History

Trump not the first to mock “a thousand points of light”

Featured image The mainstream media and other anti-Trumpers are pretending to be offended by the ridicule President Trump heaped on former president George H.W. Bush’s pet saying/project “a thousand points of light.” At a rally in Montana, Trump riffed: A thousand points of light, what the hell was that? What did that mean? Does anyone know? Has anyone ever figured that one out? And it was put out by a Republican! I »

The eternal meaning of Independence Day (2)

Featured image President Calvin Coolidge celebrated the 150th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1926, with a speech providing a magisterial review of the history and thought underlying the Declaration. His speech on the occasion deserves to be read and studied in its entirety. The following paragraph, however, is particularly relevant to the challenge that confronts us in the variants of the progressive dogma that pass themselves off today »

The eternal meaning of Independence Day

Featured image On July 9, 1858, Illinois Senator Stephen Douglas gave a campaign speech to a raucous throng from the balcony of the Tremont Hotel in Chicago. Abraham Lincoln was in the audience as Douglas prepared to speak. Douglas graciously invited Lincoln to join him on the balcony to listen to the speech. In his speech Douglas sounded the themes of the momentous campaign that Lincoln and Douglas waged that summer and »

Five Ways to Look at the IG Report

Featured image Concerning the Inspector General’s report about the FBI’s conduct of the Hillary email investigation, let’s take a step back from the details and offer a few observations on the wider scene. 1. We may have abolished monarchy in America way back in 1776, but it seems we haven’t quite rid ourselves of royal prerogative. Then-FBI director James Comey took it upon himself to decide not to apply consistent procedure in conducting »

Class Struggle at Harvard

Featured image It was 40 years ago today when Alexander Solzhenitsyn delivered his famous commencement address at Harvard. Solzhenitsyn’s speech mourned, or denounced, the decline of civilization in the West. You can read the speech here. Its themes are a big topic for another day. In the meantime, on a lighter note, a friend who was present on that notable occasion, graduating from Harvard Business School, sends along this reminiscence which highlights »

The ordeal of Omaha Beach

Featured image Reader Patti Kruse wrote us a few years ago to persist in our annual remembrance of the D-Day landings on the Normandy beaches. “My dad landed on Omaha Beach on D-Day,” she told us. “He was one of the fortunate ones, as he was never physically injured and managed to survive from D-Day all the way through the Battle of the Bulge and V-E Day. He rarely spoke about his »

Bobby, Fifty Years On

Featured image Today marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy in Los Angeles following his narrow win over Gene McCarthy in the California primary. Coming just weeks after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., it is one of the indelible stamps of the year that often gets labeled as the worst year in American history since 1861. (Though I’m sure future liberal historians will mark November 8, »

America’s honor

Featured image In observance of Memorial Day 2007 the Wall Street Journal published a brilliant column by Peter Collier to mark the occasion. The column remains timely and is accessible online here. I don’t think we’ll read or hear anything more thoughtful or appropriate to the occasion today. With the kind permission of Peter himself, here it is: Once we knew who and what to honor on Memorial Day: those who had »

Charles Kesler speaks

Featured image Last week we celebrated the week of Charles — Charles Kesler, Dengler-Dykema Distinguished Professor of Government at Clarmeont McKenna College, editor of the Claremont Review of Books, long-time friend and tutor — for his receipt of one of this year’s Bradley Prize awards along with Allen Guelzo and Jason Riley. I have posted the video of the event below (it is posted here on Vimeo). Charles is a gentleman, scholar, »

Chaos and Demagoguery in the Oval Office?

Featured image The constant refrain of Trump’s critics on the left and right is that he is a demagogue, and that he is shredding important democratic “norms.” Also, that his White House is a scene of complete and utter chaos. As it happens, I have come into possession of a forthcoming memoir, heretofore unseen by the public, by a close insider to Trump who has left the inner circle. It is sure »

The Watergate comparison now looks apt [UPDATED]

Featured image Why was the Watergate break-in more than just the “second rate” burglary Richard Nixon tried to pass it off as? Because it was directed by the president’s team at the Democratic National Committee. Thus, it was an offense against our two party system and our democracy. One political party is not supposed to steal information from the other party, and certainly not in the midst of a presidential campaign. It »

CRB: Rehabilitating Grant

Featured image Today we conclude our celebration of the week of Charles — Charles Kesler, editor of the Claremont Review of Books and recipient of one of this year’s Bradley Prizes on Tuesday evening in Washington, DC — with our fourth preview from the new (Spring) issue of the magazine. Buy an annual subscription including immediate online access here for the modest price of $19.95. Forgive me for repeating myself: it is »

Richard Pipes, RIP

Featured image Sad news today of the passing of Richard Pipes, the great scholar of Soviet affairs and many other subjects. He was the author of many fine books, including especially his large book The Russian Revolution, which is one of the very best accounts of that crucial event. I only met the great professor once or twice very casually, in a large group at some Washington or New York dinner that »

CRB: Missing the point

Featured image We round the corner on our celebration of the week of Charles — Charles Kesler, editor of the Claremont Review of Books and recipient of one of this year’s Bradley Prizes on Tuesday evening in Washington, DC — with our third preview from the new (Spring) issue of the magazine that is hot off the press. Buy an annual subscription including immediate online access here for the modest price of »

CRB: The Vietnam War revisited

Featured image We continue our observance of the week of Charles — Charles Kesler, editor of the Claremont Review of Books and recipient of one of this year’s Bradley Prizes last night in Washington, DC — with the second preview from the new (Spring) issue of the magazine that is hot off the press. Buy an annual subscription including immediate online access here for the modest price of $19.95. It is an »

CRB: Thinking about Trump

Featured image Charles Kesler is the editor of the Claremont Review of Books and Dengler-Dykema Distinguished Professor of Government at Claremont-McKenna College. Charles is also one of three recipients of the 2018 Bradley Prizes for individuals who work to “restore, strengthen, and protect the principles and institutions of American exceptionalism.” Tonight the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation will bestow the award on Charles — along with Jason Riley and Allen Guelzo — »

Waiting for a miracle

Featured image Nadezhda Mandelstam was the widow of the Russian poet Osip Mandelstam and author of the astounding memoir Hope Against Hope, originally published in 1970. It is still in print after all these years and well summarized here. Osip was first arrested and taken into custody in 1934 for having written an unpublished poem critical of Stalin. Later deposited in the Stalinist “sewage disposal system” (as Solzhenitsyn called it), Osip died »