Communism

Herbert Meyer, RIP

Featured image Very sad news this evening of the passing of Herbert Meyer, one of the genuine heroes of the Cold War for his service in the CIA under President Reagan. It was Meyer who, in a famous memo to Reagan in November 1983 when things were very tense with our intermediate-range missile deployments in Europe, wrote: “if present trends continue, we are going to win the Cold War.” Over eight vivid »

Politics on South Street

Featured image Turner Classic Movies has a show called “Noir Alley.” It airs around midnight on Saturday/Sunday. The show presents movies from the film noir genre. Some are classics, many are quite good, and nearly all are worth watching. Eddie Muller hosts “Noir Alley.” He deserves great credit for presenting these films, some of which he helped restore, to television audiences and at film festivals. Muller also provides useful and sometimes fascinating »

Bernie’s Soviet honeymoon

Featured image The Washington Post runs a worthwhile account of Bernie Sanders’ 1988 honeymoon in the Soviet Union. The Post claims that this event is “little understood.” However, the article confirms, albeit sheepishly, what I take to be the common understanding of Bernie’s honeymoon: Sanders went because he had an affinity for the Soviet Union and left finding much to admire about it. The Post dances around what is perhaps the most »

The ideologue who wrote the textbook calling Trump and his supporters “racists”

Featured image Yesterday, I wrote about the AP U.S. History textbook By the People that calls President Trump and his core supporters “racists” and suggests that the president is “mentally unstable.” Today, I want to write about James W. Fraser, the author of this egregiously biased left-wing book. Stanley Kurtz blew the whistle on Fraser a year ago. Rereading Stanley’s piece made my blood boil, just as it was simmering down. Fraser »

Is Bernie Sanders a Communist?

Featured image This video of Bernie Sanders in 1985, celebrating the 7th anniversary of the Communist takeover of Nicaragua, is a classic. I knew people who talked like this, but that was in the 1960s and early 1970s. By 1985, almost everyone knew better. But not Bernie Sanders. Video: At the invitation of the communist regime in Nicaragua, @BernieSanders speaks at the 7th anniversary of the Sandinista Revolution in 1985, where he »

“Cold War,” best Cold War movie ever?

Featured image David French and Jonah Goldberg ask what’s the best Cold War movie ever. French selects “Hunt for Red October.” Goldberg presents this list: 1. “The Lives of Others” 2. “Right Stuff” 3. “Dr. Strangelove” 4. “Fail-Safe” 5. “Red Dawn” 6. “Hunt For Red October” My vote goes to “The Lives of Others”. But now there’s another contender, one I put in second place. It’s a Polish film called, fittingly, “Cold »

Useful idiots, Kristof edition

Featured image Lo these many years since the Russian Revolution and the collapse of the Soviet Union, the New York Times is still doing public relations for Communism. The most recent example — I find it almost unbelievable — is Nicholas Kristof’s January 18 Times column “Why Infants May Be More Likely to Die in America Than Cuba” (accessible here on Outline). Kristof writes: Cuba has the Medicare for All that many »

Holiday reading

Featured image As we kick off the new year with our felicitations to readers, I want to recommend some reading, mostly from recent Picks. In case you missed one or the other the first time around, consider this: • Lee Smith, “How should we read the American press? In Arabic” (Tablet). • David Albright, Olli Heinonen, Frank Pabian & Andrew Stricker, “Anatomy of Iran’s Deception and How Iran Benefited” (Foundation for Defense »

A Whitaker Chambers Xmas revisited

Featured image A friend asked me to recommend a book about Whittaker Chambers as a Christmas gift for her smartly conservative daughter a few years ago. Chambers stands at the center of an incredible drama and several fantastic books that I know of about him. There is still much to be learned from him and his case. I want to revisit and expand the list this year with a little help from »

CRB: Blood-soaked monsters

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 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 Fall 2018 issue of the CRB has just gone to the printer. The editors have given me a »

The Power Line Show, Ep. 92: “We Can Win This Thing”

Featured image I’ve finished a long review of three new books out about Reagan and two key moments in the Cold War, specifically the “war scare” during the Able Archer exercise in the fall of 1983 when, it was subsequently learned, the Soviet Union went on high alert and possibly (it still isn’t clear) contemplated a pre-emptive first strike of their own, and Reagan’s efforts, through the CIA, to undermine Communism in »

Back to School

Featured image So I arrive on campus for the first day of classes yesterday, where I am greeted with this large poster: Just how to think about this? That it is good to see that college folk still have a sense of humor? A “Civil War on the Left” entry? Or opportunity for satire: “In this corner, Tweedledee; in that corner, Tweedledum.” Maybe an occasion to modify an old joke: “The problem »

Charles Kesler speaks

Featured image Last week we celebrated the week of Charles — Charles Kesler, Dengler-Dykema Distinguished Professor of Government at Clarmeont McKenna College, editor of the Claremont Review of Books, long-time friend and tutor — for his receipt of one of this year’s Bradley Prize awards along with Allen Guelzo and Jason Riley. I have posted the video of the event below (it is posted here on Vimeo). Charles is a gentleman, scholar, »

Richard Pipes, RIP

Featured image Sad news today of the passing of Richard Pipes, the great scholar of Soviet affairs and many other subjects. He was the author of many fine books, including especially his large book The Russian Revolution, which is one of the very best accounts of that crucial event. I only met the great professor once or twice very casually, in a large group at some Washington or New York dinner that »

Waiting for a miracle

Featured image Nadezhda Mandelstam was the widow of the Russian poet Osip Mandelstam and author of the astounding memoir Hope Against Hope, originally published in 1970. It is still in print after all these years and well summarized here. Osip was first arrested and taken into custody in 1934 for having written an unpublished poem critical of Stalin. Later deposited in the Stalinist “sewage disposal system” (as Solzhenitsyn called it), Osip died »

The Generation That Knew Not Josef

Featured image Outgoing Senator Jeff Flake—an old friend from years ago before he entered electoral politics—has roiled the waters with his recent remarks that were said (not quite accurately) to have compared President Trump to Josef Stalin. This purported comparison understandably upset conservatives (and Flake was quick to correct the Tweet-fueled mischaracterization of his point), but I naturally wondered if he wasn’t onto a brilliant bit of misdirection: Everyone knows that Trump »

A Whittaker Chambers Xmas

Featured image I was reminded that a friend asked me to recommend a book about Whittaker Chambers as a Christmas gift for her smartly conservative daughter a few years ago. Chambers stands at the center of an incredible drama and four fantastic books about it. There is still much to be learned from Chambers and his case. It occurred to me that some readers might appreciate another look at these recommendations including »