Books

CRB: Who’s your daddy?

Featured image The identity politics that permeates our public life will destroy the United States if it has not already remade it into something that is destined to fall of its own weight. In the just published Winter issue of the Claremont Review of Books, Hillsdale’s David Azzerad reviews Mary Eberstadt’s new book on identity politics. The book comprises a short monograph by Eberstadt along with responses by Rod Dreher of the »

CRB: Going off the rails

Featured image The Claremont Review of Books has just published its new (Winter) issue. Thanks to the editors, I reviewed the issue in galley to pick out four pieces to roll out this for Power Line readers. 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. This issue features essays by the likes of Amy Wax »

The Flashman papers revisited

Featured image In the February issue of the New Criterion John Steele Gordon revisits the Flashman novels of George MacDonald Fraser. Gordon’s essay is “No flash in the pan.” For reasons that are apparent from the outset of the essay, Gordon is a fan. The essay is an excellent weekend read. The premise of Fraser’s Flashman novels lies in the “discovery” of the papers of Harry Flashman; the novels purport to be »

The Power Line Show, Ep 168: Fight! Fight! In the White House No Less!

Featured image This week we violate the legendary first rule of Fight Club with Tevi Troy, author of the wonderfully gossipy new book Fight House: Rivalries in the White House from Truman to Trump. Troy, a veteran of the George W. Bush White House and author of several previous books about overlooked aspects of the presidency, takes us on a tour of some of the legendary feuds and personality and power clashes »

Liberals Versus the Constitution

Featured image It was jarring to the ears to hear Democrats piously invoking the words and “original intent” of the Founders during the impeachment farce, because as everyone knows liberals would re-write the Constitution wholesale if they had the power to do so. The list of things they despise in our Constitution is quite long, i.e. get rid of the electoral college, abolish the Senate, etc. I’ve seen lists with as many »

Western Civilization, why it’s real and why it matters

Featured image Steve’s latest “Power Line Show” features my friend Stanley Kurtz discussing his new book, The Lost History of Western Civilization. Steve’s discussion with Stanley is well worth checking out. I also recommend this post by Stanley at NRO’s Corner. In addition to announcing the publication of The Lost History of Western Civilization, it provides an excellent analysis of what’s at stake in the academic dispute over Western Civilization. Stanley argues: »

The Power Line Show, Ep. 167: The Lost History of Western Civilization, with Stanley Kurtz

Featured image Last week Paul wrote about the gallant efforts of Stanley Kurtz to fight the continuing death spiral of our universities, and now just in time for your Sunday afternoon walk or Monday morning commute, Stanley joins the Power Line podcast to talk about his terrific new report for the National Association of Scholars entitled The Lost History of Western Civilization. The broad outlines of this story are generally well known, but »

How Orson Bean found God

Featured image Today comes the sad news that Orson Bean has died as the result of being hit by a car in Venice, California. The AP has posted an adequate obituary mostly written by the late Bob Thomas here. With a little help from Orson himself, I would like to add to Thomas’s obituary from a perspective you are unlikely to find in the mainstream media. Orson Bean’s career spanned five decades. »

The Left’s Cultural Beclowning Continues

Featured image I decided to skip commenting on the identity politics fury around the new novel American Dirt, which is apparently offensive and must be canceled because a white woman deigned to write about hispanic immigrants. Oprah Winfrey gave the book a boost by selecting it for her book club, and now faces intense pressure from the wokerati to revoke her endorsment. Not content with this, Barnes & Noble has crumpled to »

Pelosi’s pique

Featured image The distaff contingent of the House Democrats’ caucus attended the State of the Union address last night dressed in white. I had forgotten the meaning of the symbolism, although I did notice that no one’s attire exceeded Pelosi’s in whiteness. She was, preeminently, the woman in white. As President Trump moved into the wrenching heart of his speech, Pelosi demonstrated her disapproval with a variety of facial maneuvers. Like a »

“Fight House,” Tevi Troy’s superb history of modern White House infighting

Featured image I admire people who do things I couldn’t do. I don’t admire people who do things I wouldn’t do. In some cases, depending on what the “things” are, I have contempt for such people. Cabinet members and high level White House staffers do things I couldn’t do. In most cases, that’s one reason why they get as far as they do. Unfortunately, some cabinet members and high level White House »

Halftime for halfwits

Featured image I haven’t thought about Hunter Thompson or Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas in a long time, but I thought about both while watching the Super Bowl halftime show yesterday. I was thinking of this quote from Thompson’s classic: “The Circus-Circus is what the whole hep world would be doing Saturday night if the Nazis had won the war. This is the sixth Reich. The ground floor is full of »

The Power Line Show, Ep. 166: America’s Revolutionary Mind, With C. Bradley Thompson [with comment by Paul]

Featured image Prof. C. Bradley Thompson of Clemson University has written a superb new book, the first of two volumes, about the American Founding, America’s Revolutionary Mind: A Moral History of the American Revolution and the Declaration That Defined It. In my opinion this book deserves to take its place alongside Bernard Bailyn’s Ideological Origins of the American Revolution and Gordon Wood’s Creation of the American Republic as one of the indispensable »

Roger Scruton Contra Mundum: Who’s the Greatest?

Featured image [Note: This lengthy post is mainly intended for our academic readers and connoisseurs of conservative intellectual history, and if this is not your cup of tea—like Paul’s soccer posts—you’ll want to move on right away to another item and spare us your TL;DR complaints. . .] I had a notion that when I said in my observance of the passing of Sir Roger Scruton that he was “the greatest conservative »

The Power Line Show, Ep. 162: Stephen Knott on “The Lost Soul of the American Presidency”

Featured image This week’s guest is Stephen F. Knott of the Naval War College, discussing his terrific new book, The Lost Soul of the American Presidency: The Decline into Demagoguery and the Prospects for Renewal, just out from University Press of Kansas. Knott, one of the nation’s pre-eminent scholars of Alexander Hamilton, thinks the American presidency has slipped from the modest republican design of the Founders almost from the very beginning, starting with »

Sir Roger Scruton, RIP

Featured image Very sad news from England this morning of the passing of Sir Roger Scruton at the age of 75 after a long battle with cancer over the last year. Sir Roger deserves to be considered the greatest conservative thinker and writer of the last generation—full stop—certainly the most prolific and wide-ranging since G.K. Chesterton, having published more than 50 books and countless articles. I’ve been trying for the longest time »

The plot against the president: The video

Featured image Coming in at number two in my books of 2019 is Lee Smith’s The Plot Against the President: The True Story of How Congressman Devin Nunes Uncovered the Biggest Political Scandal in U.S. History. I offered my appreciation of the book in “All the president’s men, take 2.” Leslie Eastman was on my wavelength in her appreciation of the book for Legal Insurrection. If you’re looking for reviews, that’s it! »