Books

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 »

Harvey Klehr: The Millionaire Was a Soviet Mole

Featured image Harvey Klehr is the Andrew W. Mellon professor emeritus of politics and history at Emory University, and co-author, with John Haynes, of The Secret World of American Communism, Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America, and In Denial: Historians, Communism & Espionage. Tomorrow is the official publication date of Professor Klehr’s new book, The Millionaire Was a Soviet Mole: The Twisted Life of David Karr. We invited Professor Klehr to bring »

The Power Line Show, Ep. 133: Andrew Roberts Unplugged, on Brexit, Churchill, Trump, and Historiography

Featured image One of my teachers in graduate school, the great constitutional historian Leonard Levy, insisted that “a history must serve its readers with explanations that suit the horizons of their curiosity and with writing that entertains and stirs them.” No one exemplifies that vivid style of biography and history better than Andrew Roberts. I caught up with Andrew in San Francisco this week, where we had a wide-ranging conversation about Churchill, »

VDH recommends

Featured image While the academic study of military history is in a state of sickness unto death in the academy, it lives because of its popularity with the American people. In his terrific essay “Why study war,” Victor Davis Hanson observes: The university’s aversion to the study of war certainly doesn’t reflect public lack of interest in the subject. Students love old-fashioned war classes on those rare occasions when they’re offered, usually »

Embarrassing Liberals [With Reminiscence by John]

Featured image I missed the notice a few days ago that publisher Houghton-Mifflin is delaying publication of Naomi Wolf’s latest book, Outrages, for the simple reason that it has been exposed as an embarrassing piece of crap. (See Scott’s post “Death Recorded Live” if you haven’t followed this fabulous story.) This from the Times story: “As we have been working with Naomi Wolf to make corrections to ‘Outrages,’ new questions have arisen »

Death recorded live

Featured image I’d lost track of Naomi Wolf, the former political adviser who was reportedly well paid for helping Al Gore coordinate his wardrobe in the 2000 presidential campaign. Wolf appeared on BBC Radio 3 for an interview with Matthew Sweet to promote her new book, Outrages: Sex, Censorship and the Criminalization of Love. BBC Radio has posted the entire 54-minute Arts & Ideas episode here. Historian and Spectator USA Life & »

Edmund Morris, RIP

Featured image When I interviewed Michael Deaver, one of Ronald Reagan’s senior aides from his days as governor and into his second presidential term, in the course of writing my two-volume Age of Reagan book project, he confessed that recommending Edmund Morris be Reagan’s official biographer was the second-biggest mistake he ever made in Reagan’s service. Immediately your mind will run to the obvious question, which I duly asked: What was your biggest »

Tom Cotton’s sacred duty

Featured image In his excellent review of Sacred Duty: A Soldier’s Tour at Arlington National Cemetery, by Senator Tom Cotton, Scott Johnson criticized himself for not asking Tom about his service in the Old Guard at Arlington National Cemetery when the two met in New York City years ago. Scott says he now “feels like a fool” for not having asked questions that would have elicited some of the information contained in »

How to read Herman Wouk

Featured image Herman Wouk died last week at the age of 103, 10 days short of his 104th birthday. So notes William Grimes in his New York Times obit of Wouk. Grimes’s obit is equivocal about Wouk’s accomplishments as an author, but one must be amazed by his career. One cannot miss this in Grimes’s obit. Wouk lived one of the great American lives. We nevertheless know him, if at all, entirely »

The Power Line Show, Ep. 125: The Antidote to Howard Zinn? “Land of Hope” with Wilfred McClay

Featured image Lo and behold, I opened up this morning’s Wall Street Journal to see a weekend interview with this week’s guest, historian Wilfred M. McClay of the University of Oklahoma, about his brand new book Land of Hope: An Invitation to the Great American Story. In the course of our conversation, we cover not only what’s wrong (but also partly right) about Howard Zinn, but how Bill got the audacious idea »

Sacred Duty: A Soldier’s Tour at Arlington

Featured image Today is the official publication date of Sacred Duty: A Soldier’s Tour at Arlington National Cemetery, by Senator Tom Cotton. It is now available in bookstores and on Amazon. Publishers Weekly and Kirkus Reviews have already posted laudatory reviews. I cannot recommend the book highly enough to Power Line readers and want only to add this personal note. I first met Tom (as I will refer to him here) face »

Passings

Featured image Another busy, travel-heavy week, so I wasn’t able to post a proper obituary notice for John Lukacs, who passed away early this week at the age of 95. The first Lukacs book I read as an undergraduate way back in 1980 was The Passing of the Modern Age, followed shortly by 1945: Year Zero, and I was hooked. (Both of these books hold up extremely well after 40 years.) Lukacs »

CRB: Giving up Darwin

Featured image We conclude our week-long preview of the new (Spring) issue of the Claremont Review of Books (subscribe here) this morning. I stretched our preview to from three days to five in part because of my indecision, in part because of my desire to give readers a glimpse of the many highlights on display in this issue. I think we have a good thing going. We conclude with a highlight of »

CRB: Tucker’s right

Featured image So far this week we have previewed three stellar review/essays from the new (Spring) 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 continue this morning with Michael Anton’s review of Tucker Carlson’s book Ship of Fools. Tucker has a book? Well, yes, he does. »

CRB: True believers

Featured image We continue our preview of the new (Spring) issue of the Claremont Review of Books hot off the press. It went into the mail on Monday and is accessible online to subscribers now. Buy an annual subscription including immediate online access here for the modest price of $19.95. If you love trustworthy essays on, and reviews of books about, politics, history, literature and culture, the CRB may be for you. »

CRB: A kinder, gentler Gulag

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 Spring 2019 issue of the CRB has just been placed in the mail. The editors have »