Alan J. Levine

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Revisiting Suicide of the West
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Revisiting Suicide of the West

The philosopher and commentator James Burnham (1905-1987) was one of National Review’s founders and senior editors. Having broken with Trotskyism, he became one of those thinkers in the tradition of Edmund Burke and James Fitzjames Stephen, who, if not …

The Critical Flaw in Critical Race Theory
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The Critical Flaw in Critical Race Theory

Over the last 30 years, especially since the spring of 2020, Critical Race Theory (CRT) and its accompanying obsessions with “whiteness” and “white privilege” has almost overwhelmed discussion about race and racism in Western society.
 
CRT “recognizes that racism is

Myths About Cuba Persist on the Left and Right
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Myths About Cuba Persist on the Left and Right

Recent debates over what to do about Cuba remain afflicted by myths, many going back to the origins of the Castros’ Communist regime. There have generally been two conflicting accounts of how this regime was established and its relation to

The Decline of the Art of Lying
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The Decline of the Art of Lying

We live in an era of unprecedently widespread lying. Yet lying itself, is an art—albeit an unadmirable one—in decline in a decadent age.

Our leaders have set a spectacularly bad example. Former President Trump lied continually and shamelessly, as do

Dropping the Ball on the Bomb
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Dropping the Ball on the Bomb

Unraveling modern confusion about the decision to drop the atomic bomb.

There is still a remarkable amount of confusion about one of the last acts of World War II: the use of the atomic bomb. The destruction of Hiroshima and

Every Man a Victim
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Every Man a Victim

“Mankind is tired of liberty.”
—Benito Mussolini

An acquaintance of mine, who is not particularly conservative, once heard a television newsman quack about how bad the 1950’s were. Disgusted, he burst out, “What was wrong with the 1950’s?

People were

The Dictator and the Scoundrel
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The Dictator and the Scoundrel

To anyone old enough to recall the early 1960’s, the names Kennedy and Khrushchev will provoke a wealth of emotional associations far stronger than those evoked by the names of most later Presidents, or of the colorless characters who followed

Theses and Antitheses
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Theses and Antitheses

American liberals have long been troubled by a sinister force lurking in our society, namely conservatism. Albert O. Hirschman’s motive in writing The Rhetoric of Reaction is to explain this phenomenon to his fellow liberals. He refrains from psychoanalyzing conservatism;

Studies in Tyranny
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Studies in Tyranny

“Tyranny, like Hell, is not easily conquered.”
—Thomas Paine

Nearly half a century after their destruction, Nazi Germany and Adolf Hitler remain the objects of greater attention and hatred than do Stalin and his Soviet Union, although the extent of

Visions and Revisions
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Visions and Revisions

“A morsel of genuine history is a thing so rare as to be always valuable.”
—Thomas Jefferson

In his latest book, John Lukacs returns to some of the same territory that he covered in one of his finest works, The

The Key to Victory
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The Key to Victory

John Ellis, a well-known British military historian, has made a major contribution to our understanding of the nature of World War II with an unflattering reappraisal of the effectiveness and leadership of the Allied forces. His views are not always

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The Big Surprise

Charles Murray: Losing Ground: American Social Policy, 1950-1980; Basic Books; New York.

Charles Murray’s book is a study of some of the biggest, and perhaps the least excusable, social problems facing American society. Losing Ground is based on a

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Commendables – Mother of Her Country

Pauline Glen Winslow: I, Martha Adams; St. Martin; New York.

Something strange is brewing in the popular arts these days. Red Dawn reminded its very large audiences of the possible menace of a Soviet invasion, and every week producer

Commendables – Troubled Sleep
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Commendables – Troubled Sleep

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley: Frankenstein: Or, the Modern Prometheus; University of California; Berkeley.

In the more than 165 years since Mary Shelley wrote her Gothic tale, Victor Frankenstein and his monster have be­come an enduring symbol of the mod­ern mind. She

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Commendables – Last Rites

Mary Douglas: Purity and Danger: An Analysis of the Concepts of Pollution and Taboo; Ark/Routledge & Kegan Paul; London.

The history of most religions can be written as a struggle between High and Low Church. There is always a

Commendables – Schools for Scandal
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Commendables – Schools for Scandal

Herbert I. London: Why Are They Lying to Our Children?; Stein and Day; New York.

The title of Herbert London’s book is an all-too-accurate description of the textbooks used to “educate” American students, Why Are They Lying to Our

Bombs Away
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Bombs Away

John J. Mearsheimer: Conventional Deterrence; Cornell University Press; Ithaca, NY.

Paul Bracken: The Command and Control of Nuclear Forces; Yale University Press; New Haven, CT.

Two of the major problems facing Western defense and foreign policy are truly Siamese twins:

Constructive Criticism — Sometimes
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Constructive Criticism — Sometimes

Sidney Hook: Marxism and Beyond; Rowman and Littlefield; Totowa, NJ.

Sidney Hook’s latest book is largely a collection of previously printed articles and reviews; but it is nevertheless another interesting contribution to American intellectual life and a worthy companion

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Twisting & Turning Totalitarianism

As the year in which George Orwell’s masterpiece was set approached, a wave of critics, eulogists, and scavengers emerged. 1984 is a work hard to attack directly, though that has been done, and some who profess to be praising Orwell’s

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Twinkle, Twinkle

These three works deal with aspects of what will be a crucial problem of the next generation: the exploitation of space travel and its effect on the arms race. Daniel Graham’s High Frontier advocates convincingly an all-out space effort for