Ombudsgod makes an important point: the ombudsman at the Palm Beach Post failed to catch the fact that we don't know enough about Strom Thurmond's affair with his family's African American maid to accuse him of rape. Essie Mae Washington-Williams does not believe herself to be the child of a rapist. Of course, there was a disproportionate power dynamic between her father and her mother, but you cannot make the leap from that abstraction to certain knowledge of the circumstances of her conception. Thanks to Eugene Volokh for the tip.
My friend, Eugene McCarraher at Villanova, has a fine essay on Christianity's challenge to Marxism at In These Times. While I'm thinking about McCarraher, do yourself a favor and read his book, Christian Critics: Religion and the Impasse in Modern American Social Thought. In a world so badly fragmented as ours, we need to remember those who dreamed the possibility of community. Thanks to Mildly Malevolent for the tip.
Speaking of books, let's take advantage of Cliopatria's convenient new comments function. Tell us about the best book you've read in recent days. I know what my choice is: Edward P. Jones's The Known World: A Novel. It's a story of the world of a black slave-owner in ante-bellum Virginia. My own research on a bi-racial family in that area tells me that Jones gets the tone of things just about right and his fiction illuminates that world for us in vital ways that my bondage to empirical evidence and surviving documents simply can't do. It is an amazing achievement, fully worthy of a National Book Award. So, what's the best book that you've read lately?