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Archive for June 23rd 2011

David Cortright, author of the new book Ending Obama's War: Responsible Military Withdrawal from Afghanistan, offers a critique of President Obama's recent speech on military policy in Afghanistan and outlines other options for assisting the Afghan people that do not include boots on the ground. Professor Cortright, the director of policy studies at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame, also talks about his personal disappointment with the president's handling of the war in Afghanistan in light of his earlier criticism of the war in Iraq.

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The editors discuss a new "biography" of St. Augustine's Confessions, the art of collecting art and the demands of homework. With Kerry Weber, Karen Sue Smith and Edward W. Schmidt, S.J. This is part of a series of podcasts featuring the editors of America discussing items of cultural and political interest.

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Jason Berry's new book, Render Unto Rome: The Secret Life of Money in the Catholic Church, looks at the financial structure of the Catholic Church from the parish level to the Vatican. What happens when a Catholic puts money in the collection plate? What kind of financial reports are offered by diocesan leaders? How big of a problem is embezzlement? Berry, a longtime investigative journalist who first broke the story of the sexual abuse scandal, discusses these issues as well as the recent efforts to sell church property in Boston. He also provides an eye-opening account of the scandal involving the Italian businessman Raffaello Follieri and his ties to Vatican officials.

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The first in a series of podcasts featuring the editors of America discussing items of cultural and political interest. This week Tim Reidy, Fr. Jim Martin and Regina Nigro talk about the weighty themes addressed in the film "The Tree of Life"; "The Astral," a new novel by Kate Christensen set in Brooklyn; and a New York Times story and video about a miraculous pair of conjoined twins.

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