Magazine April 2, 2018, Issue

Wisdom Literature

Leading a Worthy Life: Finding Meaning in Modern Times, by Leon R. Kass (Encounter, 408 pp., $27.99)

The always trenchant Dr. Johnson once said that people need more to be reminded than to be instructed. This might be true in a time when their hold on civilized standards is as solid as granite, but an age that has lost its bearings might need more than a refresher course in the Important Things. People might need to learn for the first time what they were never taught.

Ours is an age of diagnoses because, like all ages, it’s fraught with maladies. Some of the direst periods are those marked by vast material abundance accompanied by no small helping of

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