Books

Getting Right With Burke

Featured image Listeners to the 3WHH podcast will know that “Lucretia” and I have long divided on the question of Edmund Burke. To paraphrase something William F. Buckley once said about Harry Jaffa, if you think it is difficult to argue with Lucretia, just try agreeing with her—it’s nearly impossible. Back in our grad school days we liked to make fun of the leftist pop psychology popular at the time that everything »

Learning from Euthydemus

Featured image I’ve been studying Xenophon’s Memorabilia with friends over the past few months. Xenophon was a student and friend of Socrates. His memoirs are devoted to an account and defense of Socrates following the trial that resulted in his death. It’s an interesting and classic work. We have used Amy Bonnette’s translation in Cornell’s Agora series as our text. It comes with an excellent introduction by Christopher Bruell and annotations by »

Podcast: Stan Evans on Theology and Internal Security

Featured image The penultimate chapter of my recent biography, M. Stanton Evans: Conservative Wit, Apostle of Freedom, summarizes the enduring literary, philosophical, and historical contributions of his last two books, The Theme Is Freedom, and Blacklisted by History: The Untold Story of Sen. Joseph McCarthy. Digging into the audio archives of the Philadelphia Society, I found two talks Stan gave—one in 1994 that displays his theological insight, and a second around 2004 »

Random road trip notes

Featured image I went to Madison for the weekend to visit a college friend being treated as an outpatient at the University of Wisconsin Hospital. Madison is a four-hour drive from St. Paul. I have a few personal notes on the weekend. • Coming from the Twin Cities, I was struck by how immaculate Madison is and how much new commercial construction is taking place in town. • Driving to Madison brought »

Stories to tell

Featured image We noted the commencement addresses President Biden gave over the weekend in “The Biden corrections.” In his remarks at the Naval Academy — White House transcript here — Biden disclosed a previously unknown element of his glorious life. He told the graduating midshipmen that he turned down an appointment to the academy: Before I begin my speech, a thought crossed my mind as I was told the Class of ‘72 »

One damn thing after another

Featured image I have four propositions with which many readers will disagree. First, William Barr was an outstanding Attorney General of the United States in the Trump administration. Second, if it weren’t for Barr, the Mueller investigation would still be going strong persecuting innocent citizens. We would be entertaining proposals to convert it into a permanent commission. Third, I agree entirely with his critique of President Trump’s endgame on January 6. (I »

Signs and omens

Featured image We greatly enjoyed the news regarding the rollout of the new biography of (Don’t Forget to Call Her Doctor) Jill Biden’s biography by AP reporters Julie Pace and Darlene Superville. What was the news? The sales were dismal. We filed the news under “Signs and omens.” I feel obligated to update that post with Bloomberg’s report that Kamala Harris collected some $450,000 in book royalties during her first year in »

Signs and omens

Featured image In terms of sales, the rollout of the biography of the eminent Dr. Jill Biden by AP reporters Julie Pace and Darlene Superville was not impressive. Despite supportive press, the book sold only 250 copies nationwide in its first week. The crushing news was buried in an otherwise lame Politico story about covering the Biden presidency, as Andrew Stiles pointed out in a story for the Washington Free Beacon. Six »

Another word about Midge

Featured image Wilfred McClay is the formidable historian and a leading light of our intellectual life. On May 17 he is to be recognized with one of this year’s Bradley Prizes — this one — along with Glenn Loury and Chen Guangcheng. Bill wrote me last night: “That is such sad news about Midge. I loved that woman She had more soul in her little finger than any seven other people. I »

Midge Decter passes

Featured image I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Midge Decter via Ruthie Blum’s post on Facebook: “My mother, Midge Decter Podhoretz, died today, two months shy of her 95th birthday. Thankfully, I managed to arrive in New York just in time to say goodbye to the greatest woman I’ve ever known. As soon as we figure it all out, we will provide info about the funeral and shiva.” »

White man’s problems: The sequel

Featured image New York Post columnist Miranda Devine and two Post reporters seem to have discovered the benefactor who has kept Hunter Biden rolling in the style to which he has become accustomed. He is a wealthy Hollywood figure named Kevin Morris. Morris has money to burn from sources other than the royalties on White Man’s Problems, his 2014 book of short stories. Here is the heart of the Post story: A »

VDH’s favorites

Featured image The daily Hoover Institution email alerted me to the Victor Davis Hanson show podcast on VDH’s favorites — favorite movies, favorite novels, favorite TV shows, favorite ancient Greek writer. Who could ask for anything more? The only problem with it is that it isn’t longer. Hoover linked to the podcast posted here at VDH’s Blade of Perseus (embedded above). I don’t think it’s much of a plot spoiler to disclose »

Collusion revisited — again

Featured image I badly mangled this post when I sought to correct a link in it yesterday. I’m taking the liberty of reposting it as intended below the break with apologies to readers who may have seen it in its mangled form. * * * * * The late Richard Pipes’s narrative history The Russian Revolution is a great work of humane learning. Pipes’s mastery of the sources shines through his text. »

Collusion revisited

Featured image The late Richard Pipes’s narrative history The Russian Revolution is a great work of humane learning. Pipes’s mastery of the sources shines through his text. The text itself reflects a lifetime of study and reflection. Reading Gary Saul Morson’s essay/review linked in the adjacent post, I was reminded of Pipes’s chapter 7 (“Toward the Catastrophe”), covering the assassination of Rasputin. It includes this passage on the November 14, 1916 speech »

Psaki psidesteps

Featured image Jon Levine and Miranda Devine reported in their April 23 New York Post story that “Joe Biden met with Hunter Biden business partner at the White House.” The business partner was Eric Schwerin: “Hunter Biden’s closest business partner made at least 19 visits to the White House and other official locations between 2009 and 2015, including a sitdown with then-Vice President Joe Biden in the West Wing.” Levine and Devine »

A Joycean interlude

Featured image John recently mentioned that he’s reading James Joyce’s Ulysses. This is a footnote on his comment for anyone who might be inclined to take up his mention of the book. Through sheer good luck I came across the Osher Lifetime Learning Institute affiliated with Dartmouth College in the fall of 2020. It has been my goal to do the assigned reading I didn’t get to or get the most out »

Today’s Photo Mystery (Updated)

Featured image It is in the news that former heavyweight champ Mike Tyson got into some kind of scuffle on an airplane with a passenger who was badgering him, and there is video that I’m not interested in posting. That’s what we have TMZ for. But I did notice this recent photo: Okay, so what, you ask? Look closer: Yup—that is indeed Thomas Sowell’s Basic Economics. This is either an elaborate troll, »