In the Mountains of Madness

Why are tentacles everywhere?

Wall Street Journal, October 28, 2016

The Secret Agent
Joseph Conrad and the dawn of terror
National Review, October 10, 2016

‘Freedom of Worship’ Isn’t Enough
On the meaning of religious freedom
Wall Street Journal, June 10, 2016

Writer’s Block
Is it real?
National Review, May 23, 2016

Iron Maiden
Listen and learn
National Review, January 25, 2016

Sore Winners
Liberals don’t always win the culture wars
Wall Street Journal, January 12, 2016

The Books That Shaped Our Minds
Excerpted from the 60th anniversary issue
National Review, November 19, 2015

Classical Academies
The rise of a movement
National Review, October 19, 2015

Our first photos will end a pleasing mystery
National Review, June 22, 2015

The Birthmark
Nathaniel Hawthorne’s classic short story
Wall Street Journal, April 24, 2015

Byron, the Shelleys, Frankenstein, and Dracula
Claremont Review of Books, Winter 2014/15

One of My Kind
On having a common name
National Review, December 22, 2014

Making a Living with the Humanities
You don’t have to major in finance
National Review, October 20, 2014

Sympathy for the Devil
Marlowe’s Faustian masterpiece
Wall Street Journal, October 17, 2014

Robert Aickman
The master of the surreal ghost story
Wall Street Journal, August 22, 2014

The Giver
The book behind the film
National Review, August 11, 2014

John Wayne
The great American actor
National Review, May 19, 2014

The Master of Modern Horror
The legacy of H.P. Lovecraft
Claremont Review of Books, Spring 2014

Jonathan Swift
Meet the 18th-century conservative
National Review, February 10, 2014

Ender’s Game
The war against Orson Scott Card
National Review, November 10, 2013

Football and the American Character
Why we love the sport
Imprimis, September 2013

Book Review: Of Dice and Men
The story of Dungeons & Dragons
Wall Street Journal, August 27, 2013

Detroit Fire Sale?
The threat to a world-class art museum
Wall Street Journal, June 3, 2013

Gray’s Elegy
Thomas Gray’s quotable masterpiece
Wall Street Journal, May 18, 2013

Book Review: The Mummy’s Curse
The history of a dark fantasy
National Review, February 25, 2013

Red Dawn
An appreciation of the 1984 cult classic
National Review, December 3, 2012

Charlton Heston’s Northwoods Boyhood
The actor in Michigan
Traverse, November 2012

Friends of the Lorax
Dr. Seuss’s politics for children
National Review, March 19, 2012

Lincoln’s Favorite Poem
“Mortality,” by William Knox
Wall Street Journal, February 11, 2012

Ambrose Bierce
A great writer of war, horror, and journalism
National Review, February 6, 2012

Book Review: Maphead
The author is Ken Jennings, of Jeopardy! fame
Wall Street Journal, October 8, 2011

You Can Go Home Again
My move back to Michigan.
Detroit News, August 18, 2011

Daniel Defoe’s The Storm
The world’s first modern work of journalism.
Wall Street Journal, August 13, 2011

Joseph Addison’s Cato
The Founders’ favorite work of literature.
Wall Street Journal, July 2, 2011

Paul Revere’s Ride
An appreciation of Longfellow’s classic poem.
Wall Street Journal, December 18, 2010

Book Review: Bloody Crimes
The chase for Jefferson Davis and the death pageant for Lincoln’s corpse.
Wall Street Journal, September 22, 2010

Lloyd Alexander
He may be America’s greatest author of fantasy literature for children.
Wall Street Journal, September 15, 2010

Fritz Leiber
Meet one of the 20th century’s most imaginative and versatile writers.
Wall Street Journal, July 14, 2010

O. Henry
The story behind the storyteller.
Wall Street Journal, June 8, 2010

Once upon a time, the living dead were scary.
National Review, February 8, 2010

Sherlock Holmes
The invention and reinvention of literature’s most famous detective.
Wall Street Journal, December 23, 2009

