Books

Gabriel Kolko, RIP

Featured image About 10 days back I flagged for a pick Ron Radosh’s obituary of Martin Sklar, a Marxist-inspired historian whose works on the rise of the regulatory state in the late 19th century were ironically popular with conservatives and libertarians.  Funny thing about some Marxists; they often stumbled across the truth, but, to borrow Churchill’s line about Stanley Baldwin, dusted themselves off and carried on as though nothing had happened.  Actually »

Stephen Hunter: Sniper’s Honor

Featured image We are huge fans of Stephen Hunter. Steve is of course the novelist and Pulitzer Prize-winning former film critic of the Washington Post. Of Steve, Glenn Reynolds concisely holds: “Love him, and his books.” Today is the official publication date of Steve’s incredibly timely Bob Lee Swagger thriller, Sniper’s Honor. Steve has graciously accepted our invitation to bring his new book to the attention of our readers from the perspective »

David Horowitz: Who are our adversaries?

Featured image I’ve known David Horowitz for more than 20 years, from the time he came through town with Peter Collier talking about their invaluable book Destructive Generation: Second Thoughts About the Sixties. As Jay Nordlinger has written, David was a leader of the New Left who became a leader of the fighting Reaganite Right: “He is a thinker and a doer, an intellectual and an activist. His mind ranges widely, and »

A word from Edmund Levin

Featured image Edmund Levin is the author of A Child of Christian Blood: Murder and Conspiracy in Tsarist Russia – The Beilis Blood Libel, just published by Schocken Books. The book is about the 1913 trial in Kiev of the Russian Jewish factory worker Mendel Beilis on a charge of ritually murdering a Christian boy and draining his blood to make Passover matzo. Mr. Levin wrote the book as a labor of »

CRB: Digging up a new past

Featured image The new issue of the Claremont Review of Books that we have been featuring this week includes pieces by Charles Murray, Harvey Mansfield, Walter Russell Mead, John Bolton, Joseph Epstein, Michael Nelson, and many others. The new issue lives up to my billing of the CRB as providing a virtual education in politics with each issue, if a reader thinks through the implications of the arguments made in the issue’s »

CRB: Schoolmaster to the world

Featured image Was our twenty-eighth president nuts? Reviewing A. Scott Berg’s new biography of Woodrow Wilson in the just-released Winter edition of the Claremont Review of Books (subscribe here for $19.95), Weekly Standard senior editor Christopher Caldwell finds little evidence to doubt it. That Wilson’s sanctimonious pabulum (“We are the ones we’ve been waiting for!”— shoot, strike that—”Sometimes people call me an idealist…well, that is the way I know I am an »

CRB: The High-Low Coalition

Featured image I am advised by those who should know that Thomas Sowell has declared the Claremont Review of Books to be the best book review around, by far. That may be proof three thousand and thirty-six that Dr. Sowell is a man of great taste and erudition. Subscribe here for the unreasonably low price of $19.95 and get immediate online access to the magazine thrown in for good measure. In keeping »

Ed Epstein: Was Angleton right?

Featured image Edward Jay Epstein has written two compelling books and several magazine pieces deriving from his relationship with the legendary CIA counterintelligence chief James Jesus Angleton. Ed originally met Angleton while he was conducting the research for his book Legend, on Lee Harvey Oswald’s time in the Soviet Union. Angleton took him on an extraordinary grand tour of his universe of deception, populated with orchids, moles, disinformation, and the key to »

What’s so great about America: Ayers vs. D’Souza

Featured image On Thursday night unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers and Dinesh D’Souza engaged on the subject “what’s so great about America?” at Dartmouth College courtesy of Young America’s Foundation and sponsored by The Dartmouth Review. They met on stage before a large audience at Spaulding Auditorium in the college’s Hopkins Center. Katie Pavlich calls it a “must see debate.” Ann Kane provides an interesting assessment here. The Right Scoop offers this rundown »

Another reason to miss President Bush

Featured image John Rizzo spent 34 years as a lawyer at the Central Intelligence Agency. The memoir of his service between 1976 and 2009 — Company Man — has just been published. It was the subject of a harshly negative review by Fred Kaplan in the New York Times Book Review a few weeks back. By contrast, in a review behind the Wall Street Journal’s loosely guarded paywall (you can dig it »

The Ellison elision

Featured image As a close observer of Minnesota Fifth District Rep. Keith Ellison, I bought and read his new memoir cum manifesto — My Country, ‘Tis of Thee: My Faith, My Family, Our Future — looking for enlightenment on two subjects in particular. First, I hoped Ellison would explain what branch of Islam comports with the platform of the Democratic Party on the social issues including abortion, gay rights and all the »

Robert Gates: Point Counterpoint

Featured image On its official publication date this past Tuesday, Robert Gates’s Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War was the subject of two substantial pieces in the Wall Street Journal. In his weekly column, Bret Stephens rendered the judgment that Gates would better have remained silent than published the book he has written. Stephens’s column ran next to a review by General Jack Keane (ret.) praising the book without qualification. Taken »

Diamonds: Epstein’s short course

Featured image I’ve said here a time or two before that Edward Jay Epstein is incapable of writing a dull book. Ed is the author, for example, of The JFK Assassination Diary: My Search for Answers to the Mystery of the Century, published recently in paperback (available here) and as an ebook (available on Amazon here), drawn from the contemporaneous journals Ed kept as he worked on three books on the Kennedy »

Energy Book of the Year

Featured image I’ve mentioned a lot of good books on energy and energy policy (especially from my energy rabbi Robert Bryce, who has a new book coming out in May), but right now I’m reading one that is absolutely bowling me over: U.S. Energy Policy and the Pursuit of Failure, by Peter Z. Grossman (published by Cambridge University Press).  Grossman is a professor of economics at Butler University, and on this book »

Democrats: A concise history

Featured image Former Democratic Rep. Artur Davis has found a home in the Republican Party and now needs a mission to suit his talents. I hope he’ll find it in 2014. Among other things, Mr. Davis is a serious reader. In the American Spectator’s Christmas books symposium, he recommends The Rise of American Democracy: Jefferson to Lincoln by Sean Wilentz (among other interesting selections). A Bancroft Prize-winning book, The Rise of American »

Get Your Hayek On

Featured image It’s been a while since we checked in on Friedrich Hayek (though I did write about him in connection with Obamacare in one of my first Forbes.com columns), but it is worth drawing your attention to a short series of video lectures about Hayek from Tyler Cowen of George Mason University. In addition to writing an occasional column for the business pages of the New York Times, Cowen and his »

Bill Gates’s Second Career

Featured image Microsoft’s legendary Bill Gates has taken up a second career reading and reviewing books.  He’s not bad at it in some ways, and he’s taken some heterodox positions that depart from his comfortable Seattle liberalism, such as praising just about everything written by Vaclav Smil, author several fine books on energy policy and other subjects. But it’s a good thing Gates made his fortune in computer software already, as I »