Fun is Not Enough by Fr. Francis Canavan, SJ

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Francis Canavan, S.J., was a professor of political science, a leading Edmund Burke scholar, and an essayist whose thoughts on faith, politics, and culture earned him accolades from many prominent Catholic minds of his time, including Robert P. George, George Weigel, Richard John Neuhaus, and Gerard V. Bradley.

But Canavan’s appeal extended well beyond the intelligentsia. For more than twenty-five years, he contributed to the catholic eye newsletter, making his wisdom accessible to the ordinary person in the pew. Fun Is Not Enough collects all the prophetic insights catholic eye readers loved, so that Canavan may inspire a new generation with his contributions to contemporary debates on religious and political liberty, the dignity of human life, and the nature of marriage.

Video of the Human Life Review awards dinner in which Fun Is Not Enough was presented by its editor, Dr. Dawn Eden Goldstein


EWTN Interview of Dr. Dawn Eden Goldstein – “Fun Is Not Enough” – Book Makes Pro-Life Arguments



  • “This book is a wonderful reinforcement of one’s Catholicism in a time of increasing nominal adherence and/or outright loss of faith.” — John P. McCarthy, Crisis Magazine February 27, 2018 (click to read the full review)
  • “[I]n a time when the erroneous thinking within the Church has become even worse than when Fr. Canavan wrote his articles for Catholic Eye, intellectual Catholics need more than ever to be able to understand the roots of such errors. And a good way to learn and understand more deeply is to read Fun Is Not Enough—and then pass it along to others.” — Ronda Chervin, The Catholic World Report February 19, 2018 (click to read the full review)
  • “[Canavan’s writings] are as lively and powerful now as when they first appeared. American Catholics who are confused and distressed by the ongoing tumult in Church and state will be invigorated by them.” — William Doino Jr., First Things January 10, 2018 (click to read the full review)


“[An] impressive book. I hadn’t been familiar with Father Canavan’s writings, but I am finding his columns a profoundly instructive delight.” — Judge James L. Buckley

This new and timely edition of the essays of Francis Canavan, S.J., will be welcomed by everyone who heeds the prophecies of recent popes that our age is marked by a crisis of reason. – Stephen M. Fields, S.J., from the introduction

In a world that often fails to recognize true values, those of us who seek to evangelize the culture run the risk of drowning in incoherence or submitting to the temptations of worldly idols. Here, a wise Jesuit Father will help you have none of it! This book empowers the reader to see beyond the daily distractions of politics, culture, and our overstimulated lives, and keep the focus on the truth in Christ. – Kathryn Jean Lopez, senior fellow, National Review Institute & editor-at-large, National Review

To read these essays is to be reminded what a master teacher and pastor Canavan was, for everything he wrote was geared toward one end: our salvation, and the glory of God – William Doino Jr., contributor, First Things

Testimonials from Readers: 

I found Fun is Not Enough to be interesting, frequently amusing and quite insightful. Even though many of Fr. Canavan’s articles were written 30 years ago, they define and clarify problems that dog our society today. I’m glad I read the book! – Barbara Bryan

About the Author:

Francis Canavan, S.J, (1917-2009) was a professor emeritus of political science at Fordham University, where he taught from 1966 to 1988.

During more than a half-century as a prominent Catholic academic and essayist, he wrote several books, including The Political Reason of Edmund Burke, Freedom of ExpressionThe Light of Faith, Pins in the Liberal Balloon, and The Pluralist Game.

Fun Is Not Enough includes dozens of essays by Canavan that have never before been anthologized.