Elmer Kelton
This Texas author didn’t write Westerns, he wrote Western lit.
Wall Street Journal, November 24, 2009

Shirley Jackson
The Haunting of Hill House is the best haunted-house story ever written.
Wall Street Journal, October 29, 2009

John Brown’s Body
Stephen Vincent Benét’s poem on the 150th anniversary of the Harpers Ferry raid.
Wall Street Journal, October 15, 2009

Harold Lamb
A once-popular writer of adventure fiction is rediscovered.
Wall Street Journal, August 27, 2009

Bruce Catton
In books known for their meticulous research and narrative flair, Bruce Catton established himself as one of the great historians of the Civil War.
Traverse, June 2009

L’Amour & Reagan
Western novelist Louis L’Amour was Ronald Reagan’s favorite writer. Here’s why.
National Review, May 4, 2009

Dickens & Drood
Charles Dickens died before finishing his last novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Ever since, other writers have tried to complete the story for him.
Wall Street Journal, March 17, 2009

Poe at 200
Two centuries after his birth, Edgar Allan Poe remains one of America’s eeriest writers.
Wall Street Journal, January 15, 2009

Michael Crichton, RIP
The author of Jurassic Park was a public intellectual who wrote potboilers.
Wall Street Journal, November 11, 2008

An annotated edition of Bram Stoker’s classic novel finds a way to make the old and familiar seem new and exotic.
Wall Street Journal, October 28, 2008

Ernest Hemingway in Michigan
The short story “Big Two-Hearted River” is Hemingway’s first great contribution to literature. But where did the author really go fishing?
Wall Street Journal, August 14, 2008

Dungeons & Dragons in a Digital World
With a set of revised rules, a classic 1980s game tries to survive in an age of pixels.
Wall Street Journal, July 1, 2008

Dean Koontz
His best-selling books take on utilitarian bioethics, the nature of freedom, and the reality of evil.
National Review, June 2, 2008

Arthur C. Clarke, RIP
A blend of science and mysticism distinguished his best books.
Wall Street Journal, March 20, 2008

Five for Fighting
John Ondrasik, the man behind FFF, supports the troops in song and deed.
National Review, March 10, 2008

David Gemmell
The late fantasy author wrote stories of imperfect men and women who perform feats of martial courage in the face of long odds.
Wall Street Journal, January 28, 2008

It’s a small miracle that this Anglo-Saxon epic has survived the ravages of time and now flourishes in the 21st century.
Wall Street Journal, November 13, 2007

Arthur Machen
Horror aficionados esteem him as a weird-fiction pioneer for his ability to locate bizarre terrors in what appear to be ordinary surroundings.
Wall Street Journal, October 30, 2007

Jules Verne
We’re in the midst of a Verne renaissance brought on by new manuscripts, improved translations, and scholarly reassessments.
Wall Street Journal, September 18, 2007

Robert A. Heinlein
The preeminent science-fiction author of the 20th century was a man of the Right. Also includes a short list of conservative SF titles.
National Review, July 9, 2007

The Purpose of Libraries
Should libraries be cultural storehouses or more like actual stores that stock best-selling books for readers who’d rather not buy them?
Wall Street Journal, January 3, 2007

Robert E. Howard’s Conan
Before the films, comics, and games, the barbarian from Cimmeria was a character in literature.
Wall Street Journal, December 13, 2006

The Lincoln Bicentennial
Poor leadership, lackluster vision, and regional factionalism doom a federal commission.
National Review, November 20, 2006

M.R. James
The late, great king of the English ghost story.
Wall Street Journal, October 31, 2006

Stephen Coonts
“Yeah, I’ve killed Castro two times,” says the author of military thrillers such as Flight of the Intruder. “Anything worth doing once is worth doing twice.”
Wall Street Journal, October 24, 2006

Yevgeny Zamyatin’s We
This ur-text of science-fiction dystopias inspired Aldous Huxley and George Orwell.
Wall Street Journal, July 26, 2006

