Books

Did O’Reilly “slander” Reagan?

Featured image The law of defamation protects the profound interest each of us has in our reputation. It has long roots in the common law of England. The English attitude to reputation can be seen in Cassio’s lament to Iago in Othello: “Reputation, reputation, reputation! O, I have lost my reputation! I have lost the immortal part of myself, and what remains is bestial.” The foul Iago seeks to persuade Cassio that »

Unmaking at 50

Featured image Even as a mindless teen-age liberal I read Bill Buckley’s syndicated column in the St. Paul Pioneer Press. I even learned something from it. I looked up the words I didn’t understand in the dictionary. Reading Buckley was my preparation for the Verbal portion of the SAT exam. Reading Buckley and looking up the exotic vocabulary he employed might have constituted overpreparation, even back in those somewhat more rigorous days. »

Road Notes

Featured image Long road trip this week, which is why my dispatches have been light. But much to recount. Perhaps a few of you have tuned in to the some of the installments of CNN’s documentary series on The Sixties or The Seventies. They employ a unique style: rather than have an omniscient Ken Burns-style narrator, they let interview subjects tell the story and stitch it together over video footage and images. »

American Sniper on trial: The appeal

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

Killing O’Reilly’s Reagan

Featured image A lot of people have been asking me for my opinion about Bill O’Reilly’s latest co-authored potboiler, Killing Reagan. To call it bovine excrement would be an insult to hoofed animals of all species. Today in the Washington Post, Craig Shirley, Kiron Skinner, Paul Kengor, and yours truly have written an article that details some of the massive defects with O’Reilly’s parallel universe. (The four of us have published a »

A word from Stephen Knott

Featured image Stephen Knott is professor of national security affairs at the Naval War College and the coauthor of a new book on the relationship between George Washington, the indispensable man, and Alexander Hamilton, an indomitable genius among the founders. We invited Professor Knott to write something that would allow us to bring the book to the attention of Power Line readers. Professor Knott has graciously responded with this message: Washington and »

We Get Results (with Comment from Steve)

Featured image We have noted over the years that when we plug books, it seems to drive sales. When I praised John Williams’ Stoner and Butcher’s Crossing in this post, Stoner was for a time adjacent to Lolita in Amazon’s best-selling books. So when I wrote about Red Sparrow, a spy novel that I absolutely loved, I decided to keep track. I checked the Amazon statistics right after doing the post. Red »

Five Came Back to TCM

Featured image Five of America’s most prominent Hollywood directors volunteered to put their art to use producing documentary, training, and propaganda films in the Army and Navy during World War II. Feeling certain that war was coming to the United States, and wanting to do something about it, John Ford went first, joining the Navy in September 1941. After Pearl Harbor, Ford was followed by Frank Capra, John Huston, William Wyler, and »

Red Sparrow

Featured image My wife and I went to a Minnesota Twins game with Clark Griffith and his wife a few weeks ago. Clark is a fun guy to watch a baseball game with; his family owned the Washington Senators and the Twins for a long time and he is an expert observer, albeit awfully objective for a home-town fan like me. Anyway, Clark and I were chatting during the game, and Clark »

A day to be proud…

Featured image I first wrote about Rick Rescorla in 2003 after finishing James Stewart’s Heart of a Soldier, the book based on Stewart’s New Yorker article “The real heroes are dead.” (“The real heroes are dead” is what Rescorla would say in response to recognition of his heroism on the battlefield in Vietnam.) It’s a good book that touches on profound themes in a thought-provoking way: life and death, love and friendship, »

CRB: Two cheers for originalism

Featured image Today we conclude our preview of the new (Summer) issue of the Claremont Review of Books with a bonus edition featuring a book by a friend. Subscribe to the CRB here for the heavily subsidized price of $19.95 and get online access thrown in for free. Michael Stokes Paulsen is the University Chair & Professor of Law at the University of St. Thomas in the Twin Cities. Through his contributions »

CRB: Our false messiah

Featured image Today we continue our preview of the new (Summer) issue of the Claremont Review of Books. Subscribe here for the heavily subsidized price of $19.95 and get online access thrown in for free. Yesterday we featured CRB editor Charles Kesler’s meditation on “The Obama transformation versus the Reagan revolution.” University of Virginia Professor James Ceaser deepens our consideration of the Obama phenomenon in his review “The one.” The review is »

“Pigs in a blanket”

Featured image The Black Lives Matter protest at the Minnesota State Fair included a frank expression of hatred of the police in the sickening chant “Pigs in a blanket, fry ’em like bacon” (video below). The Star Tribune somehow missed this episode in its coverage of Saturday’s protest on Saturday, hours after the murder of Deputy Sheriff Goforth in Houston. Protest organizer Rashad Turner helpfully explained that the chant is nonviolent; those »

Walters & Murray: The New Jim Crow revisited

Featured image After John Walters wrote a Weekly Standard article on President Obama’s commutations of incarcerated drug offenders, I asked him to take a look at Michelle Alexander’s dreadful but influential book The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. I noted the Walters article and discussed Alexander’s book in the post “Meet the new Jim Crow, same as the old BS.” Now Mr. Walters has turned his attention »

The Times at work [with a note by Paul]

Featured image When I wrote about Ta-Nehisi Coates’s new book Between the World and Me, I noted that Coates was this year’s officially certified angry black. He is officially certified by the New York Times through Jennifer Schuessler, the Times culture reporter and gatekeeper. Schuessler’s July 17 profile of Coates attests that Coates’s book “has had an almost frictionless glide straight to the heart of the national conversation.” (The official publication date »

Sunday morning coming down

Featured image The End of the Tour is a film that depicts the late writer David Foster Wallace making his way to the Twin Cities for a reading from his novel Infinite Jest at the Hungry Mind Bookstore (also deceased) in St. Paul. The movie is based on David Lipsky’s book Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip With David Foster Wallace. I went to see the movie »

Alan Carlin’s “Environmentalism Gone Mad”

Featured image Four years ago I reported here on the case of Alan Carlin, the 38-year career employee of the EPA who was being silenced because of his dissenting views on climate change. The EPA suppressed Carlin’s research into the weaknesses of the EPA’s “findings” on climate change science, and ordered Carlin to cease any further work on the subject. For a long time I have pondered the idea of trying to »