Can Popular Art Revive American Identity?

Debut on Fox News
Has our existential crisis of meaning in America contributed to mass shootings? Why is American health care so expensive? It was great to discuss these important topics and more with Steve Hilton on Fox News’ Next Revolution in-studio last weekend in New York. You can watch here—I welcome your thoughts!

How Did the ‘Religion of Humanity’ Replace Christianity?
In The Catholic Herald, I reviewed Dan Mahoney’s latest book, about the idol of our age in our post-Christian culture. Read the review–and find a Dostoyevskian interpretation of our secular, materialist age–here.

Can Popular Art Revive American Identity?
It was a wonderfully full July as I hosted over six events for our rare books and art exhibit about American identity, including a day with over 150 high school students, a conversation on citizenship with an esteemed panel, and more. It was amazing to see students and audiences come alive with excitement about ideas and this important conversation about what we have in common as Americans. Find a two-minute documentary of the exhibit here.

A Little American Myth-Making Never Hurt Anyone
We live in a myth-starved world. Throughout time and place, people have understood themselves and the world around them through stories. From Gilgamesh, Odysseus, Aeneas, and Hercules, to Sinbad, King Arthur, and Thor, heroes have served an important role in embodying cultural ideals. And no figure better embodies American mythology and ideals than our nation’s first President. Here you can read about mythmaking in America, past and present—and how a revival of storytelling can heal our country.

The Truth About Civility

I had a lovely time talking about civility with my friend Ericka Andersen on her podcast. You can listen to our conversation here.

Discussing Forgiveness & Stand-Up Comedy on the Lisa Valentine Show
In our post-Christian culture, we’ve kept the Christian notion of judgment but forgotten the Christian virtue of forgiveness. This applies to the evolving landscape of stand-up comedy, and that’s a major problem; time and place, comics have been society’s truth-tellers. I talked about this and much more on the Lisa Valentine Show on BYU Radio. Listen here.

Interviewing EconTalk’s Russ Roberts
Can capitalism without morality survive? I asked Russ Roberts, of EconTalk and the Hoover Institution, this question and many more. Listen to our Adam Smith-filled conversation, for the American Institute for Economic Research’s new podcast, here.

Things I’m reading: 
Training your mind the way athletes train their bodies.
No son of mine is going to be a Benthamite Utilitarian. This is a John Stuart Mill family, dammit!
When memes dehumanize: the story of Florida Man.
How might we recover our lost love of humanity? A look to the Renaissance might help.

Miscellany:

I had a very fun evening on set in San Antonio with the cast of the new Karl Marx and Ludwig von Mises rap video produced by AIER—coming this September! Our AIER team were extras, pretending to be the “wealthy patrons,” and Marx’s nemeses!

Alexandra Hudson, an Indianapolis-based writer who has been published in TIME, The Wall Street Journal, Politico Magazine, and others outlets. She is the curator of A New American Renaissance, a monthly newsletter on social, moral and intellectual renewal, a 2019 Novak Fellow, and is currently writing a book on civility and civil society.