Friends of the Blog

Contemporaries

Brainpickings (Maria Popova) - this incredible one-woman behemoth was one of the first blogs or websites that made me want to publish my own writing. Her archive of essays has to be one of the best on the Web, 15 years in - it is included in the Library of Congress. Consistently publishes thoughtful, sweeping reflections on art, literature, philosophy, living, culture... a wonderful site.

Marginal Revolution (Tyler Cowen) - economics-focused but eclectic blog of observations, recommendations and writing about the world from a leading economist and essayist. He also runs the podcast Conversations with Tyler, which has introduced me to a wide assortment of interesting thinkers.

The London Review of Books - my current favorite outlet for extremely nuanced, enlightening book reviews. Has featured many favorite writers including Christopher Hitchens, Adam Tooze, Hilary Mantel, and many others.

The New Yorker - Probably the greatest current literary and reportorial magazine in the US.

Chartbook (Adam Tooze) - Tooze is a leading economic historian of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, and a brilliant writer. I greatly admire his ability to digest complex economic data and present it in ways that, beyond being comprehensible, become fascinating. Chartbook is his recently-begun Substack effort, sharing his thoughts and findings about various ongoing events.

The New York Review of Books - another excellent outlet for book reviews, both of new works and reconsiderations of older ones. They also publish older, more obscure works in excellent new editions.

Snakes and Ladders (Alan Jacobs) - I found Jacobs through one of his books about humanism in the WW2 era, but I have come to really enjoy reading (and sometimes arguing with) his blog of cultural criticism, Christianity in America, nature, and much else.

Austin Kleon - an artist and writer who has written a series of encouraging books about getting motivated, creating, sharing what you create, and keeping it up. His "Steal Like an Artist" and "Show Your Work!" were major motivators of my second blog reboot.  

Precursors

Socrates

Michel de Montaigne

Francois-Rene de Chateaubriand

Hannah Arendt

Albert Camus

Barbara Tuchman

Christopher Hitchens

Anthony Bourdain