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.

A Beautiful Moment at Wednesday’s Boston Bruins

A beautiful and unexpected thing occurred at Wednesday night’s Boston Bruins game: The entire crowd comes together to sing the national anthem. Notice how the lead singer, after a few seconds, lets his mic down and lets the communal voice fill the arena. I’ve been to quite a few hockey games and have never seen … Continued

Culture, Entertainment, Sports

The High Price of Ambition

This month, many of the nation’s best and brightest high school seniors will receive thick envelopes in the mail announcing their admission to the college of their dreams. For many of them, going away to college will be like crossing the Rubicon. They will leave their families–their homes–and probably not return for many years, if … Continued


Give Monogamy a Chance

The hit HBO series Girls, which is wildly popular with twenty-something audiences, is also notorious for its frank portrayals of the dark side of the casual-sex culture reigning among America’s young adults. I’ve written about the show for Acculturated, but as a reminder, in the first season of the show, the main character, Hannah (played by Lena … Continued

Books, Culture, Entertainment, Television

Post of the Week

Check out Emily Esfahani Smith’s post on success, happiness, and the value of community in our lives.


There’s More to Life Than Being Successful

Listening to the Acculturated podcast with Rod Dreher, which we published yesterday, made me wonder about some of the cultural differences between the north and the south in this country. In an essay about the south for the New Criterion, the writer Barton Swaim notes that, unlike the south, the north is “more vulnerable to the cultural volatility and … Continued

Culture, Entertainment, Music

How Technology Is Killing Human Connections, Happy Hour Edition

Will everything one day be sacrificed on the altar of convenience and efficiency? When it comes to how we interact with each other, we certainly seem to be trending in that direction. E-mail, texting, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other innovations of the digital age have expanded our social networks in a breathtaking way while, at … Continued

Culture, Tech

The Benefits of Optimism

Have you seen or read Silver Linings Playbook and/or Life of Pi? If you haven’t, I couldn’t recommend them more. My latest piece was actually inspired by these two phenomenal books/movies. In the piece, titled “The Benefits of Optimism Are Real,” I argue that a positive outlook on life is the most important predictor of resilience–or how … Continued

Books, Culture, Entertainment, Movies

Forget Feminism: What About Kindness?

The Acculturated symposium, “Can Men be Men Again?” has evoked a very spirited and inspired response from our writers–and a rather passionate response from our readers.  Our writers have argued that there has been a breakdown in manly behavior in our culture. So in the comments section and in some of our posts, a question has arisen: … Continued

Can Men be Men Again?, Culture

Men and Manliness in the Age of Post-Feminism

This Valentine’s Day, we at Acculturated are asking our writers to weigh in on the state of relationships between men and women in our culture. Since we have spent a good deal of our time covering women on this site in the past–from Cosmo magazine to HBO’s “Girls” to feminism and the hookup culture–we are … Continued

Can Men be Men Again?, Culture

Are Women Who Say “Sorry” Weaker?

Who apologizes more, men or women? According to a highly circulated study from 2010, which has resurfaced recently in a post on Jezebel, the answer is women: Researchers analyzed the number of self-reported offences and apologies made by 66 subjects over a 12-day period. And yes, they confirmed women consistently apologized more times than men … Continued