Books

The Man In Milan

Featured image I get a fair number of books in the mail, but I generally don’t read them, especially if they are political. But a few days ago I got a copy of The Man In Milan, by Vito Racanelli. Vito is a Power Line fan, and the book was inscribed to me and accompanied by a nice letter. So I gave it a try. Racanelli, to begin with, is a knowledgeable »

How to read a society

Featured image The original source of this quote from Theodore Dalrymple (Anthony Daniels) appears to date to a 2005 Frontpage article or interview that is no longer accessible online: Political correctness is communist propaganda writ small. In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to »

A year in reading

Featured image I always look forward to Tevi Troy’s annual summary of his year in reading. This year’s edition is here. Tevi has read 80 books since the onset of the pandemic, which puts me to shame. Among his favorites are Amity Shlaes’s Great Society, about the miscalculations and misguided ideas behind the War on Poverty in the 1960s; Craig Fehrman’s Author in Chief, about our presidents as writers, but also a »

In search of lost time

Featured image Through sheer good luck, I came across the Osher Lifetime Learning Institute affiliated with Dartmouth College this past fall. It has been my goal to do the assigned reading I didn’t get to in my favorite college literature courses. Reviewing the Dartmouth Osher course offerings, I found two that met my needs. The first — the one I happened onto — was Professor James Heffernan’s course on chapters 7-12 of »

Bill Gates recommends, take 2

Featured image Back in 2015 I asked the Hudson Institute’s John Walters to take a look at Michelle Alexander’s dreadful but influential The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. Mr. Walters turned his attention to Alexander’s book together with his Hudson Institute colleague David Murray. Subsequently posted in footnoted form on Hudson’s site as “Revisiting ‘The New Jim Crow,'” the essay below was written for us. I want »

Bill Gates recommends…

Featured image The worst book I have ever read is probably Ta-Nehesi Coates’s Between the World and Me. I wrote about Coates’s esteemed book for City Journal in “An updated racial hustle” and quoted enough of it that an intelligent reader can make his own assessment. Coate’s book, however, is more of a pamphlet than a book. It was published in miniature dimensions in hardcover so that it could be tricked out »

Radical Son, Then and Now

Featured image David Horowitz’s classic memoir Radical Son was called by George Gilder “the first great autobiography of his generation,” and P.J. O’Rourke described it as “one of the best political memoirs I’ve ever read.” Post Hills Press has just published a second edition of Radical Son with a new preface by the author. What follows is David’s new preface, which focuses on the murder that is at the heart of his »

Amazon versus Alex Berenson (& me)

Featured image Alex Berenson brings an independent mind and a formidable set of skills to his heterodox coverage of the COVID-19 epidemic. He is a former New York Times investigative reporter and a writer of spy thrillers. He has just released his third pamphlet in the series Unreported Truths About COVID-19 and Lockdowns. When the first pamphlet in his series was published this past June Berenson had a close encounter with Amazon »

CRB: A towering achievement

Featured image We wind up our preview of the new (Fall) issue of the Claremont Review of Books with this bonus edition featuring our own Steve Hayward’s review of Charles Moore’s three-volume biography of Margaret Thatcher. Steve’s review is “A towering achievement.” As the author of his two-volume history The Age of Reagan, Steve is well equipped to take the measure of Moore’s work. Reflecting his view that biography is a neglected »

Burned after reading

Featured image The story of what appears to be Hunter Biden’s abandoned computer sounds like it comes out of the twisted minds of the Coen brothers (see, for example, their black comedy Burn After Reading). Emails on the allegedly abandoned computer flesh out the story of Biden family corruption that extends from Hunter Biden to the old man who has half a mind to be president. The New York Post has the »

CRB: Presidential library

Featured image We are winding down our preview of the new (Fall) issue of the Claremont Review of Books with our friend Tevi Troy’s review of Craig Fehrman’s Author In Chief: The Untold Story or our Presidents and the Books They Wrote. The review is short. It is educational. It is entertaining. It even made me laugh: “Ronald Reagan left office as a popular president beloved by his supporters. Yet he phoned »

CRB: Poverty won

Featured image Richard Nixon had a great line that he incorporated into his stump speech during the 1968 presidential campaign: “Ramsey Clark is a conscientious objector in the war against crime.” Now time has withered its biting wit. If you didn’t live through the ’60s, the line requires historical footnotes to be understood. (My teacher Jeffrey Hart recalled his contribution to the speech in this 1997 interview.) Along comes Amity Shlaes with »

CRB: The election to end all elections

Featured image The Claremont Review of Books has just published its new (Fall) issue. Thanks to the editors, I reviewed the issue in galley to pick out four or five pieces to roll out for Power Line readers this week. As always, I encourage readers to become subscribers (subscribe here) for the absurdly low price of $19.95 and get online access thrown in for free. We led off our preview of the »

Remembering Winston Groom

Featured image Keith Korman is a literary agent and novelist. Author Winston Groom was one of his clients. When Groom died on September 17, we briefly posted the New York Times obituary in our Picks. Mr. Korman wrote us to recommend the obituary by Mark Hughes Cobb in the Tuscaloosa News as being truer to the man. I asked Mr. Korman if he would write up his own remembrance of Groom for »

Book her, Danno

Featured image Reporting on Minnesota’s ethically challenged Rep. Ilhan Omar over the past four years, I came to the conclusion that she is heedless of the laws and rules that apply to mere mortals. She views herself as immune from them and so far she has proven right. In December 2019 Omar reportedly received a substantial cash advance — Forbes pegged it in a range from $100,00 to $250,000, although I was »

The Power Line Show, Ep 216: The Recovery of Family Life, with Scott Yenor

Featured image We’re delighted to bring Scott Yenor to the show this week to discuss his important new book, The Recovery of Family Life: Exposing the Limits of Modern Ideologies, which is being officially released tomorrow from Baylor University Press. Unlike many other fine books on the family today that rely chiefly on social science, Scott brings his immense learning in political philosophy to bear on family questions, from Plato and Aristotle through »

The Power Line Show, Ep 213: Trump’s Democrats

Featured image Is there room for another book on the rural voters who delivered the surprising outcome of the 2016 election? Yes, there is, when the book is Trump’s Democrats, by Stephanie Muravchik and Jon A. Shields, just out from the Brookings Institution. Muravchik and Shields do something unusual in this book; rather than do yet another excursion into survey data and statistical mumbo-jumbo, they went out to three diverse areas where »