Books

The Cuomo way to wealth

Featured image Disgraced New York Governor Andrew Cuomo hasn’t been much in the news lately. You may accordingly have missed the release of the state Assembly report on some of Cuomo’s misconduct in office. It is the subject of Michael Goodwin’s New York Post column “No end to how low Andrew Cuomo will go.” Referring to the report’s findings, Goodwin notes: Key among those is showing how Cuomo overruled Department of Health »

Critique of pure Tucker

Featured image Ten years ago Wilfred McClay explained the deep meaning of Rush Limbaugh in the Commentary essay “How to understand Rush Limbaugh.” I more or less celebrated Professor McClay’s essay in the post “Critique of pure Rush.” Ten years later Professor McClay is back with an essay/review occasioned by Tucker Carlson’s collection The Long Slide: Thirty Years in American Journalism. The review is published by First Things under the heading “Tucker »

Thoughts from the ammo line

Featured image Ammo Grrrll remembers: THAT WAS THE YEAR THAT WAS – March 2020 to April 2021. She writes: When you have lived for 75 years upon this planet, you think you have not only SEEN everything, but have had enough experience to ANTICIPATE what might come next. But I have to just straight-up confess that I did not, no how, no way, anticipate the fact that a good 20-30 percent of »

A Shakespearean interlude

Featured image I need to attend to personal business this morning. I thought I might confine myself to posting a note on the Osher course I just completed on “The Petrarchan sonnet in England.” Taught by Shakespearean scholar Jonathan Crewe — the Leon D. Black Professor in Shakespearean Studies emeritus at Dartmouth — this was the course description, which I found to be educational all by itself: In one of his sonnets, »

The Dying Citizen

Featured image Victor Davis Hanson’s important new book is The Dying Citizen: How Progressive Elites, Tribalism, and Globalization Are Destroying the Idea of America, published by Basic Books on October 5. Victor is a learned man who applies his learning to the present discontents in the book and in his interview with Peter Robinson (video below). The Hoover Institution/Uncommon Knowledge post includes both the video and podcast forms of the interview with »

In the midst of life

Featured image Ambrose Bierce is a writer whose cynicism matches well with our current mood, yet I wonder if anyone reads him any more or even knows who he is. If you’ve read his Civil War story “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge,” you haven’t forgotten it. In February 1964 The Twilight Zone broadcast a short French film adapting the story. If you saw it, you haven’t forgotten it. I have posted »

A Chaucerian interlude

Featured image As an undergraduate I took two English courses on the poetry of Geoffrey Chaucer, the first on The Canterbury Tales and the second on Troilus and Criseyde. Both courses were taught by Peter Travis (the first with the late, great Alan T. Gaylord), then in the early years of his distinguished career as a teacher, medievalist, and Chaucerian. Both courses were among the highlights of my education. Although he retired »

The dying citizen

Featured image Victor Davis Hanson’s new book — The Dying Citizen, published earlier this month by Basic Books — could not be more timely. American Greatness published VDH’s précis of the book’s argument here. City Journal editor Brian Anderson has now recorded a podcast with him on the themes of the book that I have embedded below. The transcript is posted here along with the podcast itself. As City Journal puts it, »

The Bidens: Corrupt or crazy?

Featured image Yesterday Matt Taibbi published the column “‘The Bidens’: Is the First Family Corrupt, or Merely Crazy?” Subhead: “Politico reporter Ben Schreckinger’s new book is an equal opportunity offender that may push a reluctant national media to re-examine ugly questions about President Joe Biden.” Taibbi posted the column to his TK News Substack site. Taibbi is probably overoptimistic about the effect of Schreckinger’s book on the national media. His column nevertheless »

Sandel’s just deserts

Featured image Provoked by Charles Murray’s laid-back admiration of Harvard Professor Michael Sandel’s The Tyranny of Merit, I touched on the issues that seem to be raised by Sandel’s book in “The merit of meritocracy.” Sandel’s book is now out in paperback and the Washington Free Beacon has just published Peter Berkowitz’s review of Sandel’s book. Placing the book in the context of Sandel’s career and the tradition of political philosophy, Berkowitz’s »

A great teacher remembered

Featured image Yale classicist and historian Donald Kagan died this past August. In the current (October) issue of the New Criterion his former student Paul Rahe draws on his long relationship with Professor Kagan for the tribute “Donald Kagan, 1932–2021.” It is a moving portrait of a great teacher. Indeed, one can infer the qualities of a great teacher from Rahe’s portrait. It is worth reading and thinking through on that ground »

Derek Chauvin needs a lawyer

Featured image Joe Tamburino is a Minneapolis lawyer who specializes in criminal defense. He observed the trial of Derek Chauvin from beginning to end in order to provide the commentary that accompanied Jason DeRusha’s coverage of WCCO TV’s online streaming of the trial. Last month Chauvin filed an appeal of his conviction and sentence. In the Star Tribune this morning Tamburino has a column pointing out that Chauvin has some strong legal »

Milley promotes himself

Featured image Senator Marsha Blackburn asked Joint Chiefs Chairman Milley about the books in which he is quoted to inflammatory effect. He acknowledged that he had sat for interviews with the authors of each of the books she specified. In his Washington Examiner Daily Memo yesterday, Byron York cited them and extracted a few of the quotes: Three of the biggest such books, all bestsellers, were Peril, by Bob Woodward and Robert »

The merit of meritocracy

Featured image Harvard’s Professor Michael Sandel is a popular teacher of philosophy. His course on Justice is renowned, as is his related book of that title. His Justice course lectures are available on YouTube. As Deirdre McCloskey concisely put it: “In contemporary terms he is a liberal, though of a decidedly ‘communitarian’ bent.” He’s the kind of academic philosopher who is tailor-made for the New York Times. Sandel’s new book is an »

Angelo Codevilla, RIP

Featured image Terrible news out this morning of the death of Angelo Codevilla, at age 78, reportedly in a car accident. It is hard to overstate the importance and brilliance of Angelo. If you only knew him by his many books and columns (including this 2015 piece he wrote for Power Line on Trump’s significance and prospects), it would be sufficient to establish his greatness. But he was also at the storm »

Thoughts from the ammo line

Featured image Ammo Grrrll counsels WHEN ANIMALS ATTACK! (With a Groovy Surprise Announcement!). She writes: So I was surfing the Net, trying to avoid actual news of the world, clicking on things like “Try not to gasp when you see Raquel Welch now…”-type stories, which always disappoint and never deliver the bombshells they promise, like a hooker who only wants to cuddle*. And I came across a story about angry cows attacking »

Podcast: The 3WHH on ‘The Soul of Politics,’ with Glenn Ellmers

Featured image Next Tuesday, Encounter Books will publish Glenn Ellmers’ magisterial intellectual biography The Soul of Politics: Harry Jaffa and the Fight for America, and Glenn joins us this week to walk through some of the highlights in the book in what is turning out to be a month-long “Jaffapalooza.” Naturally, we draw Glenn into our running argument about the problems of communicating the proper understanding of the principle of equality in an »