Books

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 »

The Rush Endorsement

Featured image I was driving in my car down the California coast this morning doing what any sensible person would do—listening to Rush Limbaugh—when all of a sudden I heard my name! RUSH: I ran into something I found from 1978, Steven Hayward over at Power Line found it, reprinted it, and it’s some guy from 1978 named Harry Jaffa, “How to Think About the American Revolution.” But it’s not what you »

Art for politics’ sake at the Washington Post

Featured image If you think (as I do) that the Washington Post’s news section too often manifests liberal bias, you should probably steer clear of the arts, entertainment, and letters portions of the paper. The news section’s high profile produces limits as to how far reporters typically go to express such bias. Those who write in non-news sections are less constrained. That’s why I refer to these pages as the Washington Post’s »

William McKinley’s triumph in Karl Rove’s words

Featured image Yesterday, in recommending Karl Rove’s book The Triumph of William McKinley, Why the Election of 1896 Still Matters, I mentioned Rove’s discussion of the book at AEI. As a devotee of C-SPAN’s Booknotes, I’ve heard countless authors discuss their babies (I mean books). I can’t recall a better such presentation than Rove’s. Scott found the event on YouTube and you can watch it below. The question about the role of »

Karl Rove: the master strategist as master story teller

Featured image I normally don’t recommend books on Power Line unless I’ve read them from beginning to end. However, I’m making an exception for Karl Rove’s The Triumph of William McKinley: Why the Election of 1896 Still Matters. Why? First, because I’m in the early-middle of a long history of Austria and probably won’t make any headway on Rove’s book (beyond the first chapter, which I have read) for some time. Second, »

Forrest McDonald, RIP [with comment by Paul]

Featured image Sad news yesterday of the passing of one of the great conservative historians of our time, Forrest McDonald, at the age of 89. He taught for many years at the University of Alabama, and was the author of several important revisionist works on American history, including a favorable biography of the great electric utility executive Sam Insull (one of the “economic royalists” that FDR hunted down with mixed success during »

The Perils of Leuchtenburg

Featured image When I heard a few weeks ago that there was a new history of the presidency, The American President, by William Leuchtenburg, my first thought was—Leuchtenburg is still alive?? Indeed he is, 92 years old now. It was over 30 years ago that I read one of his best-known books, The Perils of Prosperity: 1914-1932, published in 1958! It was a smug and lazy liberal narrative of entirely typical of »

This year in reading

Featured image Tevi Troy discusses his favorite reads of 2015. It’s an impressive list, and I’m embarrassed to admit that I haven’t read any of the selections. I expect partially to remedy this in 2016. I’m also embarrassed to admit that William F. Buckley’s admonition, with which Tevi concludes his column, hit home (though I prefer tea to coffee): “You don’t write 40 odd books, thousands of newspaper columns, and boxes and »

Power Line’s Chart of the Week: The Achievement of Capitalism

Featured image Herewith a new Power Line feature: Chart of the Week. Because data. Also innovation. Scheduled to appear on Monday or Tuesday each week. I have been looking forward for a long time to the last in Deirdre McCloskey’s trilogy about capitalism (a term she dislikes) that began with Bourgeois Virtues: Ethics for an Age of Commerce, and Bourgeois Dignity: Why Economics Can’t Explain the Modern World. The third volume, coming »

What Happened to the Conservative Book Club?

Featured image Over the years the Conservative Book Club, now over 50 years old, has picked up several of my books as a main selection of the month, so I’m inclined to be well disposed to the CBC. But it is more than a little dismaying to see the CBC’s recent list of the “Top Ten Conservative Books of 2015” include this: I know the CBC, now a unit of Salem Communications, »

“Mismatch”: Six notes

Featured image I want to add six notes to Paul Mirengoff’s posts on Justice Scalia’s reference to the phenomenon of “mismatch” created by “affirmative action” in higher education. Richard Sander and Stuart Taylor, Jr., document the phenomenon in Mismatch: How Affirmative Action Hurts Students It’s Intended to Help, and Why Universities Won’t Admit It. The mainstream media demonstrate studied ignorance of the phenomenon and the book. Paul explains the operative taboo. The »

Coates’s moment

Featured image Ta-Nehesi Coates was awarded the National Book Award (non-fiction) for Between the World and Me on Wednesday night. It is an utterly abominable book. I wrote about it in the City Journal column “An updated racial hustle.” Christopher Caldwell nailed it in the Weekly Standard. Anthony Daniels administered justice to it in the New Criterion. Most recently, Bill Voegeli took a learned whack at it in the Claremont Review of »

CRB: Beyond hope? Beyond change?

Featured image With its Fall 2015 number, the Claremont Review of Books celebrates its fifteenth anniversary. It has rolled out a new site. It has sent its characteristically excellent new issue off to the printer. And it has let me dip in to the issue to select a few pieces to bring to the attention of Power Line readers. (Subscription services are accessible via the CRB home page linked above — a »

City Journal at 25, with Brian Anderson

Featured image The Manhattan Institute’s City Journal is celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary. The table of contents for the twenty-fifth anniversary issue is posted here (subscribe here). To salute the magazine’s milestone, and bring the magazine to the attention of readers who might not be familiar with it, I submitted a set of questions to long-time editor Myron Magnet (now retired) and current editor Brian Anderson. I posted my exchange with Myron Magnet »

O’Reilly Versus Will, and Healey’s First Law of Holes

Featured image Regarding the ongoing feud between George Will and Bill O’Reilly, it is evident that O’Reilly has never heard of Healey’s First Law of Holes (coined by the British politician Denis Healey), which runs: “If you’re in one—stop digging.” O’Reilly lost no time in responding to Will’s latest column dismantling Killing Reagan, released yesterday afternoon. It is interesting that, just as he did with his on-air response to the Washington Post »

George Will on O’Reilly: Fire Two

Featured image George Will is just out this afternoon with a second column about Bill O’Reilly’s travesty of  a novel, Killing Reagan. If anything it is even more savage in dismantling O’Reilly than the first one. I wonder if O’Reilly will have Will on again for a second round on TV? I’m betting not. O’Reilly is a typical playground bully who runs from anyone able to stand up to him. You should »

Kondracke replies to the Times

Featured image Peter Robinson writes: Mort Kondracke and Fred Barnes have just published a marvelous book, Jack Kemp, the Bleeding Heart Conservative Who Changed America. Reviewing the book today, the New York Times slams it. Not only did the Kemp-Roth tax cut legislation of 1981 fail to do any good, Tim Noah, the reviewer, insists, but the legislation — the centerpiece, you will recall, of Reagan’s first-term economic reforms — proved “a »