David McCullough recommends

Featured image I read A Stillness at Appomattox when I heard David McCullough describe its impact on him. McCullough had majored in English at Yale and received the book as a graduation present in 1955. Reading this one of Bruce Catton’s several magnificent books made McCullough want to write history. I thought, correctly, that must be some book. Daily Beast editor John Avlon asked McCullough about his favorite books and authors recently »

Clinton Cash with Lou Dobbs

Featured image Peter Schweizer appeared on Lou Dobbs’s excellent Fox Business Channel show this past Wednesday night for two short segments on his forthcoming book, Clinton Cash. Video of the first of the two segments is below. Dobbs sets up the segment with a brief excerpt of Madam Hillary’s speech at Columbia University this week. At Columbia Ma’am Hillary read awkwardly from the Telepromter — awkwardly but very, very slowly, for the »

The passion of “Tess”

Featured image We’re finishing the Victorian novel class I have been taking at a college in St. Paul with Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the d’Urbervilles. I want to offer a few notes on the novel in the hope that some readers may share their thoughts and others may take up the novel if they haven’t read it before. It is an essential novel. Our great young teacher has structured the course with »

Justice Alito on “The Constitution: An Introduction”

Featured image Michael Stokes Paulsen is the University Chair & Professor of Law at the University of St. Thomas in the Twin Cities. Through his contributions to professional publications, he has emerged as one our foremost scholars of American constitutional law. As of May 5, Professor Paulsen is also the co-author, with his son, Luke Paulsen, of The Constitution: An Introduction. The book’s Web site is online here. United States Supreme Court »

Charles K. With Charles K.

Featured image The latest installment of the Claremont Institute’s “American Mind” video series features Claremont Review editor Charles Kesler in conversation with the other great Charles K—Charles Krauthammer.  I have been encouraging Krauthammer to write an intellectual autobiography, and in this episode reviews the development of his thought, with the mild surprise of the importance of John Stuart Mill in Krauthammer’s thinking. About 15 minutes long: »

Fred Siegel Explains It All, Part 5

Featured image Today voters in Chicago are at the polls voting in the mayoral runoff between “Rahmbo” Emanuel and a candidate much further to his left, Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, in what has been a surprisingly tight race.  Emanuel may very well lose, to someone who might make de Blasio look moderate by comparison.  One thing is certain: turnout will be very very low.  This is increasingly typical of urban politics today, and Fred »

Fred Siegel Explains It All, Part 4

Featured image In his latest book Revolt Against the Masses, Fred Siegel offers a novel explanation for the roots and character of modern liberalism—one that differs substantially from my own in many ways.  On page 28 of the book he says, “Modern liberalism was born of a discontinuity, a rejection of Progressivism.”  In this installment of our conversation, Fred explains some key parts of his argument here, and he makes a good »

Fred Siegel Explains It All, Part 2

Featured image In this second installment of our conversation with Fred Siegel, we explore Fred’s roots as a “social democrat” as it was meant in the postwar era (or until, as Fred explains, the New Left destroyed it in the 1960s), and the evolution of his views because of the Vietnam War, his tutelage under Irving Howe at Dissent magazine, and his thoughts about the “Frankfurt School”—a leftist sect of the early »

Fred Siegel Explains It All, Part 1

Featured image We recently spent two hours conversing with the great historian Fred Siegel, author of several fine books, including most recently The Revolt Against the Masses: How Liberalism Has Undermined the Middle Class (coming out soon in paperback with additional material).  We range widely, Brian Lamb-style, over the whole of his life and career, and we’ll be rolling out highlights in short installments over the next few weeks.  I had some »

The Latest in Alt-Media: Fukuyama and Stephens

Featured image Our friends at the Claremont Institute’s “American Mind” interview series have a new package rolling out right now with Francis Fukuyama, most famous of course for The End of History and the Last Man, but in this case discussing his latest book Political Order and Political Decay.  This first installment is 18 minutes long: And over at the Liberty Fund’s LibertyLawTalk series, Richard Reinsch converses with the Wall Street Journal‘s »

CRB: What becomes a liar most?

Featured image We conclude our preview of the new (Winter) issue of the Claremont Review of Books this morning. Subscribe here for $19.95 and get immediate online access. It is an invaluable magazine. Better yet, support the Claremont Institute and its mission with a tax-deductible contribution here that, among other things, will help defray the cost of publishing the magazine. I have a morbid fascination with the life and lies of Lillian »

CRB: The browning of America

Featured image We continue with our preview of the new (Winter) issue of the Claremont Review of Books. It should arrive in the mail just in time for Spring. You can subscribe here for $19.95 and have immediate online access thrown in for free. In Reflections on the Revolution in Europe: Immigration, Islam and the West, Weekly Standard senior editor Christopher Caldwell looked into Europe’s dire future. It is an eloquent and »

CRB: The achievement of Martin Gilbert

Featured image Our friends at the Claremont Review of Books have just published their Winter number and, as usual, let me pick three reviews to preview for our readers. You can subscribe here for $19.95 and have immediate online access thrown in for free. Tributes to Harry V. Jaffa lead off the new issue. Jaffa was the guiding spirit of the CRB; the CRB calls on a handful of his former students »

Notes on “Middlemarch” (3)

Featured image This is the finale (to borrow the term Eliot applies to her conclusion) of my notes on Middlemarch. Previous installments are here (part 1) and here (part 2). Middlemarch begins and ends with Dorothea Brooke. The novel opens with a Prelude and closes with a Finale that frame Dorothea’s story with that of Saint Theresa (as the novel spells her name). The novel’s first paragraph reads: Who that cares much »

Notes on “Middlemarch” (2)

Featured image Though Middlemarch has a large cast of characters involved in intricately related plots, Dorothea Brooke stands out as the book’s heroine. The narrative begins and ends with her. Book I of the novel’s eight Books is “Miss Brooke.” She is a young woman of simple beauty and surpassing decency. She yearns idealistically to benefit humanity, or subordinate herself as the helpmate of a great man like John Milton in his »

Notes on “Middlemarch”

Featured image On Monday I finished reading George Eliot’s great Victorian novel Middlemarch for the first time. I have tried and failed to finish it several times; it’s not easy reading. At a few points it is, briefly, a slog. Although the ending of the novel remains a subject of debate, I believe it is not happy. Nevertheless, for me the novel had a happy ending. I finished the book. What did »

Victory Over Communism

Featured image As Paul reported here a couple days ago, Barron’s textbook publishing division produced a monstrous book equating Justice Clarence Thomas with fascists and the KKK.  I too was stunned to see this from the Barron’s stable, as Barron’s weekly is my favorite financial publication, and it employs many ideologically sound writers (Tom Donlan, Gene Epstein, etc), which suggests their management has their head on straight. Yesterday Barron’s announced it will withdraw »