History

CRB: The High-Low Coalition

Featured image I am advised by those who should know that Thomas Sowell has declared the Claremont Review of Books to be the best book review around, by far. That may be proof three thousand and thirty-six that Dr. Sowell is a man of great taste and erudition. Subscribe here for the unreasonably low price of $19.95 and get immediate online access to the magazine thrown in for good measure. In keeping »

Remembering the indispensable man

Featured image Today is the anniversary of the birth of George Washington. Of all the great men of the revolutionary era to whom we owe our freedom, Washington’s greatness was the rarest and the most needed. At this remove in time, it is also the hardest to comprehend. Take, for example, Washington’s contribution to the Constitutional Convention of 1787. Washington’s mere presence lent the undertaking and its handiwork the legitimacy that resulted »

George Washington resigns

Featured image I believe in celebrating our greatest presidents on the anniversaries of their birth, not some Monday in the vicinity. I therefore celebrated Abraham Lincoln last week and look forward to celebrating George Washington this coming Saturday. Because John has suggested I might have something today, however, let’s kick off the Washington celebration. If only I had the knowledge necessary to do so, I would keep at it all week. We »

Was Ellsberg justified?

Featured image I wrote about the interesting Intelligence Squared debate on Edward Snowden in “Was Snowden justified?” Video of the debate is posted at the link. A transcript of the debate is posted here. I thought the debate was interesting in part because it revealed the weakness of the arguments in favor of Snowden by Ben Wizner, a legal adviser to Snowden and an authoritative source on his case, such as it »

Remembering Mr. Lincoln

Featured image Today is of course the anniversary of the birth of America’s greatest president, Abraham Lincoln. As a politician and as president, Lincoln was a profound student of the Constitution and constitutional history. Perhaps most important, Lincoln was America’s indispensable teacher of the moral ground of political freedom at the exact moment when the country was on the threshold of abandoning what he called its “ancient faith” that all men are »

Contain this

Featured image Writing as “Mr. X,” George Kennan promulgated the doctrine of containment of the Soviet Union in his famous 1947 Foreign Affairs article “The sources of Soviet conduct.” Kennan’s conclusion was that “the main element of any United States policy toward the Soviet Union must be that of a long-term patient but firm and vigilant containment of Russian expansive tendencies.” The State Department Office of the Historian explains: “Containment provided a »

The Not-So-Great Society: Back to the Future?

Featured image Nothing so surely signals that liberalism has lost its mind than the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Great Society under way this week.  Has there been a greater self-evident social policy failure in American history?  More importantly, are today’s young liberal journalists completely ignorant of the fact that even liberals despaired of the Great Society by the end of the 1960s—that it completely shattered liberal optimism?  (Don’t bother »

The year in reading

Featured image Scott has done a great job handling the year-end list department. But I thought I would add Tevi Troy’s discussion of his year of reading. Tevi offers praise for two books about the 2012 presidential race — Mark Halperin’s Double Down and Dan Balz’s Collision 2012. As much as I respect Tevi, I’m going to pass on these two works The 2012 campaign was too painful, and I could never »

On the Moon Landing, Nixon Was Prepared For A Worst-Case Scenario

Featured image From the Daily Mail, a fascinating historical document that I had never seen before: in July 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon for the first time. In those days, America’s space program took real risks–remember Apollo 13–and it was by no means certain that Armstrong and Aldrin, having landed on the moon, would be able to return. So William Safire, one of Richard Nixon’s speechwriters, prepared »

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 »

From the Hanoi Hilton

Featured image In today’s New York Times Richard Goldstein recalls: As Christmas 1970 approached, 43 American prisoners of war in a large holding cell at the North Vietnamese camp known as the Hanoi Hilton sought to hold a brief church service. Their guards stopped them, and so the seeds of rebellion were planted. A few days later, Lt. Cmdr. Edwin A. Shuman III, a downed Navy pilot, orchestrated the resistance, knowing he »

A Christmas Eve message to the troops, 1943

Featured image My friend Ray Hartwell describes his father’s experiences fighting the Germans in Italy as part of Company H of the 143rd Infantry Regiment, 36th Infantry Division during the latter part of 1943. Casualties were extremely high, especially during the battle for San Pietro in December, where the 143rd lost 80 percent of its strength according to Rick Atkinson’s book The Day of Battle. On Christmas Eve of 1943, 70 years »

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. »

Whatever happened to Vladimir Pozner?

Featured image Readers with a long memory may recall Vladimir Pozner, the native English speaker who served in the United States as a spokesman for the Soviet Union during the 1980′s. With the Reagan administration undertaking the policies that ultimately brought us victory in the Cold War, Pozner was an incredibly popular voice of opposition here. In Useful Idiots: How Liberals Got It Wrong in the Cold War and Still Blame America »

This Is Indeed Out of Proportion

Featured image From Phil Terzian at the Weekly Standard: Number of US presidents attending funeral of Nelson Mandela: 4 Number of US presidents attended funeral of Winston Churchill: 0 (Actually, Phil adds, Eisenhower did attend–as a private citizen–but LBJ did not, and didn’t send VP Humphrey either.  The official U.S. delegation was headed by . . . Earl Warren.) JOHN adds: The whole Mandela thing is, to put it gently, out of »

Pearl Harbor In Color

Featured image This is, apparently, the only video footage of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor–which occurred, of course, 72 years ago today–that was shot in color. The short video below includes that footage, plus some interesting scenes from Japan and of a captured mini-submarine, also in color. It is interesting stuff: »

Happy Genocide Day!

Featured image It happens every Thanksgiving: leftists crawl out from under their rocks and tell us that the holiday is a shameful celebration of “genocide.” These days, their preferred medium is Twitter. Here are a few samples: Most of the killjoys are unknown leftists, but the genocide theory of Thanksgiving may now be official dogma at MSNBC, which is a notch or two above “unknown.” Actually, some Indian tribes were victims of »