George Weigel is one of America’s most prominent public intellectuals, a New York Times-bestselling author, the biographer of Pope St. John Paul II, and Senior Vatican Analyst for NBC News. In this collection of essays, he brings thirtyfive years of experience in Washington and Rome to bear on some of the most contested issues of contemporary history and world politics. He analyzes the current civic distress of the United States from a point of view that links culture and morals to politics, and explores the recent turbulence in the Catholic Church.
The essays cover a wide swath of ground, from the origins of the First World War to the papacy of Pope Francis. Their common denominator is Weigel’s conviction that ideas have consequences, for good and ill, and that the deep currents of history flow through culture, which shapes political and economic life in ways not often understood. Many of the essays originated in Weigel’s annual William E. Simon Lecture which, since 2001, has become a major intellectual event in Washington, DC.This book is unique in its application of philosophical and theological perspectives by renowned public intellectual to the “surface” issues of history and politics, enabling the reader to “see” current events in a deeper way.