History

The Power Line Show, Ep. 120: Reckoning With Race: America’s Failure

Featured image Just in time for your Easter Sunday afternoon walk or Monday morning commute, the latest podcast. Gene Dattel is my extraordinary guest on this week’s show. Gene is the author of a book that deserves to be much better known—Reckoning With Race: America’s Failure (Encounter Books). This remarkably compact book is brimming with details about and revisions to the standard narratives of race relations in America from the colonial era »

“We Shape Our Buildings. . .”

Featured image Like Paul I’m overwhelmed by the sight of Notre Dame in flames. I don’t know how many times I have visited, but one of my favorite things to do in Paris is to linger outside the Shakespeare & Company bookstore right across the Seine and gaze at the cathedral especially in the changing afternoon and early evening light, much as Cezanne and Monet must have done to inspire some of »

Notre Dame Survives, Mostly

Featured image Like Paul, I was stunned by the news that Notre Dame Cathedral was on fire. Unlike Paul, whose wife is from Paris and who has spent a lot of time there, I have never been to Paris and have not seen Notre Dame. So I have no personal connection to the cathedral. Nevertheless, I was devastated at early reports that Notre Dame was likely to be a total loss. More »

Paul Hollander, RIP

Featured image Sad news a few days ago of the passing of Paul Hollander, the long time professor of sociology at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and author of several important books about the culture of “fellow-traveling,” that is, the pathology of left-leaning intellectuals and cultural figures who were always taken in by the latest Communist totalitarian regime merely because they mouthed the slogans of revolutionary utopia. The most famous of »

Ken Starr shielded Hillary Clinton in report on Vince Foster’s death

Featured image The death of Vince Foster, a close associate of the Bill and Hillary Clinton, as well as Hillary’s law partner in Arkansas, sparked lots of speculation by detractors of the Clintons. Was it really a suicide, as initially supposed, or was there foul play? Ken Starr, the independent counsel appointed to investigate Clinton involvement in Arkansas banking wrongdoing, took on the additional assignment of investigating Foster’s death. Starr’s predecessor in »

The Power Line Show, Ep. 118: How “Progressive” Is Progressivism?

Featured image How “Progressive” is Progressivism? Is there actually a “side of history,” or is that just the lazy formula of presumptive socialists who think they have a monopoly on the truth and don’t need to argue with or persuade anyone? In another of my lecture series for the William F. Buckley Jr. Program at Yale, I walk through more of the details of Progressivism then and now, showing continuities—and also some »

Speaking of collusion

Featured image The late Richard Pipes’s narrative history The Russian Revolution is a great work of humane learning. Pipes’s mastery of the sources inspires awe and shines through his lucid text. The text itself reflects a lifetime of study and reflection. I have been reading around lately in chapter 7 (“Toward the Catastrophe”), covering the assassination of Rasputin. Over the weekend I came across this passage on the November 14, 1916 speech »

The Dems’ apocalypse primary

Featured image The mischievous crew at the Washington Free Beacon has compiled the entertaining supercuts video posted by Andrew Stiles under the headline “The apocalypse primary.” Students of ancient history may recognize the opening few seconds of the video from the “daisy ad” the Democrats ran against Barry Goldwater in support of Lyndon Johnson in the 1964 presidential campaign — it was famous long ago. Whence should have come the expression “gilding »

D. C. contemplates changing name of Wilson High

Featured image Woodrow Wilson High is a public school in Washington, D.C. It used to be an elite school. In the 1960s, Wilson was considered as good as any public high school in the area. Its television quiz show team was one of the five best my senior year (better than the good team I competed on). I believe my class at Dartmouth contained four kids from Wilson, not many fewer than »

I hope there are no statues of John Dingell

Featured image I never met John Dingell, the long-long-serving congressman from Michigan who died last month. My main recollection of him is the fear he struck in lawyers of my acquaintance with the investigations he conducted as Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations (he also chaired the full Committee). Some Washington law firms had what they called “a Dingell practice” devoted to helping clients cope with »

When climate change really was catastrophic [UPDATED]

Featured image Archaeologists in Peru have found what they say is the site of the largest child sacrifice in the world. According to the Washington Post, about 140 children were slaughtered at the site in the mid 1400s. The children all were killed in the same way. Their chests were slit open. This was done, researchers say, to remove their hearts. Researchers have found a second site nearby that may contain as »

The missing link

Featured image Writing about Richard Samuelson’s review of Gordon Wood’s new book on Adams and Jefferson yesterday, I omitted the link to Richard’s excellent review. Here it is: “Best of enemies.” As is frequently the case with the Claremont Review of Books, here we have a case of perfectly matched reviewer and book. Quotable quote: “Wood’s bias is to trace ideas to sub-rational sources. He points to Adams’s tendency ‘to borrow heavily »

CRB: Best of enemies [link added]

Featured image This week we have previewed three stellar review/essays from the new (Winter) issue of the Claremont Review of Books (subscribe here). It is an invaluable magazine for those of us who love penetrating essays on, and reviews of books about, politics, history, literature and culture. We conclude our preview with Richard Samuelson’s review of Friends Divided, Gordon Wood’s book-length study of Adams and Jefferson. Our friend Richard judges: “Wood’s inner »

CRB: Battle for a continent

Featured image In the third installment of our preview of the new (Winter) issue of the Claremont Review of Books (subscribe here), Algis Valiunas takes up Francis Parkman’s monumental history of the settling of North America and the contest between France and England for control. Parkman’s work has itself receded into history that exists only to be renounced and condemned. In the review/essay “Battle for a continent,” Algis declines to subscribe to »

The Power Line Show, Ep. 112: Fred Siegel—An Origin Story

Featured image Three years ago I sat down with Fred Siegel with my video camera and conducted a long interview with him about nearly everything, which I then edited down to five short installments on Power Line (you can take in the first episode again here and find the rest in our search window if you prefer vide0), but I realized that our complete conversation would make a great podcast. The result »

Remembering the indispensable man

Featured image Today we celebrate the anniversary of the birth of George Washington. Of all the great men of the revolutionary era to whom we owe our freedom, Washington’s greatness was the rarest and the most needed. At this remove in time, it is also the hardest to comprehend. Take, for example, Washington’s contribution to the Constitutional Convention of 1787. Washington’s mere presence lent the undertaking and its handiwork the legitimacy that »

Notes & asides

Featured image I’m struggling with a painful condition that has not yet been subdued by medication. The condition is disrupting my sleep and the medication is suppressing my energy. (I should add that my painful condition is only painful. It does not have any other physical effect.) Borrowing the heading from the old National Review Notes & Asides column in which William F. Buckley responded to letters from readers — he compiled »