CRB: Reagan Democrat

We continue our Christmas extravaganza previewing the Fall issue of the Claremont Review of Books through Friday. If you lean conservative and love to read about history, politics, economics, literature, culture and current events, the CRB may be the magazine for you. It is for me. Subscriptions are available here for $19.95 (including immediate online access). The Fall issue is incredibly rich. As is typically the case, reading the issue and thinking the pieces through to their first principles provides something of an education in itself.

For the third piece to preview the issue I selected NR editor-at-large John O’Sullivan’s review of Political Woman: The Big Little Life of Jeane Kirkpatrick. This is, in my opinion, one of the books of the year. We previously posted author Peter Collier’s discussion of the book here. Now O’Sullivan provides a terrific summary and appreciation of the book and its subject.

For the discouraged conservative looking for a fond reminder of better days, Collier’s book may well be just the thing. We remember Kirkpatrick’s star turn as the Reagan administration’s Ambassador to the United Nations. Having read her November 1979 Commentary essay on the foreign policy of the Carter administration, Reagan wanted her onboard regardless of her party affiliation. A long-time Democrat who saw her beloved party taken over by radical leftists, Kirkpatrick was a successful academic, vital member of Reagan’s cabinet, and possible Republican presidential candidate in 1988.

Despite her great successes it is an open question whether her achievements matched the high expectations she set for herself. She remained to the end extremely reluctant to write about her life or even discuss large parts of it with friends. O’Sullivan rightly notes that she – and we – are therefore beholden to Collier for his first-rate account of this remarkable woman. O’Sullivan’s review is “Reagan Democrat.”

Tomorrow: Diana Schaub on Aristotle and Churchill.


Books to read from Power Line