Marvin Olasky

Senior Fellow, Center for Science and Culture

Marvin Olasky is a Senior Fellow of Discovery Institute and its Center for Science and Culture. He edited WORLD magazine from 1992 to 2021 and was a professor, provost, chairholder, and dean at The University of Texas at Austin, The King’s College, Patrick Henry College, and the World Journalism Institute from 1983 to 2021. He is the author of 28 books including The Tragedy of American Compassion, Fighting for Liberty and Virtue, Abortion Rites, Reforming Journalism, and Lament for a Father.

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Dr. Olasky earned an A.B. from Yale University in 1971 and a Ph.D. in American Culture from the University of Michigan in 1976. He was a Boston Globe correspondent and a Du Pont Company coordinator, and has written 5,000 articles for publications including World, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, and Fortune.

Dr. Olasky is a Presbyterian Church in America elder and has chaired the boards of City School of Austin and the Austin Crisis Pregnancy Center. He has spoken on six continents and his writings have been translated into Chinese, Spanish, Italian, French, Portuguese, and Russian. He has been to 79 major league and spring training ballparks, all 254 Texas counties, and all three Delaware counties.

Marvin has been married for 45 years and has four sons, four daughters-in-law, and five grandchildren. He has been a foster parent, a PTA president, a cross-country bicycle rider, an informal advisor to George W. Bush, and a Little League assistant coach.


On Of Boys and Men

Olasky Books April 2023
After half a century of helping girls and women to be all they can be professionally, maybe it’s time to see what’s happening to boys and men. Richard Reeves points out in Of Boys and Men (Brookings, 2022) that “the modern male is struggling.” He then explains “why it matters, and what to do about it.” Reeves shows that one Read More ›

On Visions of Empire

Olasky Books March 2023
Four days from now is the Ides of March, which brings to mind the most famous death on that day, Julius Caesar’s — and that gets me thinking about all the little Caesars, Kaisers, and Czars that came after him. Krishan Kumar’s Visions of Empire (Princeton, 2017) readably tells the story of Rome and five other empires: Ottoman, Habsburg, Russian/Soviet, Read More ›

Obama Promised to End Homelessness This Year

The former president’s ‘housing first’ policy has been a dismal failure.
Policy makers act as if it’s simply an issue of people not having houses, rather than a complex problem often rooted in mental illness and substance-abuse disorders.

On How the Word is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America

Olasky Books February 2023
For a mere $5,000 you can host an anti-racist dinner with seven friends as guests plus two hired guests as agitators. As New York magazine reports, “A collection of affluent white women, equipped with varying degrees of vanity and self-delusion, gather at a well-appointed dinner table. There, they face down a pair of unsparing judges prepared to see right through Read More ›

The Ray Bradbury Collection

Olasky Books January 2023
I’ll focus this month on books by and about four God-haunted genius writers: Ray Bradbury, Bob Dylan, John Donne, and Samuel Adams. The Library of America brought out last year The Ray Bradbury Collection, a two-volume assortment of stories and novellas by the science fiction and fantasy writer who died in 2012 at age 91. Captain Hart, the protagonist of Read More ›

Life as a Half-Full Glass

A 2018 book by biologist Nathan Lents is full of complaints about our bodies. Professor Lents has been answered in detail already.

On Rediscovering Humility

Olasky Books December 2022
This newsletter usually emphasizes secular books, but ‘tis the season to recommend books with Christian themes. I’ll start with Christopher Hutchinson’s excellent Recovering Humility (New Growth Press, 2018), which notes that “the surest way to a greater humility is to gaze upon Christ hanging on the cross.” True, and it all starts with a baby in a manger. Hutchinson wisely Read More ›

On Hitler’s First Hundred

Olasky Books November 2022
Peter Fritzche’s Hitler’s First Hundred (Basic, 2020) begins with a brilliant scene. At 11:15 a.m. on Jan. 30, 1933, conservative aristocrat Franz von Papen meets with Adolf Hitler, who wants to be chancellor of Germany — the CEO. Another key person in the meeting, nationalist media magnate Alfred Hugenberg, is wary of Hitler. The three are late for their meeting with 84-year-old Read More ›

Stephanie Creighton

With Creighton as with others, it may be that mental illness doesn’t go away, but at Eden Village it does not rule her.

Sunday Morning, New Orleans

What causes homelessness? Broken relationships, mental illness, and addiction are leading indicators, but some become ill from being on the streets. Societal errors have played a part alongside individual decisions. The expressways of New Orleans, like their counterparts in other cities, eliminated hundreds of homes and destroyed many small businesses.