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What We Are Reading: December 2021
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What We Are Reading: December 2021

Milk cartons carry expiration dates. But, for obvious reasons, they don’t need them. History books don’t carry expiration dates. But, for less obvious reasons, they do need them. History books expire when archival discoveries supplant earlier narratives or when new

What We Are Reading: October 2021
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What We Are Reading: October 2021

Although H. L. Mencken could discern “no plot whatever” in Sinclair Lewis’ Babbitt, he still praised the novel as “a social document of a high order.” The 1922 classic mordantly sketches a bygone America and the paladins who made

What We Are Reading: Ages of Discord
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What We Are Reading: Ages of Discord

“After the quiet 1950s…incidents of political violence again became more frequent and now we may be in the middle of another wave of sociopolitical instability.”

Thus five years ago wrote Peter Turchin, a University of Connecticut professor specializing in “historical

What We Are Reading: August 2021
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What We Are Reading: August 2021

“After the quiet 1950s…incidents of political violence again became more frequent and now we may be in the middle of another wave of sociopolitical instability.”

Thus five years ago wrote Peter Turchin, a University of Connecticut professor specializing in “historical

What the Editors Are Reading: March 2021
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What the Editors Are Reading: March 2021

Someone’s head must have rolled at the Aspen Institute when Anand Giridharadas’ book came out. Giridharadas didn’t miss a rung as he climbed the American establishment’s social ladder: born in Shaker Heights, schooled at Sidwell Friends, the University of Michigan,

What the Editors Are Reading: Latin Alive
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What the Editors Are Reading: Latin Alive

In 1989, Japanese businessman Minoru Isutani purchased Pebble Beach’s famous golf course for $850 million, and Mitsubishi Estate Company paid $846 million for 51 percent of New York’s Rockefeller Center. The United States cowered from the kamikaze attack of Japanese

What the Editors Are Reading: February 2021
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What the Editors Are Reading: February 2021

In 1989, Japanese businessman Minoru Isutani purchased Pebble Beach’s famous golf course for $850 million, and Mitsubishi Estate Company paid $846 million for 51 percent of New York’s Rockefeller Center. The United States cowered from the kamikaze attack of Japanese

A Book to Hoard Before It Gets Cancelled
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A Book to Hoard Before It Gets Cancelled

First the crazies tore down statues they deemed offensive. Next they vandalized churches. Then they demanded trigger warnings on classic movies like Gone with the Wind and Blazing Saddles. If these monsters ever discover libraries, books will be next.

Books in Brief: Cynical Theories
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Books in Brief: Cynical Theories

Cynical Theories: How Activist Scholarship Made Everything About Race, Gender, and Identity—and Why This Harms Everybody, by Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay (Pitchstone Publishing; 352 pp., $27.95). To understand wokeness, I often ask students to explain why they

What I Learned From the Left
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What I Learned From the Left

In The Politics of Prudence, Russell Kirk dismissed the notion of conservatism grounding itself in a single foundational text. Since conservatism is “neither a religion nor an ideology,” Kirk concluded it “possesses no Holy Writ and no Das Kapital

Books in Brief: December 2020
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Books in Brief: December 2020

Cynical Theories: How Activist Scholarship Made Everything About Race, Gender, and Identity—and Why This Harms Everybody, by Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay (Pitchstone Publishing; 352 pp., $27.95). To understand wokeness, I often ask students to explain why they

Books in Brief: November 2020
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Books in Brief: November 2020

Promised Land: How the Rise of the Middle Class Transformed America , 1929-1968, by David Stebenne (Scribner; 336 pp., $28.00).

Dear David:

I used the title of Sergio Leone’s The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly as my grading rubric

What the Editors Are Reading
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What the Editors Are Reading

The New York Times recently spoke ex cathedra on the American founding through its “1619 Project.” You probably learned in grade school a cartoonish story about white guys in powdered wigs declaring America’s independence in 1776. The Sulzberger family’s College

What the Editors Are Reading
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What the Editors Are Reading

Everyone to Bernie Sanders’ right gasped in 1994 when radical British historian Eric Hobsbawm argued that Communist regimes who murdered millions “would still have been worth backing” had there been a “chance of a new world being born in great

What the Editors Are Reading
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What the Editors Are Reading

No one so much as pauses when the mob shouts down reasonable voices during a panic. Just witness the media’s daily performance during the COVID-19 crisis. CNBC hit the ejector button on author James Grant during a live broadcast when

Healthcare in a Humane Society
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Healthcare in a Humane Society

The night had started off great.  A few weeks earlier I had agreed to speak at the New York premiere of the American Enterprise Institute President Arthur Brooks’s forthcoming documentary The Pursuit.  The invitation came from the think tank