Mary Eberstadt

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Mary Eberstadt
Born Mary Tedeschi
Education Cornell University
Occupation Author, Essayist
Spouse(s) Nicholas Eberstadt

Mary Tedeschi Eberstadt is an American author and a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center (EPPC), a conservative[1][2] think tank in Washington, DC. Her work, according to the EPPC website, focuses on issues in American society, culture, and philosophy.[3] In 2011, Eberstadt founded The Kirkpatrick Society, a literary organization for women writers based in Washington, DC. [4]

Education and personal life[edit]

Eberstadt grew up in rural upstate New York. She graduated magna cum laude in 1983 from Cornell University, where she was a four-year Telluride Scholar.[5] Eberstadt is married to author and demographer Nicholas Eberstadt.

Professional career[edit]

Eberstadt has written for a wide variety of magazines and newspapers. New York Times columnist David Brooks has twice awarded Eberstadt's writing a “Sidney,” his annual award for best essay writing of the year.[6] Columnist George Will has called Eberstadt "intimidatingly intelligent," [7] and author George Weigel has called her “our premier analyst of American cultural foibles and follies, with a keen eye for oddities that illuminate just how strange the country’s moral culture has become.” [8]

Eberstadt is the author of several books, including How the West Really Lost God, published in 2013. How the West Really Lost God, fortified with an intensive study of both historical data and contemporary popular culture, proffers the original thesis that the undermining of the family in Western culture has in turn helped power religious decline. According to the book's webpage, Francis Fukuyama wrote of the book, “Mary Eberstadt is one of the most acute and creative social observers of our time. She is not afraid to challenge received wisdom and her insights are always well worth pondering.”[9] Rodney Start called the book “A brilliant contribution to the really big question about the future of the West, and a pleasure to read.”[10] In 2014, the book was named on the Henry and Anne Paolucci Book Award shortlist. [11]

Eberstadt also authored Adam and Eve After the Pill: Paradoxes of the Sexual Revolution, published in 2012. The book examines how the sexual revolution has produced widespread discontent among men and women, and has harmed the weakest members of society. “No single event since Eve took the apple has been as consequential for relations between the sexes as the arrival of modern contraception,” writes Eberstadt. [12] Eberstadt explores the portrayal of the sexual revolution in pop culture voices, pinpointing “a wildly contradictory mix of chatter about how wonderful it is that women are now all liberated for sexual fun--and how mysteriously impossible it has become to find a good, steady, committed boyfriend at the same time.” [13]

Eberstadt published her first work of fiction in 2010, The Loser Letters: A Comic Tale of Life, Death, and Atheism. The book satirically follows the experiences of a young Christian converting to atheism. The Catholic Post called it “an instant classic.” [14] P.J. O’Rourke wrote that “Mary Eberstadt is the rightful heir and assignée of CS Lewis, and her heroine in The Loser Letters is the legitimate child (or perhaps grandchild) of ‘the patient’ in The Screwtape Letters." [15]

In 2007, Eberstadt edited and contributed to the introductory essay in Why I Turned Right: Leading Baby Boom Conservatives Chronicle their Political Journeys, which featured personal essays by prominent conservative writers, editors, and pundits. Christopher Buckley called the book “A thoroughly engaging, witty, and instructive series of essays by the best and rightest of our generation." [16]

Eberstadt’s first book, Home-Alone America: The Hidden Toll of Day Care, Behavioral Drugs and Other Parent Substitutes, argued that separating children from family members at early ages is linked to childhood problems such as obesity and rising rates of mental and behavioral disorders. The book also connected these problems to popular culture, particularly adolescent music (including the chapter, “Eminem is Right”). [17] R. Albert Mohler, Jr., President, of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, called it “a book that should be read by every concerned parent, pastor, and policy maker.” [18]

Eberstadt is the author of a bevy of influential essays, including "Why Ritalin Rules,"[19] "Home-Alone America,"[20] "Eminem is Right,"[21] "How the West Really Lost God,"[22] and "Is Food the New Sex?"[23] and "The Vindication of Humanae Vitae,"[24] "How Pedophilia Lost its Cool,"[25] and "Christianity Lite."[26]

