Books

How the great truth dawned

Featured image Professor Gary Saul Morson’s essay “How the great truth dawned” leads off the September issue of The New Criterion. It’s not terribly long, but it must be the longest article ever published by the magazine, and you can easily see why. It is brilliant and moving. Beginning and ending with Solzhenitsyn, it takes up the Gulag, Communism, mass murder, Russian literature, the turn to God and much more. I want »

The Power Line Show, Ep. 143: Heather Mac Donald’s Greatest Hits

Featured image This special double-length episode features a wide-ranging conversation with best-selling author and iconoclast Heather Mac Donald of the Manhattan Institute, with special focus on her new book, The Diversity Delusion: How Race and Gender Pandering Corrupt the University and Undermine Our Culture. I hosted Heather this week at  . . . UC Berkeley (!!), and we decided that rather than going with a set-piece speech, I’d interview her about the »

Thoughts from the ammo line

Featured image Ammo Grrrll fields your questions in ASK AMMO GRRRLL. She writes: As a service to my loyal readers, periodically I will entertain questions. The great 12th Century rabbinic sage Maimonides wrote his famous Guide for the Perplexed. This, sadly, bears no earthly resemblance to that. Dear Ammo Grrrll: Do you think regular working people who pay taxes and raise kids and volunteer and go to church and join the military »

George Will’s Triumph

Featured image By special request, my long review (almost 4,000 words) of George Will’s big new book, The Conservative Sensibility, is out from behind the paywall at the Claremont Review of Books. Everyone should buy this book and actually read it: it is built to last, and, as I say early in the review, it “deserves to take its place with such classics as Friedrich Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom (1944) and »

An updated racial hustle

Featured image Between the World and Me gives us the reflections of Ta-Nehesi Coates on race in America. Coates is an esteemed and influential intellectual whose meditations are treated with great seriousness on the left. His book has remained a best-seller in hardcover on the list compiled by the New York Times for 86 weeks. Between the World and Me is easily one of the worst books I have ever read. It »

The Week @ Berkeley

Featured image For our Bay Area readers, the fourth year of my sentence as an inmate at UC Berkeley has started as of last week, and I’m teaching an undergraduate course on conservative perspectives on public policy issues that meets at 8:30 am on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I have plenty of empty seats in the classroom (room 250 at the Goldman School of Public Policy on Hearst Street on the north side »

The Last European War

Featured image Lots of notices today of the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II, which commenced with the German invasion of Poland following the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact in which the USSR and Germany agreed to carve up Poland between themselves. I decided to dust off John Lukacs’ terrific 1976 book The Last European War, which I haven’t cracked open in nearly 30 years. This long book (550 pages) covers just »

The Power Line Show, Ep. 141: The Primal Screams” of the Sexual Revolution

Featured image Just in time for your Labor Day weekend listening, our new episode offers a conversation with Mary Eberstadt, whose new book Primal Screams: How the Sexual Revolution Created Identity Politics Paul previewed here a couple days ago. The old saying is that “sex sells,” and after the sexual revolution of the last several decades who can dispute that? Meanwhile, “identity politics” is the obsession of the current moment. Is there »

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 »