History

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 »

A sidebar on Barbara Bush

Featured image The death of Barbara Bush at the age of 92 gives us the occasion to look back on a meaningful life well lived. She died in Houston yesterday surrounded by her family. The wife of the 41st president, the mother of the 43rd, she was a great and gallant lady in her own right. She was widely admired and respected. The full Houston Chronicle obituary is posted here. I want »

Is It History, Or Is It Propaganda?

Featured image Fox News reports on an AP American History textbook that tells our kids what happened in the 2016 presidential election. From Hillary Clinton’s point of view, of course: Tarra Snyder, a student at Rosemount High School in Minnesota, who saw a copy of the book sent to her school, told Fox News she was “appalled” after seeing how “blatantly biased” the newest edition of “By the People: A History of »

Millenials Haven’t Heard of the Holocaust: True Or False?

Featured image Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day, and The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany commissioned a polling firm to conduct a “comprehensive national study of Holocaust knowledge and awareness in the United States.” The results are getting quite a bit of media attention. The survey finds a relatively widespread lack of knowledge about the Holocaust, especially among young people. 22% of millennials say they have never heard of the Holocaust, »

King, 50 Years Later

Featured image The milestones of 1968 are being recalled day-by-day, reminding us of what a roller coaster year it was. The decision of LBJ not to run for re-election (cheered lustily by the left) was followed just five days later by the assassination in Memphis of Martin Luther King, on April 4—fifty years ago today. It is hard to believe that at the beginning of 1968, things looked decent for Johnson. So »

Reminder: The Left Hates Our Civilization

Featured image I know I’ve made the point before, but there is fresh evidence in recent weeks of how much the left today hates western civilization and human excellence in general. Once again the left is determined to flunk what I’ve long called “the Churchill test.” Once upon a time leading liberals loved Churchill. Think of Isaiah Berlin’s great 1949 Atlantic Monthly essay, “Churchill in 1940,” or how much Arthur Schlesinger loved »

The Vietnam War revisited

Featured image On March 18 C-SPAN 3 revisited the Vietnam War with a focus on 1968 in a discussion with Washington Post editor David Maraniss and man of many parts Jim Webb moderated by Steve Scully. It is the first part of the nine-part C-SPAN series 1968: America in Turmoil. C-SPAN has posted the video here along with the usual accessories. I have embedded it below. The contrast of Maraniss with Webb »

The unfunniest comedy

Featured image The Death of Stalin is probably playing at a theater somewhere near you. I can’t remember a more widely praised comedy/satire (trailer below). Everyone loves it, including John Podhoretz, my favorite movie critic. Unlike most of the critics, however, John writes with a reservation: “I can’t praise The Death of Stalin highly enough . . . except that it gets really boring after a while.” I found that to be perfectly accurate. »

The More Things Change . . .

Featured image . . . The more they stay the same. At least when it comes to leftists. Lately I’ve been reading some old essays from the late John P. Roche (d. 1994), a distinguished political scientist for many years at Brandeis University, and a liberal Democrat who worked as an aide to President Lyndon Johnson. Roche was the old-fashioned kind of no-nonsense anti-Communist liberal, and in fact by the 1980s he »

My favorite Democrat, RIP

Featured image I want to note the death yesterday of former Georgia Governor and United States Senator Zell Miller. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution looks back on his life in “Zell Miller dies at 86.” I didn’t know much about Miller before his appointment as Senator in 2000 following the untimely death of Paul Coverdell that year, but I came to admire him greatly. Initially attracted by the authentic wit and literacy I found »