The Casual Reader
From the first issue on, The Weekly Standard has carried near the front of the magazine a light, first-person, one-page feature called the Casual. It’s meant as a kind of appetizer, and the 55 Casuals gathered here amount to a smorgasbord of mini-essays, anecdotes spiked with self-analysis or cultural comment, appreciations of public figures or loved ones who have died, and miscellaneous musings on sports, children, gardening, food, language, politics, and, of course, dogs. At its best, the Casual is a showcase for fine writing. The authors are all present or former staff members or contributing editors. Don’t miss Andrew Ferguson on “Learning to Like Mitt,” Christopher Caldwell on Marilyn Monroe as the immigrant’s symbol of America, Philip Terzian’s ecstasy at learning to read, Joseph Epstein’s glee at finding typos, or our remembrances of Irving Kristol, Arnold Beichman, James Abdnor, Robert Bork, Ed Koch, and Ray Manzarek ... not to mention Lee Smith on watching his grandfather’s horse win the Kentucky Derby.