Community & Time

History, sociology, anthropology, civics, politics -- how people, century after century, have learned to live with each other.

Letter to a Young Voter

It’s late in the election cycle, and I do not know if you have yet registered to vote, but I exhort you as my fellow citizen, my political friend, to go and vote. And after that, to participate in other ways, by reading, commenting, contributing, serving, listening, speaking, advocating. Politics grows from the practice of everyday life in the presence of strangers and friends. It doesn’t matter whether you have everything figured out yet — just participate. Be devoted — make a sacrifice of devotion — to the city and nation in which you have found yourself. They are your family, and they need you.

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Studs Terkel, 1912-2008

Studs Terkel, that great & generous soul, has passed on. For me, the voice of Studs Terkel will always symbolize a combination of passionate curiosity, prophetic conviction, and deeply generous, fatherly love. He delighted in the people of the world, and shared his delight with us.

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On Manifestoes

So here are some manifestos of the present day on books, education, faith, and civic life. Though their weight for good or ill, for much or little, is as yet unknown, these are some of the words that will shepherd us into our shared future.

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Family, Heroes, and History

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Reading Aldo Leopold

One thing that Aldo Leopold did to become great was find, and use, his voice. His family was in many ways similar to mine and to thousands of others here in Wisconsin; his famous shack seemed completely familiar to us–just like Grandad’s place up north. But he made a difference in the world by figuring out what he had to say that was worth saying, and saying it wisely and well.

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State of the Union, and the Best Speeches Ever

Now that American Gladiators is over (go, Wolf!), we are sitting in the living room watching the State of the Union Address. For us, this has become an Event, like the World Series or the Olympics. It is something bigger than our family, something that we share with our kids and try hard to help […]

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Reading the Foundations of Religious Freedom

Kenneth Jackson, writing in the New York Times, commemorates the 350th anniversary of the Flushing Remonstrance, written in 1657 by Edward Hart and his fellow Flushing, New York, citizens to protest the public torture of a Quaker preacher and the fining and imprisonment of non-Quakers who allowed them to meet in their homes. Jackson notes […]

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