Books

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 »

Who Reads Power Line?

Featured image John Tamny, that’s who.  (See the 15-second video below.)  John is a fellow at the Cato Institute, the editor of RealClearMarkets, frequently contributor to Fox Business, and a columnist for Forbes.  He’s also the author of a book coming out next month, Popular Economics: What the Rolling Stones, Downton Abbey, and LeBron James Can Teach You About Economics.  I’m enjoying the galleys right now, and although it doesn’t come out »

Another Shot of Oakeshott

Featured image Following up on my first installment a few days ago from Michael Oakeshott’s classic essay “On Being Conservative,” herewith my second-favorite passage from the essay, which I find can be effective in getting students to understand why Aristotle (among others) thinks the young are unsuited to the study—let alone practice—of politics: Everybody’s young days are a dream, a delightful insanity, a sweet solipsism. Nothing in them has a fixed shape, »

Classics Revisited: A Shot of Oakeshott

Featured image I think it was nearly three years ago that I wrote a series that ought to have been called “Hayek Tuesday” (because I wrote most of these entries on Tuesday mornings following a Monday night class at the Ashbrook Center that semester based mostly on Hayek’s Constitution of Liberty), with excerpts and observations drawn from that great political thinker and Nobel Prize winner. Subsequently there have been brief serials here »

Voegeli On Liberal B—S—

Featured image In the latest installment of Bill Voegeli’s series the Claremont Institute’s “American Mind” series, Bill discusses his chapter of The Pity Party entitled “Liberal Bullshit.”  It’s worth viewing if for no other reason than to enjoy how fully Charles Kesler channels William F. Buckley’s old mannerisms from “Firing Line.” »

Sir Martin Gilbert, RIP

Featured image Sad news from London this morning of the passing of Sir Martin Gilbert, the official biographer of Winston Churchill, and the author of something like 40 other books—many of them big, big books, some of them about Jewish history and the Holocaust. He began his career as a research assistant to Randolph Churchill, and after Randolph died succeeded him as the official biographer, going on to write six of the »

Picking on Piketty, Part 5

Featured image We’ve noted the weaknesses of Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Century before (here, here, here, and here), but what the heck, with France ruining Piketty’s and Krugman’s Monday by cutting its high income surtax, we might as well note the latest torpedo aimed at Piketty. It comes from the website Capx (“for popular capitalism”), in a post entitled “Ten Truths About Income Inequality.” All ten are worth taking in, »

A Pity to Have a Party without The Pity Party

Featured image We featured Bill Voegeli, author of The Pity Party: A Mean-Spirited Diatribe Against Liberal Compassion, on our second Power Line podcast a few weeks ago, but Charles Kesler and The American Mind have posted an interview with Bill that is worth taking in, right here (this segment about 12 minutes long): »

There’s something about Louie: Billy Graham and after

Featured image Gary Schneeberger of Grace Hill Media (a marketing firm established to reach “religious America”) has sent us the message and accompanying video below. Although it is a form message, it follows up where I left off in “There’s something about Louie.” Here is the message: By now you may have heard that UNBROKEN, the inspirational true-life story of war hero Louis Zamperini, blew away all industry estimates at the box »

There’s something about Louie

Featured image We went to see the film Unbroken on Christmas day at a suburban St. Paul multiplex. We arrived punctually for the first afternoon showing only to find that it had long since sold out, as had each subsequent showing until 10:30 p.m. They had a few tickets left for that one, but we bought two tickets for a mid-afternoon showing yesterday. It also sold out. Indeed, although we arrived 40 »