Here is my review of one of the best books I’ve read this year: Anthony Esolen’s Defending Marriage.

Professor Esolen uses his literary references not to prove a point or even to illustrate a point, but to evoke within us a different and more beautiful understanding of what it means to be male and female, boy and girl, husband and wife. From his exaltation of human love within literary culture Professor Esolen conjures up a forgotten world where girls and boys were naturally attracted to one another and flirted and played together innocently. He helps us look back to a world where young men and women courted, stole a kiss, and kept themselves pure for their wedding day. He unlocks the unknown remembered gate into the rose garden of the marriage bed where a young Adam knew his young Eve, and they longed for children to complete their love.

Professor Esolen then invites us to consider true masculine friendship. There is Tom Sawyer playing pirates with his mates, killing the enemies, fighting the thieves, then swimming naked in the Mississippi and flopping down exhausted on the beach. Here is Samwise Gamgee cradling Frodo’s head in his arms, kissing him tenderly, and affirming his love for his friend and master. Professor Esolen analyzes the necessity of male friendship in clubs, gangs, teams, and the military and laments its destruction and desecration for as it has been destroyed by the sexual revolution and the politically correct; the ability of boys to grow safely and securely into men has been mangled.


Read the whole review here at Imaginative Conservative.