Thursday, March 16, 2006

"The Two-Hundred-Year War". The April 2006 issue of First Things arrived yesterday. They seem to come so quickly, and its very difficult to keep up with them. On the other hand, I have discovered what the annual vacation is for: catching up on all the unread articles in the First Things issues of the prior year.

In the meanwhile, then (who was it who said that we "live in the meanwhile"; probably Fr. Neuhaus), I cherry pick. I look at the front cover, which really has a useful design and lays out all the innards of that issue, and see what interests me immediately. Often its what Fr. Neuhaus is writing about in his column "The Public Square".

On the train this morning, I read his post on the issue of whether the West is at war with Islam. For one thing, the post has a short bibliography of titles that treat this issue, a biblio that would be a useful way to move into this subject. But the post is mainly a review of a new book by Mary Halbeck of Johns Hopkins, entitled Knowing the Enemy: Jihadist Ideology and the War on Terror.

I would like to read all of those books! But I can't even get through the FT articles. Maybe that's part of what you do in heaven. Like my vacation, you spend part of eternity catching up on your reading. Heaven will be a happy place.

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