Marilynne Robinson on lack of generosity in public life

If you are not reading Marilynne Robinson’s books, you are missing out. Gilead was a life-changer for me, an absolute gem of a novel. The rest of her novels are similarly magnificent. I am teaching Rawls this week in justice class, and I am also reading Robinson’s exceptional collection of essays, When I Was A Child, I Read Books. There is so much wisdom and wonderful writing in this book I don’t even know where to start.

Given that midterm elections are coming, here’s one:

But the language of public life has lost the character of generosity, and the largeness of spirit that has created and supported the best of our institutions and brought reform to the worst of them has been erased out of historical memory. On both sides the sole motive force in our past is now said to have been capitalism.