Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Summer reading

Jonah Goldberg thinks that we should add Amity Shlaes’s The Forgotten Man to our piles.

Paul Seaton reminds us of the importance of Pierre Manent’s A World Beyond Politics?

Any other recommendations?

Update: Of course, I’m going to read the new Harry Potter book, once I can pry it from my wife’s hands. And a friend has persuaded me to look into Neal Stephenson’s oeuvre. And, since I’m about 2/3 of the way through The Children of Hurin, I’m happy to recommend that as a worthy addition to the shelves of all those who love and are moved by LOTR.

Discussions - 8 Comments

John E. Woods's 2005 translation of Thomas Mann's Joseph and His Brothers. Each of its 1,500 pages deserves multiple readings.

Isaacson's biography of Einstein is an excellent read, though one acquires a distaste for Einstein as a human being rather quickly.

I thought I wanted to read the Christopher Hitchens book, God is Not Great, after I had worked my required reading pile down to a manageable level. However, there is this digest of the book available from The Guardian. Maybe all I want is a summation of the diatribe. It would be enough if this contains an equivalent of all the humor to be found in the book. I don't know. Hitchens is a funny guy

All the Nazis were Catholics and Stalin was a theocrat.

Goldberg is a neocon shill, so I wouldn't take anything he says too seriously. Like Strauss and Bloom, he is a left-wing radical who wants to wallpaper over the real West, with its real past and real people, with left-wing Jacobin universals. He is a soft terrorist in this respect, and an enemy to any authentic conservative. For real conservatives, i.e. those wishing to conserve Western man and his ancestral traditions, you should read author Jean Raspail's Camp of the Saints, classicist Thomas Fleming's Morality of Everyday Life: An Ancient Alternative to the Western Tradition, National Review Book Review Editor (for 25 years) Chilton Williamson's Conservative Bookshelf, and of course Pat Buchanan's The Third World Invasion and Conquest of the West.

IT SHOULD READ: Thomas Fleming's Morality of Everyday Life: An Ancient Alternative to the LIBERAL Tradition. (Not "Western Tradition.") I still had neocons on my mind so I was subconsciously thinking about them and their stealth attack upon Western Civilization when I was typing that title. Fleming is no neocon. He is a patriot and conservative in the truest sense of the words.

Since most of us know the serious tomes we should read, on the spur I thought I'd recommend "Lucy Gayheart," by Willa Cather. Ralph McInerny recommended this book a couple years ago, and I found it an enchantment. Bears some relation also to the "brain sex" (ugly term) mentioned below by Peter--except that here it is more incarnative, loverly so. I also like the un-PC title, which is appropiate. Lucy is a fleeting evanescent American Natasha Rostov or a prairie Nausicaa, who bursts enchantingly into our presence, and then........

I should have responded to Kate's interesting comment. Is it worth engaging people like Hitchens? The Nazi Catholic and Stalin theocrat business is willful ignorance. Reminds me of a story. When the Philosophy Department put a version of Pastor Martin Niemoller's famous statement about the Nazis coming for people on their bulletin board, our Chairman noticed that they had left out the verse about the Nazis coming for the Catholics, so he posted the apparently most acurate version on the our bulletin board, which includes the passage: "Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant." Probabitur.

John Crace "digested" the Hitchens book into its essential absurdity. Hitchens is willfully ignorant, which is why he is funny. It is one reason why he is funny. He can really turn a phrase in a humorous way, as well. We might read him for for that, while keeping the fatuity of his argument in mind. The quote in my comment was of Crace, not Hitchens.

The digested read, digested: Our Christopher, who art in Washington, hallowed be my name.

Reductio ad absurdum?

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