Rockin’ the Right
The 50 greatest conservative rock songs.
National Review Online, May 26, 2006

The Wizard of Oz
L. Frank Baum’s iconic book is one of the most overinterpreted stories of all time.
Wall Street Journal, May 11, 2006

The Da Vinci Code at the Movies
Some religious leaders plan to use the movie to teach about their faith.
Wall Street Journal, April 28, 2006

The Screwtape Letters
The C.S. Lewis masterpiece, on stage and page.
National Review Online, April 20, 2006

Some Additions to the Menu
Why it’s okay to eat certain rodents for Lent.
Wall Street Journal, March 3, 2006

Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle
The book is a flamboyantly negative portrayal of immigrant aspiration and American opportunity.
Wall Street Journal, February 23, 2006

Curious George
The legend of the mischief-making monkey.
Wall Street Journal, February 2, 2006

Stone-Age Throwing Sticks
Enthusiasts rediscover an ancient weapon called an atlatl.
Wall Street Journal, January 18, 2006

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
The C.S. Lewis classic becomes a movie.
National Review, December 5, 2005

H.G. Wells
The author of The War of the Worlds was wrong about a lot.
Wall Street Journal, June 21, 2005

Exorcism: The Comeback
There’s a revival movement.
Wall Street Journal, June 3, 2005

Bound for Canaan
A definitive book on the Underground Railroad.
Wall Street Journal, March 29, 2005

Honest Injun?
A short history of Native American fakery.
National Review, March 28, 2005

H.P. Lovecraft
The influential afterlife of a horror-fiction pioneer.
Wall Street Journal, March 15, 2005

St. Brendan
The best saint for Irish America.
Wall Street Journal, March 11, 2005

I Was a Teenage Half-Orc
D&D lives on, after all these years.
National Review Online, October 15, 2004

The world’s first great story.
The New Criterion, October 2004

Iron Maiden
My favorite heavy-metal album, Powerslave.
National Review Online, September 15, 2004

Vinland Map
It’s probably a forgery, but the story behind it fascinates.
Wall Street Journal, July 6, 2004

Code Breakers
The Da Vinci Code and its discontents.
Wall Street Journal, April 23, 2004

My favorite reference works: the Oxford Companion series.
National Review Online, December 12, 2003

The Good “Dr.”
Dr. Seuss was a liberal, but he wrote at least one great conservative book.
National Review Online, November 21, 2003

America’s Birth Certificate
The Library of Congress buys the Waldseemuller map.
Wall Street Journal, July 25, 2003

Fahrenheit 451
A conversation with Ray Bradbury on the 50th anniversary of his classic novel.
Wall Street Journal, May 14, 2003

Russell Kirk’s Ghost Stories
The author of The Conservative Mind wrote about apparitions.
National Review Online, January 23, 2003

The Two Towers
J.R.R. Tolkien poured Christian values into a pagan world.
Wall Street Journal, December 6, 2002

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
The meaning of a great Middle English poem.
The New Criterion, December 2002

In the Line of Duty
The DC sniper’s last victim: Virginia State Trooper Mark Cosslett.
National Review Online, October 25, 2002

Louis L’Amour
Why he endures.
Wall Street Journal, May 3, 2002

Language Extinction
When languages die, should we care?
Wall Street Journal, March 8, 2002

The Stalinist and the Stamp
Why is the Post Office honoring Frida Kahlo, a foreign Communist?
Wall Street Journal, July 6, 2001

The Fierce People
Napoleon Chagnon and the wages of anthropological incorrectness.
National Review, November 20, 2000

Reviving The Exorcist
A reconsideration of the classic horror movie.
Weekly Standard, September 25, 2000

Edgar Rice Burroughs & Tarzan
The literary entrepreneur and his iconic action hero.
Reason, August/September 1999

MacArthur Returns Again
A book review of The Emperor’s General, a novel by James Webb
National Review, June 14, 1999

Diego Rivera
Book review: Two titles on the Mexican artist
National Review, January 25, 1999