Ann Neumann

  • A Humanized Saint

    Thank God for Charles Marsh’s Strange Glory. This new biography definitively wrests the legacy of the World War II–era German theologian from the fact-defying clutches of Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy, the wildly popular 2010 book by evangelical self-promoter extraordinaire Eric Metaxas. As Metaxas’s subtitle suggests, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who was killed in 1945 by the Nazis for his work with the resistance, has lately emerged as an all-purpose hero to the evangelical Right, as it harbors outsize fantasies about its own acute cultural persecution in the age of Obama. Marsh, a professor

  • Children of a Lesser God

    Two rather astute voices were in my ear as I read Megan Hustad’s beautiful but ultimately unsatisfying new memoir: that of the “worker in song” who’s giving Leonard Cohen head in the Chelsea Hotel; and that of Joan Didion, circa Slouching Towards Bethlehem, who delivers a characteristically morbid appraisal of herself, and the rest of us, in “On Self-Respect.”

    Hustad’s reminiscence of her lost evangelical youth may seem, on the surface of things, to have little to do with these arch narrations of ingenues gone wrong in the big city. Still, beneath the many broad subjects billed on the jacket