Books

Talking about M. Stanton Evans: Conservative Wit, Apostle of Freedom

Featured image Steven Hayward just concluded his conversation with AEI’s Matt Continetti about a certain book that is just days away from publication. Hint: Steve wrote the book. Steve is not exactly a tough interview, but Matt did an excellent job in hitting the high points. AEI’s live stream was converted to the video below a few seconds ago. There is not a dull moment in it and many laughs along the »

Today’s Stan: The Early Line on Reagan

Featured image Stan Evans, about whom a certain new book is just days away, was an early fan of Ronald Reagan, arguing as early as March of 1968 that Reagan—rather than Nixon (whom Evans disliked)—should be the GOP nominee. But it wasn’t simply Reagan’s conservatism that attracted his favor. He noticed Reagan’s broad appeal in California, and thought it could be extended to new constituencies on the national level, as indeed it »

Today’s Stan: On the “Great Society”

Featured image Today’s quote from a certain forthcoming book: Stan Evans, speaking to the Philadelphia Society in 1967, as LBJ’s “Great Society” was just getting rolling: The most important of the reversals which confronts us, the most important of the inversions worked upon the American system by the ministrations of the Great Society and of the other representatives of the liberal orthodoxy which have preceded it, is the inversion which has taken »

Upcoming Events

Featured image My biography of M. Stanton Evans comes out in another week, and there are two upcoming events to help launch the book that readers may wish to take in. Both will be livestreamed, but also available online after. This Tuesday afternoon (Match 15) at 2 pm eastern, Matt Continetti will host me for a book forum at AEI. Like most DC think tanks, AEI is not yet having events with »

Redistributing daylight

Featured image Daylight saving time is mistakenly credited to Benjamin Franklin. It may still be a good idea even if it wasn’t inspired by Franklin. Nevertheless, I find the commencement of daylight saving time today annoying. As a morning person, I am not the least bit pleased by the extension of dawn by an hour so early in the year. By the same token, do we really need to move sunset back »

Upcoming Events

Featured image For Bay Area readers with time on their hands, I’ve got two upcoming events that may be of interest. First, next Wednesday evening down in Menlo Park, I’ll be hosting Bjorn Lomborg at a Pacific Research Institute dinner at the Rosewood Sand Hill resort. Tickets start at $150. Details here. (The registration deadline is tomorrow I believe, so don’t wait!) Bjorn will talk about “Climate Change and Effective Policy: Is Alarmism »

Stalin’s library and mine

Featured image In his review of Stalin’s Library: A Dictator and His Books, by Geoffrey Roberts, Nigel Jones writes in the Spectator: Roberts takes us through Stalin’s life and shows how his reading molded his actions. Books transformed the bright seminary student into a ferocious revolutionary, prepared to sacrifice family, friends and a vast array of enemies — capitalists, kulaks, fellow Bolsheviks, imperialists, Trotskyist deviationists and millions of ordinary Soviet citizens — »

Lincoln with Chase(r)

Featured image Barton Swaim commends three new books in the popular history mode on Lincoln — by Brian Kilmeade, Brad Meltzer and John Avlon — in the Wall Street Journal’s Review section this weekend. Swaim recounts this anecdote lifted from John Avlon’s Lincoln and the Fight For Peace, with which Swaim concludes his review: On April 8, 1865, Lincoln visited Gen. Grant’s headquarters near Richmond and consoled wounded Union soldiers in a »

My Books of 2021

Featured image An old friend texted me last week to ask why I hadn’t done a post on books I read in 2021. There is no particular reason; I did such a post in 2019, but I don’t think I did one last year. But it is fun to think back and try to reconstruct my reading over the last year, and some of our readers may be interested in my reactions »

Is Joe Biden In the Pocket of the Chinese Communist Party?

Featured image Peter Schweizer is an excellent researcher who has built a solid body of work that, among other things, exposes corruption in America’s political class. His most recent book, Red-Handed: How American Elites Get Rich Helping China Win, is the most sensational yet. The New York Post has a long excerpt from Peter’s book relating to Joe Biden and his family (links omitted): For those wondering why Joe Biden is soft »

A footnote on “Troubles”

Featured image In my brief comments on Rebecca Donner’s All the Frequent Troubles of Our Days, I skated over Donner’s treatment of the Harnacks’ communism and espionage on behalf of the Soviet Union. The Harnacks’ communism is implicit and their espionage explicit in the narrative. I found Donner’s treatment of Mildred’s communism far more forthcoming than Erik Larson’s treatment of the same issue with respect to Martha Dodd in his Garden of »

“All the frequent troubles of our days”

Featured image Although the text of the book runs to nearly 500 pages, I consumed All the Frequent Troubles of Our Days in three big gulps. I found it a powerful and moving book that was hard to put down. If you want to know what it was like to live in Berlin during the Nazis’ rise to power through the first few years of the war, author Rebecca Donner offers a »

When Elvis met Nixon

Featured image Yesterday I focused on Elvis’s recorded work while nodding to Peter Guralnick’s two-volume biography of Elvis — Last Train to Memphis and Careless Love — to tell the life. Guralnick has made himself the essential Elvis historian. Guralnick of course recounts the true story of the day in December 1970 when Elvis met Nixon in the White House. The story of the visit provides insight into Elvis’s patriotism as well »

Newton’s first law, etc.

Featured image A look, a book, and a crook (or a crock). What is the question, according to Carnac the Magnificent? I don’t know, but it is the miscellany that I need this morning. Thinking of Carnac makes me laugh. I think I was studying high school physics when I heard him divine the question to the answer: “One fig to a cookie.” The question: “What is Newton’s first law?” It still »

Shapes of things: Laptop from hell edition

Featured image New York Post columnist Miranda Devine has committed the story of the laptop from hell to book form. Published on November 30, the book is Laptop from Hell: Hunter Biden, Big Tech, and the Dirty Secrets the President Tried to Hide. The story is familiar to Power Line readers, yet in Devine’s telling it comes infuriatingly to life — an almost unbelievable story of censorship and suppression in the land »

Mr. Socialist confesses…

Featured image This is a personal note about Garrison Keillor. I began listening to Keillor on Minnesota Public Radio while I was in law school. Garrison occupied the station’s three-hour morning slot five days a week with A Prairie Home Morning Show. I thought the show was so entertaining and funny that he would become a star. I learned a lot about American popular music listening to the show. The first time »

Bob Dole at war

Featured image Bob Dole was a happy undergrad at the University of Kansas in 1942. “He didn’t want to go to war,” Richard Ben Cramer writes in chapter 5 of What It Takes: The Way to the White House, his doorstop “masterpiece” (as Jonathan Martin called it when Cramer died in 2013). Dole was happily “fooling around” on campus and at his fraternity, pursuing his studies, going out for football, baseball, and »