Veteran writer and editor Rod Dreher will speak at Friends University on Monday and Tuesday about the importance of community and the need for faith and doubt.
Dreher’s recent book, “The Little Way of Ruthie Leming: A Southern Girl, a Small Town, and the Secret of a Good Life,” tells how the life and death of his younger sister led him to return to his south Louisiana hometown of 1,800 people.
Leming was diagnosed with terminal cancer at the age of 40. Her community rallied to her family’s side, a response that caused Dreher to re-evaluate his life and move home for the first time in 20 years.
At 7 p.m. Monday, he will speak on “Why Community Matters: How You Can Go Home Again, and Maybe Ought To.” At 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, his topic will be “Heart vs. Head: Why a Mature Christian Needs Both Faith and Doubt.”
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Dreher is a senior editor at the American Conservative magazine, for which he writes a blog about culture, religion and politics. His visit to Wichita is sponsored by the Northfield School of the Liberal Arts and Friends Univeristy.
For more information, call 316-295-5827.
Hollywood’s World War II survivors
“Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War” by Mark Harris (Penguin Press, $29.95)
The five were the top writing and directing talent of American cinema’s prewar Golden Age: John Ford, Frank Capra, William Wyler, George Stevens and a charger named John Huston, who wowed Tinseltown with his first directorial effort, “The Maltese Falcon” (1941). Capra, the highest paid of the lot, racked up Oscars for such classics as “It Happened One Night” (1934). Ford wasn’t far behind in pay or awards, notching three best director wins between 1936 and 1942. Wyler was a genre all-rounder who helmed everything from low-budget westerns to literary adaptations like “Wuthering Heights” (1939), while Stevens was known for comedies that traded on sass and urban sophistication.
In his new book, film historian and Entertainment Weekly columnist Mark Harris chronicles this formidable quintet’s wartime experiences as soldier-filmmakers who strove to bring World War II to the screen. Advancing into middle age, they took pay cuts when they signed up; during the war, they made everything from documentaries to training films to cartoon shorts.
Matthew Price, Newsday