Ruler Over All

Notes Toward the Restitution of Christian Culture
by Ken Myers

One hundred years ago, in September 1923, the Hogarth Press published the first English book edition of T.  S. Eliot’s 434-line poem, The Waste Land. The type was set by hand by Eliot’s friend Virginia Woolf, who with her husband Leonard had founded the small publishing venture. The previous autumn, The Waste Land had appeared in the inaugural issue of Eliot’s own journal, The Criterion, and then in the U.S. in the prestigious literary magazine, The Dial.

The Waste Land has been judged by many to be the most influential English-language poem of the twentieth century. Often analyzed as a depiction of the turmoil and fragmentation of Eliot’s own inner life, its continued power after a century is surely because of its account of public—not just private—dislocation. When the poem first appeared in 1922, the second volume of Oswald Spengler’s The Decline of the West had just been published. Spengler predicted the twenty-first-century collapse of Western civilization following decades of decay and concomitant  tyranny.


Ken Myers is the host and producer of the Mars Hill Audio Journal. Formerly an arts editor with National Public Radio, he also served as editor of Eternity, the Evangelical monthly magazine, and This World, the quarterly predecessor to First Things. He also serves as music director at All Saints Anglican Church in Ivy, Virginia. He is a contributing editor for Touchstone.

Print &
Online Subscription

Get six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for only $39.95. That's only $3.34 per month!


Get a one-year full-access subscription to the Touchstone online archives for only $19.95. That's only $1.66 per month!

bulk subscriptions

Order Touchstone subscriptions in bulk and save $10 per sub! Each subscription includes 6 issues of Touchstone plus full online access to—including archives, videos, and pdf downloads of recent issues for only $29.95 each! Great for churches or study groups.

Transactions will be processed on a secure server.

more on Literature from the online archives

32.2—March/April 2019

The Problem of Pity

Misguided Mercy & Dante's Infernal Purgation by Joshua Hren

30.4—July/Aug 2017

Soul Comforter

on Emily Dickinson & the Source of Our Hope by Josh Mayo

35.6—Nov/Dec 2022

To Is or Not To Is

on E-Prime by J. Douglas Johnson

more from the online archives

31.1—January/February 2018

Ivy League Advice Worth Repeating

by Robert P. George

29.4—July/August 2016

Deep Roots

Russell Kirk: American Conservative by Bradley J. Birzer by Hunter Baker

33.2—March/April 2020

Christian Pro-Family Governments?

Old & New Lessons from Europe by Allan C. Carlson

calling all readers

Please Donate

"There are magazines worth reading but few worth saving . . . Touchstone is just such a magazine."
—Alice von Hildebrand

"Here we do not concede one square millimeter of territory to falsehood, folly, contemporary sentimentality, or fashion. We speak the truth, and let God be our judge. . . . Touchstone is the one committedly Christian conservative journal."
—Anthony Esolen, Touchstone senior editor

Support Touchstone