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 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 »

A Whittaker Chambers Christmas

Featured image A friend asked me to recommend a book about Whittaker Chambers as a Christmas gift for her smartly conservative daughter. Chambers stands at the center of an incredible drama and four fantastic books that I know of about him. There is still much to be learned from him and his case. It occurred to me that these books might be worth a mention in the spirit of the season. 1. »

A merry Claremont Christmas

Featured image Our friends at the Claremont Institute have enlisted a formidable array of lovers of wisdom to recommend books new and old as gifts to friends and family or to ourselves in the spirit of the season. Leading off the powerhouse lineup is the great Michael Barone. To seize on one example of a book that I had never even heard of before but that sounds like must reading for the »

Christmas Book Recommendations 4 and 5

Featured image This year, as regular readers know, I am recommending a series of books as Christmas presents, the common denominator being that they are all written by people I know. You can see the first installments here, here and here. Recommendation number four is Hugh Hewitt’s The Happiest Life. Hugh, one of the wisest people we know, explains what it takes to be happy. Scott has already plugged Hugh’s book, so »

Christmas Book Recommendation No. 3: The Highway

Featured image As regular readers have noticed, I hope, I am recommending a few books for Christmas, the theme being that they are all by writers whom I know. Book number one was The Christmas Wish, by Lori Evert and Per Breiehagen, which I wrote about here. Book number two was Jon Lauck’s The Lost Region, which I wrote about here. Book number three is C.J. Box’s The Highway. Box–Chuck, to his »

Christmas Book Recommendation No. 2: The Lost Region

Featured image The only Christmas presents I am competent to recommend are books, and this year I decided to recommend only books by authors whom I know. The first in the series was The Christmas Wish, by Lori Evert and Per Breiehagen. Target and Power Line have both plugged The Christmas Wish, and I understand sales have shot up as a result. Selection number two is Jon Lauck’s The Lost Region: Toward »

Christmas Book Recommendation No. 1

Featured image It’s that time of year: what to buy our friends and relatives for Christmas? I personally haven’t started my Christmas shopping yet, but that isn’t unusual. Pretty much the only presents I ever buy are books; my wife takes care of the rest. This year, I decided on a theme for my Power Line book recommendations: I will limit them to books by authors I know. So my first book »

Where they’re coming from

Featured image David Horowitz appeared with Jamie Glazov on this week’s special edition of The Glazov Gang for two video segments to discuss David’s new book, The Black Book of the American Left. If you’ve enjoyed the excerpts of the book that we posted here a few weeks ago, you’ll enjoy this video. Even if you didn’t make it through the excerpts, I think you’ll find Part 1 (below) of interest. I »

Happiness according to Hugh

Featured image Our friend Hugh Hewitt has a new book coming out next month, The Happiest Life: Seven Gifts, Seven Givers, & the Secret to Genuine Success. The book is now available for inspection and preorder at Amazon. Hugh sent me a copy of the book in PDF so that I could write a blurb for his publisher. I look forward to rereading the book in hardcover. Like Leo Thorsness’s Surviving Hell: »

Fifty Years On

Featured image Today marks the 50th anniversary of the death of an important person whose reach and legacy has only grown larger with time: C.S. Lewis.  (You thought I was going to say some other name perhaps?) Lots to say about this great man, of course.  I’m teaching his short book The Abolition of Man in one of my courses this semester.  It is perhaps the single best and most artful short »