William Hazlitt, self-portrait

The Fight

William Hazlitt’s trail-blazing essay on staged fights in the English countryside, considered “blackguard” in its day, still speaks to the thrill of sporting events.


The Spirit Level

Over the millennia, holy writings and wisdom become a guide to many of us as we search for the meaning that will shape us as individuals and as communities. There is no certainty here, and doubt and questions and reconsiderations will always accompany us, as it does many who practice science. There is no simple reading of Scripture here, either.


The Requirements Of Southern Journalism

”If it could be established, a fearlessly edited press is one of the crying necessities of the hour. Such a journal, edited in the midst of such conditions as exist in the South, can better give the facts, than out of it, or than the press dispatches will do. True, such a one might have to be on the hop, skip and jump but the seed planted even though the sower might not tarry to watch its growth, can never die. At present only one side of the atrocities against a defenceless people is given, and with all the smoothing over is a bad enough showing.”


About The Common Reader

The Common Reader, a publication of Washington University in St. Louis, offers the best in reviews, articles and essays engaging the essential debates and issues of our time.