Some of the best of 2016

I wish I had thought to keep a list of best columns and articles of the past year, but I didn’t. I do have a few tabs I kept open to revisit. I can guarantee that these columns and articles are worth your time. Here they are in alphabetical order by author:

James Ceaser, “What’s next for the left?,” Weekly Standard (February 8, 2016).

Matthew Continetti, “The return of street corner conservatism,” Washington Free Beacon (December 23, 2016).

Molly Brigid Flynn, “The decline of the Western,” Library of Law & Liberty (October 7, 2016).

Victor Davis Hanson, “The ancient foreign policy,” NRO (December 27, 2016).

Steven Hayward, “Crisis of the conservative house divided,” Weekly Standard (October 31, 2016).

Katherine Kersten, “Transgender conformity,” First Things (December 2016).

Publius Decius Mus, “The Flight 93 election,” Claremont Review of Books (September 5, 2016).

Ruth Wisse, “My life with Leonard Cohen,” Mosaic (November 30, 2016).

Let me just add here that Heather Mac Donald deserves special recognition for her continuing contribution to the discussion of race and crime. Heather’s voice was particularly needed this year. City Journal has collected her contributions to the magazine here.

The (Minneapolis) Star Tribune has just posted a list of its most read opinion columns of the year. The Star Tribune is a liberal newspaper that relentlessly caters to a liberal readership. As the New York Times does for the national media, the Star Tribune sets the agenda for news coverage in the Twin Cities media. John Hinderaker and Katherine Kersten of the conservative think tank that John heads in Minneapolis — the Center of the American Experiment — nevertheless scored three of the top 16 most-read opinion columns in the Star Tribune. The popularity of each of these columns tells a story of its own. Here they are:

Number 4: Katherine Kersten, “The school safety debate: Mollycoddle no more,” Star Tribune (March 18, 2016).

Number 7: John Hinderaker, “Minnesota, where the economy is not even average,” Star Tribune (August 15, 2016).

Number 13: Katherine Kersten, “Police, race and crime: ‘Cops are racist’ story line ignores a great many facts,” Star Tribune (August 5, 2016).

A PERSONAL NOTE: On a strictly retrospective personal note, I spent three weeks last year attending the trial of three Somali Minnesotans charged with terrorism related offenses in connection with their efforts to join ISIS in Syria. I wrote four articles about the case for the Weekly Standard. I was grateful that Weekly Standard editors Richard Starr and Kelly Jane Torrance, with whom I worked on these pieces, found the story of interest for their readers and let me testify to what I saw in my own voice. Those four Weekly Standard articles on the trial are all collected here. I was also grateful that the Star Tribune published my column on the trial for Minnesota readers in June after the jury returned with its guilty verdicts.


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