Eberstadt served as a Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution from 2002-2013. From 1990 to 1998, Eberstadt was executive editor of National Interest magazine. Between 1985 and 1987, she was a member of the Policy Planning Staff at the US State Department and a speechwriter for then Secretary of State George P. Shultz. In 1984–85 she was a special assistant to Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick. Eberstadt was also a managing editor of the Public Interest.[27]


In 2014 Eberstadt gave Seton Hall University's commencement address and was awarded an honorary degree.[28] The choice of Eberstadt as the school's commencement speaker brought dissent from some faculty members, whose complaints were dismissed by the university as would-be impositions on Eberstadt's intellectual freedom.[29] USA Today listed Eberstadt's address in its compilation of notable 2014 commencement speeches, alongside the speeches of John Kerry, John Legend, and Eric Holder. [30]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Bravin, Jess (December 2, 2014). "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Scalia? Set His Dissents to Music". The Wall Street Journal. 
  2. ^ Kamen, Al; Itkowitz, Colby (December 17, 2014). "The nuclear option and its fallout". The Washington Post. 
  3. ^ "Mary Eberstadt - Ethics and Public Policy Center", Ethics and Public Policy Center, October 7, 2014 .
  4. ^ "Mona Charen - Confessions of a Bad Woman",, 2013 .
  5. ^ Mary Eberstadt (biography), Hoover Institution .
  6. ^ Brooks, David (Dec 29, 2009), "Sidney Awards", The New York Times .
  7. ^ Taylor, Justin (July 10, 2013), "How The West Really Lost God: An Interview with Mary Eberstadt", The Gospel Coalition .
  8. ^ Taylor, Justin (July 10, 2013), "How The West Really Lost God: An Interview with Mary Eberstadt", The Gospel Coalition .
  9. ^ "How The West Really Lost God: Praise", Wordpress blog .
  10. ^ "How The West Really Lost God: Praise", Wordpress blog .
  11. ^ Daniel Hannan Has Won the Paolucci Book Award, August 18, 2014 .
  12. ^ Staff, CWR (March 14, 2012), "The Party’s Over", Catholic World Report 
  13. ^ Gillen, Claire (April 17, 2012), "BOOK REVIEW: ‘Adam and Eve After the Pill’", Washington Times .
  14. ^ "Nancy Piccione", Interview with Mary Eberstadt, author of "The Loser Letters" (review), The Catholic Post .
  15. ^ The Loser Letters Paperback Amazon Page (review), Ignatius .
  16. ^ Mary Eberstadt Books By This Author page (praise), Simon and Schuster .
  17. ^ Eberstadt, Mary (January 1, 2004), "Home Alone America: Signs of Pain Among Under-Parented Children", American Enterprise Institute .
  18. ^ Book Page: Home-Alone America: The Hidden Toll of Day Care, Behavioral Drugs, and Other Parent Substitutes (review), Simon & Schuster .
  19. ^ "Why Ritalin Rules", Policy Review (Hoover) .
  20. ^ "Home-Alone America", Policy Review (Hoover) .
  21. ^ "Eminem is Right", Policy Review (Hoover) .
  22. ^ "How the West Really Lost God", Policy Review (Hoover) .
  23. ^ "Is Food the New Sex?", Policy Review (Hoover) .
  24. ^ "The Vindication of Humanae Vitae", First Things (Institute for Religion & Public life), Jul 2008 .
  25. ^ "How Pedophilia Lost its Cool", First Things (Institute for Religion & Public life), Nov 2009 .
  26. ^ "Christianity Lite", First Things (Institute for Religion & Public life), Jan 2010 .
  27. ^ "Mary Eberstadt", Authors (biography), Simon & Schuster .
  28. ^ Seton Hall University Welcomes 1248 New Alumni, Seton Hall University, May 19, 2014 
  29. ^ "Stanley Kurtz", The Commencement Speech That Could: Mary Eberstadt at Seton Hall (article), National Review Online .
  30. ^ Here's to class of '14: Opinionline, USA Today, May 26, 2014 .