Month: August 2020

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What the Editors Are Reading
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What the Editors Are Reading

Stendhal was the pen name of Marie-Henri Beyle, who adopted it from the name of a German town he had seen with Napoleon’s army. His 1839 novel of the Napoleonic era, La Chartreuse de Parme (The Charterhouse of Parma), was

Polemics & Exchanges
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Polemics & Exchanges

Bringing Up Buckley

In his response to Jack Trotter’s essay on William F. Buckley, Jr. (“Defense of Bill Buckley,” Polemics and Exchanges, June 2020), Tom Pauken writes that Ronald Reagan as president “orchestrated an effective strategy that won the Cold

Don’t Know Much About History
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Don’t Know Much About History

A few years ago, I was fortunate enough to be included in a group meeting with a former adviser to President Trump. At one point, this former adviser asked me what I thought conservatives needed to do to win over

Solid Strategy, Limited Vision
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Solid Strategy, Limited Vision

Metternich: Strategist and Visionary by Wolfram Siemann; Translated by Daniel Steuer; Belknap Press, Harvard University; 928 pp., $39.95

 

All states need a strategy, however rudimentary, in order to survive. Great powers need much more: a viable grand strategy for war

Antifa: Nazis Without a Plan
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Antifa: Nazis Without a Plan

Although I have spent much of my scholarly life warning against inappropriate comparisons between Nazis or fascists and the pet peeves of academics and journalists, I myself am now using the F-word (as in fascist) or really the N-word (as

In This Number
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In This Number

Like many historical questions, critical reassessments of the dropping of an atomic bomb on Hiroshima and then Nagasaki 75 years ago have moved generally from right to left. In the 1950s and even later, when National Review was unmistakably on

A Decadent Diagnosis
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A Decadent Diagnosis

The Decadent Society: How We Became Victims of Our Own Success by Ross Douthat; Avid Reader Press; 272 pp., $27.00

 

The ancient latin aphorism per aspera ad astra (“through rough things, to the stars”) might well be a fitting epigraph

Hobbes, the First Individualist
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Hobbes, the First Individualist

Too many conservatives get  Thomas Hobbes wrong. In a recent piece for The Imaginative Conservative, Bradley Birzer argues that the famed 17th century English philosopher is responsible for supplying the recipe for “a collectivist horror.” 

He credits Hobbes with

Remembering George Grant
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Remembering George Grant

The Unconventional Tory

In an age beset by anxiety over the survival of the nation-state and social traditionalism, the Canadian thinker George Parkin Grant (1918-1988) is an indispensable guide to making sense of the modern predicament. Although he contributed to

Alien Intuitions
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Alien Intuitions

The Vast of Night

Directed by Andrew Patterson ◆ Written by Andrew Patterson and Craig W. Sanger ◆ Produced by GED Cinema ◆ Distributed by Amazon Studios

Shirley

Directed by Josephine Decker ◆ Written by Sarah Gubbins based on a

A Bit of British Virtue Signaling
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A Bit of British Virtue Signaling

Politics is downstream from culture—so said Andrew Breitbart, that somewhat uncouth American media man. Well, for us Brits, culture and politics are downstream from America, and sometimes it feels as if the currents run too fast. In recent days, Britain,

The Virus Sidelines Europe’s Right Wing
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The Virus Sidelines Europe’s Right Wing

COVID-19 has rendered Europe’s right-wing parties all but obsolete, at least in the near-term. Nationalist parties like Alternative für Deutschland (AfD, “Alternative for Germany”) and the Dutch Partij voor de Vrijheid (PVV, “Party for Freedom”) had built their electoral clout

Defending Ourselves Without Hate
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Defending Ourselves Without Hate

The radicals under the flags of Antifa and Black Lives Matter who are trashing our cities and destroying our monuments say they are fighting against “white supremacy.” BLM, on its website, lists as chief among its goals to “end white

Books in Brief
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Books in Brief

The Shortest Way With Defoe—Robinson Crusoe, Deism, and the Novel, by Michael B. Prince (University of Virginia Press; 350 pp., $69.50). Daniel Defoe’s 1722 novel A Journal of the Plague Year has been much-read recently, for obvious reasons. But

Seattle’s Summer of Hate
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Seattle’s Summer of Hate

“We’ve got four blocks in Seattle that you just saw pictures of that  is more like a block party atmosphere. It’s not an armed takeover… We could have the Summer of Love.”
—Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan
 

These sanguine and rather 

Slaying Dragons, Coddling Snakes
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Slaying Dragons, Coddling Snakes

The Dragons and the Snakes: How the Rest Learned to Fight the West by David Kilcullen; Oxford University Press; 336 pp., $27.95

 

When the West defeated the Soviet Union, CIA Director R. James Woolsey, Jr., observed that we had