Emily Esfahani Smith is a writer in New York. A Senior Fellow at the Independent Women's Forum, she is also the managing editor of The New Criterion and an editor at Defining Ideas, a journal of the Hoover Institution. Her writings have appeared in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, The New Criterion, The Daily Beast, and Washington Times. A graduate of Dartmouth College, she was editor of the Dartmouth Review.

And the Best Behaved Celebrity of the Year Is . . .

The results are in for our annual Celebrities Behaving Well Award! It was a tight race among Angelina Jolie, Kevin Durant, Pope Francis, Taylor Swift, and Kate Middleton—but the winning celebrity, according to a poll of our readers, is . . . . Pope Francis! We praised Pope Francis a few months ago here for a … Continued


Does Today’s Pop Music Suck?

Back in February, Nick Gillespie, the editor of Reason magazine, took my generation to task for its bad taste in music. Actually, it’s not just that our music stinks, it’s something even worse. Our music, he declared, is totally lame: If you want to get a handle on just how truly depraved and irredeemable today’s … Continued

Entertainment, Music

The End of Summer Doesn’t Mean the End of Fun

It’s like something out of a Disney movie, except it’s real life: A polar bear and dog, otherwise mortal enemies, start playing with each other in a snowy field in northern Canada. Brian Ladoon, a hunter and trapper in northern Canada, didn’t think it would go this way when he first saw the 1,200 pound … Continued


Hugo and the Importance of Purpose in Kids

I’ve been meaning to watch the 2011 movie Hugo since it came out to great acclaim a couple of years ago for a while, and I just got around to doing so this past weekend. The story, based on a book, is absolutely charming. If you haven’t seen it, check it out. It’s available to … Continued

Entertainment, Movies

Do Children Make Us Happy?

Several months ago, the novelist Zadie Smith wrote an essay for the New York Review of Books on joy, a complicated emotion that lies at the heart of parenting she argued. In the essay, Smith captured the paradox of parenting: Children, so-called “bundles of joy,” can make parents profoundly unhappy. “Occasionally, the child, too, is a pleasure,” … Continued

Culture, Parenting

Manjari Sharma: A Brooklyn-Based Artist on a Spiritual Quest

Manjari Sharma, a Brooklyn-based photographer, is not just an artist. She is a mythmaker. Her latest artistic endeavor, a project called “Darshan,” seeks to recreate the transcendent feelings that she experienced as a child in India visiting Hindu temples across the country, where the gods and goddesses of her religious tradition came to life before … Continued


To All the Nice Sorority Girls Out There

You’ve probably heard about the profane letter that a Delta Gamma sorority girl from the University of Maryland wrote to her chapter, chastising her fellow sisters for not meeting her social expectations of them, to put the matter mildly. The letter by sister Rebecca Martinson has now gone viral thanks to a hilarious reading of the letter … Continued

Culture, Uncategorized

Post of the Week

In case you missed it, check out Ashley McGuire’s post, “The Sinister Nature of Dove’s New Advertising Campaign.” It’s our Post of the Week.


Is Life Still Good After Boston?

I’m currently enrolled in a graduate program at the University of Pennsylvania in positive psychology, the study of human well-being. This semester we’ve been learning about organizations and companies that contribute positively to their employees, their communities, and to the world. Our final assignment for that class is to find one such company and write … Continued

Culture, Fashion

Post of the Week

Caught in the celebrity-baby craze? Why are we so obsessed? Check out this week’s Post of the Week by Abby W. Schachter.