Books

Taya Kyle pins Jesse Ventura on appeal

Featured image I wrote about Jesse Ventura’s defamation/unjust enrichment lawsuit against the estate of Chris Kyle in “American Sniper on trial” and in “American Sniper on trial: The verdict” and in American Sniper on trial: The appeal.” The case arises from a couple of pages now excised from the book about Kyle’s close encounter with Ventura at a bar in southern California. Ventura alleged that the story Kyle recounted was false and »

“Days of Rage” revisited

Featured image Bryan Burrough’s book Days of Rage: America’s Radical Underground, the FBI, and the Forgotten Age of Revolutionary Violence was published in paperback this past April. I read the book when it came out in hardcover last year and flipped over it. I recommend it highly to Power Line readers. Trying to copy Jay Nordlinger’s approach in his Impromptus columns at NR, I wrote about the book in “Notes on Days »

Loose Ends (4)

Featured image Today turns out to be the 75th anniversary of C.S. Lewis’s famous lecture/sermon “The Weight of Glory.” You can read the whole thing at the link, but Justin Taylor also offers a good retrospective at The Gospel Coalition blog. You can see Lewis’s capacious mind on full display in this sermon, which ranged from the Stoics and Augustine and Thomas Aquinas clear through to Milton and Kant, never bogging down »

Ex-Secret Service Officer: White House staff lived in fear of Hillary

Featured image Emily Smith of the New York Post reports on some of the revelations in Crisis of Character, the soon-to-be-released book by former Secret Service agent Gary Byrne about life at the White House with Hillary Clinton. I discussed the book briefly here. According to Byrne, Hillary Clinton would be friendly one moment and then go into a rage. She repeatedly screamed obscenities at her husband, Secret Service personnel and White »

Ex-Secret Service agent blows whistle on Hillary

Featured image Donald Trump is a nasty piece of work, but is he nastier than Hillary Clinton? I expressed doubt that he is at the end of this post. In a few weeks, Crisis of Character by former Secret Service agent Gary Byrne, a “tell-all” book about Hillary’s time at the White House, will be released. “What I saw [at the White House] in the 1990s sickened me,” says Byrne. “I want »

CRB: Song of Troy

Featured image The origins of the Iliad and the Odyssey are shrouded in mystery, or just shrouded, but this much we know. They are two of the greatest poems ever composed. New translations by Robert Fagles with introductions by Bernard Knox were something of an event in the publishing world when they appeared in 1990 and 1996. I saw Fagles chant a portion of his translation of the Iliad before a packed »

CRB: Killers, saviors, heroes

Featured image Aristotle wrote a great book — the greatest? — on human greatness, The Nichomachean Ethics. Following in Aristotle’s footsteps, Professor Robert Faulkner wrote The Case for Greatness: Honorable Ambition and Its Critics. Now Tod Lindberg has returned our attention to the subject in The Heroic Heart: Greatness Ancient and Modern. Who better to review Lindberg’s book than Professor Faulkner? He does so in “Killers, saviors, heroes.” Professor Faulkner finds Lindberg’s »

CRB: Respecting the respectable

Featured image We continue our preview of the new issue of the Claremont Review of Books courtesy of our friends at the Claremont Institute. I have chosen one essay and three reviews for your consideration, but I had a hard time choosing among the riches on offer in the new issue. You can do your own choosing at the heavily subsidized price of $19.95 a year. Subscribe by clicking on Subscription Services »

Loose Ends (1)

Featured image I stumble across lots of little items in my eclectic reading pile that don’t rise to the level of deserving a whole item on Power Line (especially when they are about metaphysics, my weekend hobby), but which might be worth a sentence or two in a grab bag of things. So I’m going to start a new recurrent series called “Loose Ends.” Though I’m sure many readers will think it »

The Power Line Show, Ep. 36: “Frankfurters All the Way Down”

Featured image This episode of the Power Line Show features an interview with Michael Walsh about his fascinating recent book The Devil’s Pleasure Palace: The Cult of Critical Theory and the Subversion of the West. Walsh explains how most of the nihilistic radicalism of our time derives from the “Frankfurt School,” the group of mid-20th century emigre philosophers whose eclectic post-Marxist thought can be found at the root of nearly everything wrong »

Power Line Show, Episode 35: “Dangerous Doctrine”

Featured image One of the things the Power Line Editorial Board did in our rare in-person gathering on Wednesday in John’s kitchen/newsroom was tape a new episode of the Power Line Show, where we kick around with Scott his daily beat reporting of the trial of the “Minnesota Men.”  You can access the episode through our custom window to the right, or listen down below. The heart of this show, however, is »

When Elvis met Nixon

Featured image With his superb two-volume biography of Elvis — Last Train to Memphis and Careless Love — Peter Guralnick has made himself the essential chronicler of Elvis’s story. Guralnick of course tells the true story of the day in December 1970 when Elvis met Nixon in the White House. The story of the visit provides insight into Elvis’s patriotism as well as comic relief in the denouement of Elvis’s life. The »

That Hamilton man

Featured image Ron Chernow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton is a phenomenon. Twelve years after its publication in hardcover, it’s number 2 on this week’s New York Times nonfiction paperback bestseller list. Yet there is nothing dumbed down about it. It is a work of popular history, to be sure, but it is a lengthy tome for serious readers on one of our most challenging founders. Lin-Manuel Miranda was one such serious reader. »

The Trial as how-to manual

Featured image Does anyone read Kafka anymore? I doubt that high school and college students take him up as faithfully as we once did, but the bureaucratic tyrants running the Department of Education in the Obama administration appear to have drawn on Kafka’s Trial as a how-to manual rather than a modernist warning of a nightmarish future. The book opens: “Someone must have been telling lies about Josef K., he knew he »

Donald Trump reviews

Featured image Borrowing from Josh Marshall, Jack Shepherd summarizes the Trump formula on Twitter: “Each tweet is made up of two short declarative sentences, followed by a short, derisive blast at the end. Once you start to notice it, you can’t get it out of your head. This is how it works. It’s very effective! And when you know the formula, it’s easy to accurately predict how Trump might, for instance, review »

At Emory, Orwell 1984!

Featured image The sight of chalked messages proclaiming Trump 2016 around the Emory University campus has allegedly induced unbearable suffering among some 40 to 50 of the students. These students have brought their suffering to the attention of Emory President Wagner with the demand that he do something about it. I took a quick look at the doings on campus in “At Emory, a trail of Trump tears.” Emory University Professor Harvey »

A Few Words from Walter Berns

Featured image I’ve spent most of this week immersed in the great works of Walter Berns, especially his very first book from 1957, Freedom, Virtue and the First Amendment. What a splendid and wonderful book! And although much of the proximate subject matter (the Supreme Court’s free speech jurisprudence up to the mid-1950s) is dated, the central arguments of the book are not, which is contained in the central term of the »