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]

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.[4] 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.[5] Columnist George Will has called Eberstadt "intimidatingly intelligent," [6] 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.” [6]

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.”[citation needed] Rodney Stark called the book “A brilliant contribution to the really big question about the future of the West, and a pleasure to read.”[citation needed]

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. 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.” [7]

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. 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."[citation needed]

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 as reflected in adolescent music (including the award-winning chapter, “Eminem is Right”). R. Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, called it “a book that should be read by every concerned parent, pastor, and policy maker.”[citation needed]

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.[8]


In 2014 Eberstadt gave Seton Hall University's commencement address and was awarded an honorary degree.[9] The choice of Eberstadt as the school's commencement speaker brought dissent from some faculty members, who objected that her values were not consistent with those of the university.[10] 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. [11]


  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. ^ Mary Eberstadt (biography), Hoover Institution .
  5. ^ Brooks, David (Dec 29, 2009), "Sidney Awards", The New York Times .
  6. ^ a b Taylor, Justin (July 10, 2013), "How The West Really Lost God: An Interview with Mary Eberstadt", The Gospel Coalition .
  7. ^ Gillen, Claire (April 17, 2012), "BOOK REVIEW: ‘Adam and Eve After the Pill’", Washington Times .
  8. ^ "Mary Eberstadt", Authors (biography), Simon & Schuster .
  9. ^ Seton Hall University Welcomes 1248 New Alumni, Seton Hall University, May 19, 2014 
  10. ^ Marshall, Mary (April 30, 2014). The Setonian concerned about commencement speaker concerned about commencement speaker Check |url= value (help).  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  11. ^ Here's to class of '14: Opinionline, USA Today, May 26, 2014 .

External links[edit]