Books

The lesson for today

Featured image The Medal of Honor Society convened its annual meeting in Gettysburg earlier this month. Nearly half of the 79 living Medal of Honor recipients attended this year’s meeting. Several of them stopped off for an appearance at the Gettysburg Middle School to share their thoughts. Among them was my friend Leo Thorsness, author of the incredibly powerful memoir Surviving Hell: A POW’s Journey. Stars and Stripes leads off its report »

How not to save the world

Featured image Nina Munk is the author of The Idealist: Jeffrey Sachs and the Quest To End Poverty, her new book on Columbia Professor Jeffrey Sachs. Sachs is the renowned author of The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities For Our Time (foreword by Bono). Sachs is the man with a plan to end poverty and it has made him a celebrity. He starred in the MTV movie The Diary of Angelina Jolie »

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.) The book is good, not great, but it touches on profound themes in a thought-provoking way: life and death, »

200 years of pop culture in the White House

Featured image Tevi Troy — public intellectual, former White House aide, and (full disclosure) friend of Power Line — is the author of the just published What Jefferson Read, Eisenhower Watched, and Obama Tweeted– 200 years of popular culture in the White House. The book is, among other things, an exploration of the intersection of culture and politics at the highest level. We have added Tevi’s book to the Power Line bookshelf. »

CRB: Arab winter

Featured image “When we heard Mohammed Morsi chanting ‘The sharia, then the sharia, and finally, the sharia,’ we should have been worried.” Hope springs eternal, but anyone familiar with the work of a couple of Andrews — C. McCarthy and G. Bostom — would surely know enough to temper youthful exuberance with some old-fashioned prudence when it came to the much ballyhooed Arab Spring. Or one could simply listen to the words »

CRB: The Great Emancipation

Featured image The new (Summer) issue of the Claremont Review of Books is hot off the press. The CRB is the flagship publication of the Claremont Institute and my favorite magazine. I want to persuade you to subscribe to it, which you can do here for the ridiculously low, heavily subsidized price of $19.95 a year and get immediate online access thrown in to boot. Our friends at the CRB have let »

Pauline Maier, RIP

Featured image I tended to enjoy Pauline Maier’s impressive historical scholarship, even though much of the time I thought she reached the wrong conclusions about the meaning of the ideas and events she wrote about, especially the Declaration of Independence.  She seemed to embody a trait found often among historians, of mastering and uncovering important facts, but having no systematic grasp of the wider theoretical implications of the subject matter.  She often »

The Blog as Modern Pamphlet

Featured image I’m re-reading for the first time in many years Bernard Bailyn’s classic Ideological Origins of the American Revolution, which deservedly won both the Bancroft and Pulitzer prizes.  An early footnote (yes, I always take in the footnotes) quotes George Orwell from 1948: “At any given moment there is a sort of all-prevailing orthodoxy, a general tacit agreement not to discuss some large and uncomfortable fact.”  Orwell thought the remedy to »

A few NR cruise notes

Featured image We returned from our National Review cruise of the Norwegian fjords yesterday afternoon. I want to offer a few notes for interested readers. We loved the cruise for all the obvious reasons. The programming was great and our fellow NR cruisers were outstanding. We met people we liked every day. The cruise is expensive and many of the cruisers are retired or of retirement age, but its therapeutic value all »

Time to Tighten the Beltway?

Featured image Legend has it that someone (William F. Buckley Jr. is suggested) included an index entry in a book that read: “Mailer, Norman—Hi Norman!”  That tale comes to mind in connection with the hubbub about the new Mark Leibovich book, This Town, which offers syrupy dish on the insider mentality of Washington DC.  The book has no index, so that all the marks in it will have to read through it »

The Beholden State and Its Potemkin Economic Recovery

Featured image So where am I today?  Some mornings it takes me moment to recall, although I’m tempted to blame the second Talisker at the bar at closing last night for this morning’s fog.  Oh, wait—that’s real fog out the window: I’m in San Francisco.  Today is the northern California launch for the Manhattan Institute’s new collection of City Journal California articles entitled The Beholden State: California’s Lost Promise and How to »

Books that changed my mind

Featured image I’ve always been a reader interested in politics and history. Our political views so inform our conception of ourselves, it is hard to change our minds about the way we view the world. I changed my mind about liberalism and conservatism while I was a college student. I’ve continued to study and try to deepen my understanding, but these books set me on a path that made me change my »

Kenneth Minogue, RIP

Featured image Yesterday brought the sad news of the passing of Kenneth Minogue, long time professor of politics at the London School of Economics and one of the giants of modern conservative intellectual life.  At an early point I contemplated attending the LSE for graduate school to study with Minogue (and Oakeshott); fortunately I was lucky enough to meet and converse with him on two memorable occasions, once in my early 20s, »

Vince Flynn, RIP

Featured image Vince Flynn was the incredibly successful author of thrillers featuring the “indomitable Mitch Rapp, a CIA assassin with the talents to save the free world, and the skills to disappear into the crowd,” as Claudia Rosett puts it in her tribute to Flynn. He died early yesterday of prostate cancer at the age of 47, way too young. Flynn was also something of a hometown hero to us. He was »

Feminist-Fatale

Featured image Light bulb jokes seem to have fallen out of fashion because, well, I’m tempted to say it’s because light bulbs—at least light bulbs that work—have fallen out of fashion.  But that’s a post for a Green Weenie Award, and this is a post about feminism, though I have to admit, the prospects of annoying environmentalists and feminists with one joke is an irresistible temptation. Few jokes are more politically incorrect »

American Betrayal

Featured image Diana West’s American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation’s Character has just been published. I have only started the book and am unable to evaluate it, but I can say I hope it gets a hearing. Diana writes of the six-and-a-half minute video below: “Went on with the delightful Michael Coren on Sun TV in Canada last night to make my first attempt at sound-byting the 401 pages and »

CRB: Aristocracy in America

Featured image This morning we conclude our preview of the Spring issue of the Claremont Review of Books (subscribe here) with an essay on that most American of American novels, Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. The essay is by Power Line 100 member Paul A. Cantor, the Clifton Waller Barrett Professor of English at the University of Virginia. Professor Cantor begins by noting the distance between the popular perception of Huck »