Profile: social entrepreneur Chris Wilson

Baltimore Magazine

     This piece started as a straightforward profile of a man I met through the Baltimore social innovation community. After some long interviews and a lot of reporting, I realized I'd only be capturing a few turning points in a remarkable life story that is still in progress. I look forward to the book Chris is writing that will do justice to his difficult and inspiring journey. [more]

Review essay: Thomas Harding's The House by the Lake

Reason

     A few miles west of Berlin, a little house sits on Groß Glienicke lake, a quiet eye in the storm of Europe's worst century ever. Nazi bureaucrats arrived at their Final Solution at nearby Wannsee. The Red Army poured through at the end of World War II. Churchill and Truman drove past on their way to meet Stalin in Potsdam. The Berlin Airlift rattled the cupboards as planes landed at and left Gatow airfield. Secret policemen lurked as the Berlin Wall rose.
     The house endured the long, twilight struggle of the Cold War, the fall of the Wall, and the reunification of Germany. [more]

Book Review: The Monsters That Torment Us

The Wall Street Journal

   Here’s some disquieting news to consider as you hand out candy to trick-or-treaters this evening: Ghosts and monsters are real, and they can’t be defeated with garlic, crucifixes, chain saws or proton packs.
    “Haunted” by Leo Braudy and “Ghostland” by Colin Dickey, show us that our horror stories are not trivial entertainment, but expressions of profound human emotions and indirect responses to very tangible realities. Both authors make clear that folk tales, urban legends and ghostly visitors carry heavy burdens of historical, spiritual and even theological significance—and they suggest that by analyzing them we can learn a great deal about ourselves. [more]