Books

CRB: With the Old Breed

Featured image The Claremont Review of Books is of course the flagship publication of the Claremont Institute. I find in every issue an education in the true understanding of politics, public policy, and statesmanship. It is my favorite magazine. Purchase an annual subscription here for $19.95 and get immediate online access to the whole thing. The Summer 2019 issue of the CRB has just been placed in the mail. The editors have »

Yes to Acquiring Greenland! [With Literary Comment by John]

Featured image It is amusing to watch the reaction to Trump floating the idea of the U.S. buying Greenland. It’s not like we have never done such a thing before (i.e., Louisiana, Alaska), and while there were arguably constitutional defects with those acquisitions (especially Louisiana), just watch as Trump-hating liberals who ordinarily say our Constitution should be as “flexible” as Gumby and as “alive” as a mold suddenly become strict constructionists again. »

Rush to Ball of Collusion

Featured image I posted my comments on Andrew McCarthy’s new book — Ball of Collusion: he Plot to Rig an Election and Destroy a Presidency — here on Power Line yesterday morning. I read an advance copy of the book in a few sittings last week. Although we all know the outline of the story and many of the details, I found the book to present a gripping narrative. I didn’t want »

Read The GOAT!

Featured image Roger Simon has self-published his new book, called The GOAT. It is the story of a middle-aged screenwriter named Dan Gelber, who bears a striking resemblance to Roger himself, and who, following an injury suffered while playing tennis and a resulting botched operation, has the opportunity to say goodbye to his old self (mysteriously disappeared at Mount Everest) and return as the youthful Jay Reynolds, a man with no history »

All the president’s men, Obama style

Featured image Today is the official publication date of my friend Andrew McCarthy’s Ball of Collusion: The Plot to Rig an Election and Destroy a Presidency. Courtesy of Encounter Books I read an advance copy of the book last week and want to recommend it enthusiastically to Power Line readers. Even though I have closely followed the “collusion” story as it has come into public view since January 2017, I was reminded »

The Power Line Show, Ep. 137: Burke, Lincoln, and the Politics of Prudence with Greg Weiner

Featured image “Prudence” is not just something Dana Carvey liked to lampoon back when President George H.W. Bush was in office. Rather, it is the highest and most essential quality of those superb human beings we used to call “statesmen” before political science and history banished both terms in a fit of egalitarian madness that has yet to abate in our leading intellectual circles. One antidote to this narrowing of our horizons »

No apology for Raymond Sebond

Featured image The cultural left exerts a tyrannical force policing our speech. To take just one small example, witness the case of novelist Lionel Shriver. The cases can be multiplied endlessly. You don’t need my help on this score. The cause of free speech threatens to become the exclusive property of conservatives. Wherever the left holds sway, free speech is a dying or dead letter. The utopia implicit in leftist thought provides »

Axioms and Animadversions (2)

Featured image • I recall a few years back that it was fashionable to argue that Abraham Lincoln was a closet homosexual, based on the thin tissue of his letters to Joshua Speed and other close friends, along with the fact that Lincoln sometimes shared a bed with a man (including Speed I think), especially when out on the road doing legal work and staying at the local inn. To be sure, »

The Power Line Show, Ep. 135: Judicial Fortitude, with Peter Wallison

Featured image Long time readers will know that we’ve been very focused on the problem of the “administrative state,” an arcane term from political science that has in the last few years broken out big in everyday discussion. The administrative state refers to the trend, decades in the making, of transferring lawmaking power away from the legislative branch of government to permanent, unelected bureaucrats and executive agencies. The administrative state undermines a central »

Harvey Klehr: The Millionaire Was a Soviet Mole

Featured image Harvey Klehr is the Andrew W. Mellon professor emeritus of politics and history at Emory University, and co-author, with John Haynes, of The Secret World of American Communism, Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America, and In Denial: Historians, Communism & Espionage. Tomorrow is the official publication date of Professor Klehr’s new book, The Millionaire Was a Soviet Mole: The Twisted Life of David Karr. We invited Professor Klehr to bring »

The Power Line Show, Ep. 133: Andrew Roberts Unplugged, on Brexit, Churchill, Trump, and Historiography

Featured image One of my teachers in graduate school, the great constitutional historian Leonard Levy, insisted that “a history must serve its readers with explanations that suit the horizons of their curiosity and with writing that entertains and stirs them.” No one exemplifies that vivid style of biography and history better than Andrew Roberts. I caught up with Andrew in San Francisco this week, where we had a wide-ranging conversation about Churchill, »

VDH recommends

Featured image While the academic study of military history is in a state of sickness unto death in the academy, it lives because of its popularity with the American people. In his terrific essay “Why study war,” Victor Davis Hanson observes: The university’s aversion to the study of war certainly doesn’t reflect public lack of interest in the subject. Students love old-fashioned war classes on those rare occasions when they’re offered, usually »

Embarrassing Liberals [With Reminiscence by John]

Featured image I missed the notice a few days ago that publisher Houghton-Mifflin is delaying publication of Naomi Wolf’s latest book, Outrages, for the simple reason that it has been exposed as an embarrassing piece of crap. (See Scott’s post “Death Recorded Live” if you haven’t followed this fabulous story.) This from the Times story: “As we have been working with Naomi Wolf to make corrections to ‘Outrages,’ new questions have arisen »

Death recorded live

Featured image I’d lost track of Naomi Wolf, the former political adviser who was reportedly well paid for helping Al Gore coordinate his wardrobe in the 2000 presidential campaign. Wolf appeared on BBC Radio 3 for an interview with Matthew Sweet to promote her new book, Outrages: Sex, Censorship and the Criminalization of Love. BBC Radio has posted the entire 54-minute Arts & Ideas episode here. Historian and Spectator USA Life & »

Edmund Morris, RIP

Featured image When I interviewed Michael Deaver, one of Ronald Reagan’s senior aides from his days as governor and into his second presidential term, in the course of writing my two-volume Age of Reagan book project, he confessed that recommending Edmund Morris be Reagan’s official biographer was the second-biggest mistake he ever made in Reagan’s service. Immediately your mind will run to the obvious question, which I duly asked: What was your biggest »

Tom Cotton’s sacred duty

Featured image In his excellent review of Sacred Duty: A Soldier’s Tour at Arlington National Cemetery, by Senator Tom Cotton, Scott Johnson criticized himself for not asking Tom about his service in the Old Guard at Arlington National Cemetery when the two met in New York City years ago. Scott says he now “feels like a fool” for not having asked questions that would have elicited some of the information contained in »

How to read Herman Wouk

Featured image Herman Wouk died last week at the age of 103, 10 days short of his 104th birthday. So notes William Grimes in his New York Times obit of Wouk. Grimes’s obit is equivocal about Wouk’s accomplishments as an author, but one must be amazed by his career. One cannot miss this in Grimes’s obit. Wouk lived one of the great American lives. We nevertheless know him, if at all, entirely »