So, a day after I sketched why I’m cooling on David French, he comes out with both a very solid book review of Andrew Sullivan’s Out on a Limb and a sketches a perceptive parallel between Jordan Peterson and scandal-plagued narcissist Pastor Mark Driscoll: both perceive the lostness of a generation of young men and helped a lot of them get their lives together.
Here’s French on Andrew Sullivan:
This world is almost impossibly complex. Conventional wisdom is frequently wrong. No partisan side has a monopoly on truth. In these circumstances, a nation needs writers and thinkers who will say hard things, whose fearlessness gives you confidence that you’re hearing their true thoughts.
As a regular reader of Sullivan, I think this does identify a major strength of Sullivan. But as a regular reader of French, I’d draw a contrast: With French, I too often get the impression that all I’m hearing is the strained “hot takes” of a guy who has committed to writing at a pace that outstrips his ability to be consistently thoughtful — somewhat as Sullivan may have done back in the days when he was a rising blogger with multiple posts every day.