What, then, is Goodness?

Last month, Joan Didion blessed us with the release of Let Me Tell You What I Mean, a collection of essays written from 1968 to 2000. In her essay “Pretty Nancy,” she touches on a theme I’ve obsessed over for most of my life.

Nancy Reagan has an interested smile, the smile of a good wife, a good mother, a good hostess, the smile of someone who grew up i…

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