National Review / Digital



Experience of life: its routines; the workaday world;
home leisure, reassuring in their way, buttress
our sense of life’s rational elements, its continuity
upholding our need for a beginning, a middle, and an end,
and awareness of place along the line, holding off conflicts
that bear no resolution: the creep of illness and indifference;
the shadow of death; the forces of chaos at the unwelcome
perimeter, where we struggle mightily to keep them.
And yet, and yet, the flicker of delight across the broad
brow and heaven is full of the laughter of chaos: unexpected,
whimsical, even dangerous unto death. Such chaos, to be
viable as the sparkle of life, has been disarmed — or at least
held back, so we may absorb the humor, drink deeply of the
absurd, and emerge revived and refreshed: with fears, with
life led to the edge of exhaustion, to the place of the void;
restrained, firmly restrained, I suspect by the love of God.

October 31, 2011    |     Volume LXIII, No. 20

  • Bobby Jindal is leading Louisiana’s revival.
  • Celebrating a remarkable Supreme Court tenure.
Books, Arts & Manners
  • Tracy Lee Simmons reviews James Madison, by Richard Brookhiser.
  • William Tucker reviews The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World, by Daniel Yergin.
  • Michael Novak reviews The Most Controversial Decision: Truman, the Atomic Bombs, and the Defeat of Japan, by Wilson D. Miscamble, C.S.C.
  • Eli Lehrer reviews The Collapse of American Criminal Justice, by William J. Stuntz.
  • Ross Douthat reviews The Ides of March.
  • John Derbyshire laments the passing of ‘supererogate’ — and more.
The Long View  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Athwart  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Poetry  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Happy Warrior  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
The Bent Pin  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .