Books

Give Birx the works

Featured image Michael Senger read Deborah Birx’s memoir Silent Invasion: The Untold Story of the Trump Administration, Covid-19, and Preventing the Next Pandemic Before It’s Too Late so that we don’t have to. In Senger’s judgment, Birx’s book “reads like a how-to guide from the front lines of subverting a democratic superpower from within.” Given late-breaking events yesterday, I can’t declare this the quote of the day, but it deserves special attention: »

David McCullough, RIP

Featured image Today comes news of the death of historian David McCullough yesterday at the age of 89. The New York Times obituary by Daniel Lewis is here. McCullough was a popular historian who was an intense researcher with an incredible gift for narrative. I think he loved narrative history and America in roughly equal measure. The two loves made him an immensely popular popular historian — a popular historian of quality. »

Dead and Gone

Featured image We are close to the end of this song of the day series featuring Minnesota musicians, but I may indulge myself one more time tomorrow. If you have followed along, you may have noticed that I have excavated songs with an upbeat tone or feeling. In the spirit of the Inflation Reduction Act, the time has come for music in a more desperate mood. With my friend Scott Sansby I »

Churchill’s magnanimity

Featured image Churchill expert Richard Langworth is senior fellow at the Hilldale College Churchill Project. He wrote me yesterday after I cited Churchill’s comments on Stanley Baldwin in “What base ingratitude.” I said that Baldwin had tested the limits of Churchill’s magnanimity. My quotations from Churchill suggested that Baldwin had exceeded the limits. Mr. Langworth wrote to let me know that he had “a further refinement on that[.]” In “Churchill’s Magnanimity: Stanley »

Thoughts from the ammo line

Featured image Ammo Grrrll has an important message for her readers and those of her husband as well in BLESSED WITH ALL THIS LIFE. She writes: Sometimes, when the President of the Free World has just announced that he has cancer which was brought on by an oily windshield when he was a lad in Delaware, where he moved from Scranton when he was 10, it can get a person down. Oh, »

COVID’s Greatest Victim: Hong Kong

Featured image Before COVID arrived, there were mass protests in Hong Kong over the ChiComms in Beijing repudiating their promise to respect Hong Hong’s democracy for 50 years following the 1997 handover. Dissidents were being arrested and jailed (Jimmy Lai is still in jail), and free elections canceled. Once COVID hit and lockdown started, any chance of mass mobilization dried up. There wouldn’t even be a chance for a Tiananman Square moment. »

Via Meadia

Featured image The Wall Street Journal’s Global View columnist Walter Russell Mead wrote an excellent column for us on his interest in the subject of his new book, The Arc of a Covenant: The United States, Israel, and the Fate of the Jewish People. Having spoken with Walter in his office in 2015, I vividly remember his discussion of American attitudes toward the Middle East. He was finishing God and Gold: Britain, »

Walter Russell Mead: The Arc of a Covenant

Featured image Walter Russell Mead is the James Clarke Chace Professor of Foreign Affairs and Humanities at Bard College and the Wall Street Journal’s Global View columnist. He is the author of Special Providence: American Foreign Policy and How It Changed the World (2002), perhaps the most important foreign policy book of the past 25 years, and, most recently, The Arc of a Covenant: The United States, Israel, and the Fate of »

Getting Right With Burke

Featured image Listeners to the 3WHH podcast will know that “Lucretia” and I have long divided on the question of Edmund Burke. To paraphrase something William F. Buckley once said about Harry Jaffa, if you think it is difficult to argue with Lucretia, just try agreeing with her—it’s nearly impossible. Back in our grad school days we liked to make fun of the leftist pop psychology popular at the time that everything »

Learning from Euthydemus

Featured image I’ve been studying Xenophon’s Memorabilia with friends over the past few months. Xenophon was a student and friend of Socrates. His memoirs are devoted to an account and defense of Socrates following the trial that resulted in his death. It’s an interesting and classic work. We have used Amy Bonnette’s translation in Cornell’s Agora series as our text. It comes with an excellent introduction by Christopher Bruell and annotations by »

Podcast: Stan Evans on Theology and Internal Security

Featured image The penultimate chapter of my recent biography, M. Stanton Evans: Conservative Wit, Apostle of Freedom, summarizes the enduring literary, philosophical, and historical contributions of his last two books, The Theme Is Freedom, and Blacklisted by History: The Untold Story of Sen. Joseph McCarthy. Digging into the audio archives of the Philadelphia Society, I found two talks Stan gave—one in 1994 that displays his theological insight, and a second around 2004 »

Random road trip notes

Featured image I went to Madison for the weekend to visit a college friend being treated as an outpatient at the University of Wisconsin Hospital. Madison is a four-hour drive from St. Paul. I have a few personal notes on the weekend. • Coming from the Twin Cities, I was struck by how immaculate Madison is and how much new commercial construction is taking place in town. • Driving to Madison brought »

Stories to tell

Featured image We noted the commencement addresses President Biden gave over the weekend in “The Biden corrections.” In his remarks at the Naval Academy — White House transcript here — Biden disclosed a previously unknown element of his glorious life. He told the graduating midshipmen that he turned down an appointment to the academy: Before I begin my speech, a thought crossed my mind as I was told the Class of ‘72 »

One damn thing after another

Featured image I have four propositions with which many readers will disagree. First, William Barr was an outstanding Attorney General of the United States in the Trump administration. Second, if it weren’t for Barr, the Mueller investigation would still be going strong persecuting innocent citizens. We would be entertaining proposals to convert it into a permanent commission. Third, I agree entirely with his critique of President Trump’s endgame on January 6. (I »

Signs and omens

Featured image We greatly enjoyed the news regarding the rollout of the new biography of (Don’t Forget to Call Her Doctor) Jill Biden’s biography by AP reporters Julie Pace and Darlene Superville. What was the news? The sales were dismal. We filed the news under “Signs and omens.” I feel obligated to update that post with Bloomberg’s report that Kamala Harris collected some $450,000 in book royalties during her first year in »

Signs and omens

Featured image In terms of sales, the rollout of the biography of the eminent Dr. Jill Biden by AP reporters Julie Pace and Darlene Superville was not impressive. Despite supportive press, the book sold only 250 copies nationwide in its first week. The crushing news was buried in an otherwise lame Politico story about covering the Biden presidency, as Andrew Stiles pointed out in a story for the Washington Free Beacon. Six »

Another word about Midge

Featured image Wilfred McClay is the formidable historian and a leading light of our intellectual life. On May 17 he is to be recognized with one of this year’s Bradley Prizes — this one — along with Glenn Loury and Chen Guangcheng. Bill wrote me last night: “That is such sad news about Midge. I loved that woman She had more soul in her little finger than any seven other people. I »