Books

Roger Scruton Contra Mundum: Who’s the Greatest?

Featured image [Note: This lengthy post is mainly intended for our academic readers and connoisseurs of conservative intellectual history, and if this is not your cup of tea—like Paul’s soccer posts—you’ll want to move on right away to another item and spare us your TL;DR complaints. . .] I had a notion that when I said in my observance of the passing of Sir Roger Scruton that he was “the greatest conservative »

The Power Line Show, Ep. 162: Stephen Knott on “The Lost Soul of the American Presidency”

Featured image This week’s guest is Stephen F. Knott of the Naval War College, discussing his terrific new book, The Lost Soul of the American Presidency: The Decline into Demagoguery and the Prospects for Renewal, just out from University Press of Kansas. Knott, one of the nation’s pre-eminent scholars of Alexander Hamilton, thinks the American presidency has slipped from the modest republican design of the Founders almost from the very beginning, starting with »

Sir Roger Scruton, RIP

Featured image Very sad news from England this morning of the passing of Sir Roger Scruton at the age of 75 after a long battle with cancer over the last year. Sir Roger deserves to be considered the greatest conservative thinker and writer of the last generation—full stop—certainly the most prolific and wide-ranging since G.K. Chesterton, having published more than 50 books and countless articles. I’ve been trying for the longest time »

The plot against the president: The video

Featured image Coming in at number two in my books of 2019 is Lee Smith’s The Plot Against the President: The True Story of How Congressman Devin Nunes Uncovered the Biggest Political Scandal in U.S. History. I offered my appreciation of the book in “All the president’s men, take 2.” Leslie Eastman was on my wavelength in her appreciation of the book for Legal Insurrection. If you’re looking for reviews, that’s it! »

Gertrude Himmelfarb, RIP

Featured image The great historian Gertrude Himmelfarb died on December 30 at the age of 97. Known to many as the widow of Irving Kristol and the mother of Bill Kristol and Elizabeth Kristol Nelson, she was renowned in her own right. Her death represents an enormous loss beyond her family circle. Sohrab Ahmari briefly recounted her life in the New York Post column “One of America’s greatest minds.” The Wall Street »

Ball of collusion: The video

Featured image Andrew McCarthy’s Ball of Collusion: The Plot To Rig an Election and Destroy a Presidency is my book of 2019. Writing the book, McCarthy drew on his professional experience and expertise in prosecuting national security cases. As I asserted in my year-end roundup, only McCarthy could have written the book, and he provides just about everything the intelligent reader needs to make up his own mind about the issues. It »

2019 in reading

Featured image Every year at around this time, my friend Tevi Troy provides his list of books he recommends. I have found his recommendations to be sound and sometimes inspired. Here is Tevi’s list for 2019. For me, this year in reading centered around my travels to Austria, Croatia, and England. Every country’s history interests me, but I found that of Austria (and its associated empires) to be especially intriguing. I highly »

My Books of 2019

Featured image Inspired by Scott, I thought readers might be interested to know some of the books that I read during 2019, and my thoughts about them. My brother Eric is a historian. I will start with his latest book, Boston’s Massacre, which was published in the Spring. It is about the Boston Massacre, the events that led up to it, and the place of the “massacre” in popular memory. Reading it »

My books of 2019

Featured image I have written about all but three of the books I read this year on Power Line. Here they are with the briefest of notes on each. Andrew McCarthy, Ball of Collusion: The Plot to Rig an Election and Destroy a Presidency. McCarthy brings his professional background and experience to bear on the biggest scandal in American political history. Only he could have written the book, and he provides just »

“Creating the New Ignorance”: A Christmas Day Idyll with C.S. Lewis

Featured image Christmas Day seems like a suitable occasion for a diversion from the political ephemera of the day with an extended reflection on the great C.S. Lewis (because repeating the self-evident arguments about why Die Hard is a Christmas movie is getting boring). I have previously quoted here the liberal grandee Arthur Schlesinger: “Ignorance is never any bar to certitude in the progressive dreamworld.” This remark appears in his best book, »

We now know: Live from Visalia

Featured image Back in his district before a friendly audience, Rep. Devin Nunes joined Lee Smith for an interview conducted by News Talk KMJ’s Ray Appleton about Lee’s book The Plot Against the President: The True Story of How Congressman Devin Nunes Uncovered the Biggest Political Scandal in U.S. History. Having listened to the interview via Rep. Nunes’s podcast (below), I can only say I wish I had been there. That was »

CRB: The invention of Hispanics

Featured image We have been celebrating the twentieth year of publication of the second coming of the Claremont Review of Books with its new (Fall) issue. The magazine has moved to a new site with a new URL (claremontreviewofbooks.com). The editors have made the new issue freely accessible for the next few days. They hope to entice readers to become subscribers (subscribe here). I am, as usual, previewing a few reviews and »

Thoughts from the ammo line

Featured image Ammo Grrrll is available at the merchandise table: JUST IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS: What You NEED Going Forward. She writes: I confess. Though it’s supposed to be bad manners, I love to eavesdrop. Since I often travel alone, it is not unusual to find myself in situations where I am just sitting there in a restaurant at my pathetic Table For One, pretending to study the menu. All around me »

CRB: Land of the free

Featured image The Claremont Review of Books has just published its new (Fall) issue. The magazine has moved to a new site with a new URL (claremontreviewofbooks.com). Celebrating its twentieth year of publication in its second life, the editors have made the new issue freely accessible for the next few days. They hope to entice readers to become subscribers (subscribe here). This week I am previewing a few reviews and essays from »

CRB: Breaking Bad (& more!)

Featured image The Claremont Review of Books has just published its new (Fall) issue. I reviewed the issue in galley to pick out four pieces to feature for Power Line readers, but have been authorized to let you in on a secret. The magazine has moved to a new site with a new URL (claremontreviewofbooks.com). Celebrating its twentieth year of publication in its second life, the editors have made the new issue »

Roger Kimball: On the omertà

Featured image Roger Kimball wears an incredible number of hats, including those of publisher of Encounter Books and editor/publisher of The New Criterion. I wrote Roger early Tuesday morning to ask if he thought I had overlooked anything that needed to be said about the the clamorous silence I wrote about in “The Russia hoax in review.” Roger responded in an email that I am posting with his kind permission below: I »

The Russia hoax in review

Featured image The Russia collusion hoax represents the biggest scandal in American political history. That’s not the way it is presented in the mainstream media, but they were active participants in the hoax. They are not inclined to look back or to try to understand what they have done. They think they are Woodward and Bernstein, but they are tools who are happy to be of use to their allies in the »