Memoir, Culture, and Dispatches from the Cereal Aisle
Welcome to my newsletter!
I’m so glad that you clicked through and are reading, and I’m grateful to be writing again, under my own name, for the first time in many years.
Some housekeeping: if you choose to sign up with a free subscription, you’ll still get one post from me a week; if you’re kind enough to get a paid subscription ($6 per month or $55 per year), you’ll get 2-3 additional new posts a week. If you really like what’s happening, you can buy gift subscriptions for friends. And all this for the price of one venti pumpkin spice latte (with whipped cream) a month! (Check out the subscribe button on the upper right or at the end of this post.)
What will you get with your subscription? You’ll get memoir and commentary on the culture, as well as observations from the frontlines of parenting, romance, and the grocery store. There will be regular features on “growing up WASP,” and my own lifelong obsession with manners. And as always, I’ll continue to make the case for an old-fashioned liberalism that holds in tension a radical appreciation for liberty with an intense commitment to kindness.
Two special themes to which subscribers can look forward: first, interviews with my mother, one of the first women to earn a PhD in philosophy at Berkeley and a veritable font of wisdom, anecdote, and advice for living generously and gently. Second, I’ll start a series of conversations with folks who have been “canceled” one way or another, focusing on how they’ve moved forward and rebuilt after the loss of a public platform. And that’s only for starters.
I’ll also welcome reader suggestions for topics!
Whether you choose a free or paid subscription, I’m so glad you’re interested in reading. And if you’re so inclined, I’d appreciate it if you’d let your friends and acquaintances know about this newsletter too.
Lastly, we live in what seems an extraordinary, and often terrifying period. The historians who taught me believed that history offered perspective, and that that perspective gave comfort, and that that comfort gave resolve. I carried that worldview into my own teaching.
As I often told my students when the news was frightening:
These are not the End Times. But they are Our Times. And just as our ancestors rose to meet their challenges, we shall surely rise to meet ours. The story isn't over, and when it does end, I cannot help but think it ends well.
I don’t have a classroom anymore, but perhaps this newsletter can be a small help as we navigate this bewildering and remarkable era, and do it together.
I’m very excited to be a part of the endeavor.
I subscribed. Have a coffee on me.