Books

The Power Line Show, Ep. 120: Reckoning With Race: America’s Failure

Featured image Just in time for your Easter Sunday afternoon walk or Monday morning commute, the latest podcast. Gene Dattel is my extraordinary guest on this week’s show. Gene is the author of a book that deserves to be much better known—Reckoning With Race: America’s Failure (Encounter Books). This remarkably compact book is brimming with details about and revisions to the standard narratives of race relations in America from the colonial era »

Paul Hollander, RIP

Featured image Sad news a few days ago of the passing of Paul Hollander, the long time professor of sociology at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and author of several important books about the culture of “fellow-traveling,” that is, the pathology of left-leaning intellectuals and cultural figures who were always taken in by the latest Communist totalitarian regime merely because they mouthed the slogans of revolutionary utopia. The most famous of »

Speaking of collusion

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 inspires awe and shines through his lucid text. The text itself reflects a lifetime of study and reflection. I have been reading around lately in chapter 7 (“Toward the Catastrophe”), covering the assassination of Rasputin. Over the weekend I came across this passage on the November 14, 1916 speech »

The Hard Lasch the Left Deserves

Featured image Don’t ask me to explain why just now, but lately I reread Christopher Lasch’s last book, The Revolt of the Elites, published in 1995 shortly after his death. I recall disliking the book somewhat back then, in part because I had a bias against Lasch, who not only sympathized with the New Left in the 1960s, but whose 1978 book The Culture of Narcissism was said to be one of »

Socialism and “The “Experts”

Featured image New York magazine has produced a list of the “best books to understand socialism” that is so stupefyingly inane that you wonder if this is intended as satire or a really big put on. But no—they are quite earnest about this list, because it was curated by “experts.” Among the best books to understand socialism, according to NY mag, are several by Marx himself (fair enough, if you really want to »

Godwin’s Law, Or, How To Lose an Argument in One Paragraph

Featured image Last week, in a fit of sentimentality, I published an article in the Washington Examiner magazine with the grandiose title “My ‘Geneva Convention’ for the Trump Wars.” It’s out from behind the Examiner paywall now, and we posted it in our “Picks” section a few days ago. There is a backstory to this article that I can’t fully share, as it involved some private communications with some “Never Trump” figures (though »

Ready, Set, Launch the New Books!

Featured image It was ten years ago that I wrote a controversial feature in the Washington Post lamenting that the conservative intellectual world was not producing significant serious books that attracted large public notice. With only a very few exceptions conservative best-sellers of the aughts seemed to be the frothy polemics from Ann Coulter, Glenn Beck, and such. Lately however there are a large number of new conservative books that are making a »

VDH: The Case for Trump

Featured image I invited our friend Victor Davis Hanson to write something for Power Line readers about his book The Case for Trump, out officially today. He has obliged us with this synopsis: I have never met Trump. I don’t know his close friends and aides. In lieu of any insider information, I wanted to offer a sort of Thucydidean account, neither rah-rah in support or unhinged in hatred, of why the »

The missing link

Featured image Writing about Richard Samuelson’s review of Gordon Wood’s new book on Adams and Jefferson yesterday, I omitted the link to Richard’s excellent review. Here it is: “Best of enemies.” As is frequently the case with the Claremont Review of Books, here we have a case of perfectly matched reviewer and book. Quotable quote: “Wood’s bias is to trace ideas to sub-rational sources. He points to Adams’s tendency ‘to borrow heavily »

CRB: Best of enemies [link added]

Featured image This week we have previewed three stellar review/essays from the new (Winter) issue of the Claremont Review of Books (subscribe here). It is an invaluable magazine for those of us who love penetrating essays on, and reviews of books about, politics, history, literature and culture. We conclude our preview with Richard Samuelson’s review of Friends Divided, Gordon Wood’s book-length study of Adams and Jefferson. Our friend Richard judges: “Wood’s inner »

CRB: Battle for a continent

Featured image In the third installment of our preview of the new (Winter) issue of the Claremont Review of Books (subscribe here), Algis Valiunas takes up Francis Parkman’s monumental history of the settling of North America and the contest between France and England for control. Parkman’s work has itself receded into history that exists only to be renounced and condemned. In the review/essay “Battle for a continent,” Algis declines to subscribe to »

CRB: Draining the swamp

Featured image We continue our preview of the new (Winter) issue of the Claremont Review of Books hot off the press. It went into the mail on Monday and is accessible online to to subscribers now. Buy an annual subscription including immediate online access here for the modest price of $19.95. It is an invaluable magazine for those of us who love trustworthy essays on, and reviews of books about, politics, history, »

The Power Line Show, Ep. 112: Fred Siegel—An Origin Story

Featured image Three years ago I sat down with Fred Siegel with my video camera and conducted a long interview with him about nearly everything, which I then edited down to five short installments on Power Line (you can take in the first episode again here and find the rest in our search window if you prefer vide0), but I realized that our complete conversation would make a great podcast. The result »

Thoughts from the ammo line

Featured image Ammo Grrrll takes a lemon and makes a lemonade in A MEDITATION ON GRATITUDE. She writes: Last Saturday, I read Scott’s column on the unseemly ingratitude of Ilhan Omar. Unfortunately, the day before, I had written an almost identical column to post this week. I sent mine to Scott with a laugh, accusing him of performing a Vulcan mind-meld, but he encouraged me to give it my own spin. So »

The Power Line Show, Ep. 111: C.S. Lewis on Politics and the Natural Law

Featured image Just in time for the long holiday weekend, an early edition of the Power Line Show, with special guest Justin Buckley Dyer of the University of Missouri. Prof. Dyer is the co-author (with Micah Watson) of a terrific book on C.S. Lewis on Politics and the Natural Law. Though Lewis was known as a literary critic and Christian apologist, a lot of his work bears on the deepest political and »

This Week @ Yale: Equality Uber Alles!

Featured image For those of you in the New Haven area, I’ll be returning to Yale on Thursday afternoon (if the airlines and weather cooperate!) for the next in my series of lectures for the William F. Buckley Program at Yale, this time on the subject “The Endless Quest for Social Equality.” The actual lecture has taken a different—and I guarantee more provocative!—direction since the description written for the early announcement below, »

Thoughts from the ammo line

Featured image Ammo Grrrll announces GOOD ORAL HYGIENE & OTHER GOOD NEWS. She writes: In an amazing coincidence, I was having MY teeth cleaned the same week as Beto O’Rourke! Dental Mania! I did not think to livestream the event for my tens of fans. My hygienist is Laura, not Diana, like Beto’s. And I knew you’d want to know that. By the way, my actual real middle name is Marie, so »