was a very regular customer. Just a few months later—in August—the Gulf War began, a turning point from which so much of our subsequent national history has proceeded. In , Wendy and I had been married for twenty-two years, and three of our children who turned twelve, nine, and six in the course of that year were still at home; our eldest twenty years old that September was at Middlebury. Soon we were close friends our kids grew up in his store. I once saw Richard Feynman browsing the shelves.
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T he national consensus seems to be that more is better. Make them gargantuan, to the point of parody. Praise songs? Baseball on TV? Put three announcers in the booth, plus another down on the field, and have them talking all the time.
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We have been delighted to have John on staff, and his work is already bearing fruit: He has identified excellent books to feature that would not otherwise have been on our radar; he found new reviewers to write for us including Philip Jenkins ; and he has thoughtfully written columns for our recent issues. Continue Reading…. Broadly speaking, a classic is any book that is not a new book, or in other words that is worth reading five, ten or even one hundred years after its initial publication. He received a B. Archives For John Wilson. Celebrate John Wilson With Us!
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While the magazine's center is Christian, we seek common ground with like-minded souls from other communities of faith. He received a B.
For twenty-one years, Books and Culture has been one of the most consistently interesting magazines in the English-speaking world. I have often been surprised at the number and range of people who agree with me about that. Cullen Murphy, former editor of the Atlantic , told me that John Wilson is the best editor in the business. This is an immensely distressing state of affairs, for anyone who cares about the state of Christian intellectual life, and I hope there will be some thoughtful post-mortems on the whole business. But for now, I just want to thank John Wilson for the consistently superb work he has done on this magazine for twenty-one years. He has recruited first-class writers, paired them with fascinating books, found ways to juxtapose reviews on similar themes — he has done it all. And for me personally, working with John over the years has been enormously rewarding and enjoyable.
The setting is Colorado in , but Pynchon has his eye on the present. In their fictional guise, evangelicals and their kin — fundamentalists, Pentecostals and all manner of weird cultists calling fervently on the name of Jesus — are usually side characters, rarely protagonists, except, of course, in the alternative universe of so-called Christian fiction, where all the protagonists are evangelicals, and in coming-of-age stories in which a youthful protagonist attains enlightenment and leaves faith behind. Charmless, ignorant, homophobic and either brazenly hypocritical or obnoxiously sincere, they quote Scripture unctuously and have bad sex. A reader who moves from the fiction shelf to the stacks of reportage and commentary may experience cognitive dissonance. The evangelical buffoons who populate so many novels these days seem hardly capable of organizing a local witch-burning, yet their nonfictional counterparts are said to be on the verge of turning these United States into a theocracy.