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    Editors’ Picks Issue 4

    By Sam Hine

    March 17, 2014

    Richard John Neuhaus: A Life in the Public Square

    Randy Boyagoda

    This substantive new ­biography mines the mind of Neuhaus (1936–2009), one of the leading public intellectuals of the last half-­century. From prominent antiwar cleric to outspoken conservative Catholic, the arc of Neuhaus’s life might seem one of contradiction, but this volume, drawing heavily on his personal correspondence, reveals an authentic spiritual and intellectual striving to remain true to an ardent faith in Christ, as well as an uncommon capacity for friendship. Neuhaus’s genius was to boldly engage people of every persuasion on many of the most pressing issues of his day. Evangelicals and Catholics Together and First Things magazine are two ongoing expressions of his legacy.


    book cover Richard John Neuhaus

    Deep Down Dark: The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine, and the Miracle That Set Them Free

    Héctor Tobar
    (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

    Based on exclusive interviews with the survivors of the 2010 Chilean mining disaster, this riveting account is a memorable exploration of human nature – and the uncanny power of brotherly affection. Trapped as much by their fear of dying as by two thousand vertical feet of rock, the miners endured hunger, thirst, and near-despair before an enormous drill bit reached them. But it’s unlikely they could have emerged intact had it not been for their faith in the power of prayer and their willingness to put aside differences for the sake of the common good. Tobar, a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist, takes us not only down into the stifling underworld the miners inhabit, but also into the heart of a remarkable ad hoc community which saved its members just as surely as the capsule that hauled them to the surface after their ten-week nightmare underground.

    book cover Deep Down Dark

    Black River: A Novel

    S. M. Hulse
    (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

    When Wes Carver, a Montana correctional officer, was maimed by a prisoner during a riot twenty years ago, he lost his greatest gift: an uncommon ability to play the fiddle. Now the man is up for parole, and Wes has been asked to testify at the hearing. While billed as a story of forgiveness, faith, and family, it’s more accurately about the inability to forgive, the elusiveness of faith, and the long odds of restoring wounded psyches and ­tattered relationships. This is one debut novel that lives up to the acclaim: the characters are convincing, the details are authentic, and the storyline is captivating to the very last page.



    book cover Black River

    Change of Heart: Justice, Mercy, and Making Peace with My Sister’s Killer 

    Jeanne Bishop
    (Westminster John Knox)

    Defense attorney Jeanne Bishop ventures beyond forgiveness in this candid, compelling memoir of her journey to reach out to man who had killed her sister when he was fifteen. What do justice and mercy demand? Can we believe that God wants to bring about not only closure but even reconciliation and restoration? Bishop is straightforward about her own transformation, which didn’t happen all at once and never would have come about without help from others along the way, including her own young children.



    book cover Change of Heart


    Contributed By SamHine Sam Hine

    Sam Hine is an editor at Plough. He lives with his wife and five children in upstate New York.

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