When I Was a Child I Read Books
Farrar, Straus and Giroux: 232 pp., $24
Marilynne Robinson, the Pulitzer-winning novelist, is a confounding writer in today's political alignment. Her new essay collection, "When I Was a Child I Read Books," is — despite the sentimentality of its title — fundamentally a leftist political manifesto and lament for America's loss of faith in government. Yet it grants a central argument of many religious conservatives — that America's virtues are indeed steeped in biblical thought.
"When I Was A Child" is a broadside defense of literature and classical...