Sunday Reading

– Walter Kirn, whose Mission to America I shall review tomorrow, has a review of Paul Auster’s new novel in the NYTRB today. Here is a shocker: the new book, entitled The Brooklyn Follies, is set in Brooklyn and involves a story within a story!

– For my take on previous Auster novels see here, here, and here.

– My TBR pile for 2006 is large and growing. One I would like to get to soon is Phyllis Schlafly and Grassroots Conservatism by Donald T. Critchlow. Professor Critchlow, whom I have met, is an intelligent and thoughtful scholar and his work is sure to shed some light on an understudied segment of conservative history.

The reason I bring this up, is that John J. Miller – fellow Michigander, National Review Political Reporter, and author of the recently released A Gift of Freedom – has a review in the New York Post today

As Donald T. Critchlow points out in “Phyllis Schlafly and Grassroots Conservatism,” the lady was not one of conservatism’s great politicians or philosophers. Although she ran for Congress twice (losing both times) and wrote an influential tract called “A Choice Not an Echo,” Schlafly displayed her real genius as an organizer.

Out of nothing, she rallied countless numbers of conservative activists — most of them women, and many of them stay-at-home mothers — to oppose what was well on its way to becoming a new constitutional amendment. By the time she launched her insurgency, in fact, 30 states had endorsed the ERA, just shy of the 38 needed for ratification. All of the momentum was on the side of feminists. Despite the long odds against a fourth-quarter comeback, Schlafly dived into the fray — and provided vivid proof that no game is over until the final buzzer sounds. Her blend of persuasive argument, personal charisma and organizational know-how delivered a clear victory. By 1980, the ERA was dead.

Kevin Holtsberry
I work in communications and public affairs. I try to squeeze in as much reading as I can while still spending time with my wife and two kids (and cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers and Michigan Wolverines during football season).

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