Books

Spymaster

Featured image You may be familiar with Brad Thor, the thriller writer. He is good, and extremely popular. Like all authors of thriller series, you can begin with the fact that it ain’t Shakespeare. But Thor is one of the masters of the craft. Thor’s latest book, out last week, is Spymaster, the 18th in Thor’s Scot Harvath series. Harvath is a counterterrorist operative and pretty much a superhero. Most books in »

Walking with Destiny: A preview

Featured image The news is so painfully stupid that I have gone in search of relief. It occurred to me yesterday that the prominent historian Andrew Roberts has a biography of Winston Churchill forthcoming this fall. I thought to look up the publication date — Roberts’s Churchill: Walking with Destiny will be published by Penguin Books on November 9. Looking for the publication date, I also found that Penguin had just posted »

Leaving Santa Fe

Featured image I am leaving Santa Fe this morning after spending a week studying Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man in the St. John’s College Summer Classics program. Other courses offered during week 1 of the Summer Classics program studied Epictetus’s Discourses, Jane Austen’s Emma (my wife took this one), Melville’s short fiction, the biblical book of Exodus, the origins of film noir in the 1940s, the origins of calculus and lessons in leadership »

A note on “Invisible Man”

Featured image I just finished reading Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison for the first time. I found it to be a challenging, gripping, entertaining novel of the first rank that I want to commend to your attention. Published in 1952, it remains an incredibly timely novel. It lends further support to the contrarian case Jeffrey Hart makes in When the Going Was Good! that the 1950’s represented a high-water mark in American »

A Work in Progress (1)

Featured image I have begun building momentum toward my next book, which is one reason why my posts here have become a bit intermittent. I am not yet ready to reveal the topic, or even the working title (though I think it is a good one), because both may well change considerably as things unfold. I also may actually have a co-author for this project, if I can talk her into it. »

How to read a book

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, it has not already become so. Wherever the left holds sway, free speech is a dying if not dead letter. »

Today’s Gratuitous Smile

Featured image Today’s completely unexpected smile comes to us courtesy of the New York Times, of all places. Scott has already noted Bill Clinton’s discomfort in being asked on the Today Show about Monica Lewinsky, which was supposed to be about the novel he has “co-written” with James Patterson. The novel, The President Is Missing, has as its main character “President Jonathan Lincoln Duncan,” which offers a surprisingly close parallel to “William »

Not missing this president

Featured image Listening to Hugh Hewitt this morning, I have received a full dose of Craig Melvin’s interview of President Clinton on the Today Show as edited in the segment below. Quizzed about Monica Lewinsky and the growth of the MeToo movement, Clinton usefully reminds us of several of his distasteful personal qualities. Clinton is out peddling his new book, The President Is Missing, coauthored with James Patterson, proprietor of the Patterson »

CRB: Rehabilitating Grant

Featured image Today we conclude our celebration of the week of Charles — Charles Kesler, editor of the Claremont Review of Books and recipient of one of this year’s Bradley Prizes on Tuesday evening in Washington, DC — with our fourth preview from the new (Spring) issue of the magazine. Buy an annual subscription including immediate online access here for the modest price of $19.95. Forgive me for repeating myself: it is »

CRB: Missing the point

Featured image We round the corner on our celebration of the week of Charles — Charles Kesler, editor of the Claremont Review of Books and recipient of one of this year’s Bradley Prizes on Tuesday evening in Washington, DC — with our third preview from the new (Spring) issue of the magazine that is hot off the press. Buy an annual subscription including immediate online access here for the modest price of »

CRB: The Vietnam War revisited

Featured image We continue our observance of the week of Charles — Charles Kesler, editor of the Claremont Review of Books and recipient of one of this year’s Bradley Prizes last night in Washington, DC — with the second preview from the new (Spring) issue of the magazine that is hot off the press. Buy an annual subscription including immediate online access here for the modest price of $19.95. It is an »

Jonah’s Suicide Hotline, and All That Stuff

Featured image (Dear reader—Fair warning: this is a long post, so best to settle in on the couch and make sure your dogs have completed their morning walks . . .) Okay class, everyone settle in for today’s seminar and get out your textbook, Jonah Goldberg’s Suicide of the West.  Turn to page 316, and circle this sentence: “Indeed, as much as I hold Trump in contempt, I am still compelled to »

Warning: Don’t show this man…

Featured image Iran’s Supreme Leader (as he styles himself) wants it to be known that he is mightily unhappy with President Trump. That is what I deduce from Josh Delk’s story reporting in the Hill that “Iran’s supreme leader trolls Trump with photo of himself reading ‘Fire and Fury.'” If Fire and Fury is the Supreme Leader’s book of the week, let us recall that “Death to America” is the Supreme Leader’s »

Waiting for a miracle

Featured image Nadezhda Mandelstam was the widow of the Russian poet Osip Mandelstam and author of the astounding memoir Hope Against Hope, originally published in 1970. It is still in print after all these years and well summarized here. Osip was first arrested and taken into custody in 1934 for having written an unpublished poem critical of Stalin. Later deposited in the Stalinist “sewage disposal system” (as Solzhenitsyn called it), Osip died »

Comey book sales going rogue

Featured image In its first week on sale, James Comey’s memoir cum manifesto A Higher Loyalty sold 600,000 copies in all formats (print, audio, and electronic). By contrast, Joe Concha reminds us, Hillary Clinton’s memoir cum apologia What Happened, sold 300,000 copies in its first week. Whereas Comey is one of the many villains of Hillary’s story, Comey is the hero of his own. I find it hard to believe that anyone »

Is the Bible Overrated?

Featured image GQ, which stands for Gentlemen’s Quarterly, ran a feature on “21 Books You Don’t Have to Read.” Number 12 is the Bible: The Holy Bible is rated very highly by all the people who supposedly live by it but who in actuality have not read it. A liberal’s fantasy. Those who have read it know there are some good parts, but overall it is certainly not the finest thing that »

The Power Line Show, Ep. 66: The Telos of Teles

Featured image Some weeks ago you may recall that I had Damon Linker, a liberal columnist for The Week, as a podcast guest, and this week I have on another of my favorite liberal thinkers, Steven Teles of Johns Hopkins University. Prof. Teles stands out from many liberals in part because he did his Ph.D work with a group of distinguished conservative professors at the University of Virginia, and would that more »