Reviews that interest me

A couple of reviews that I found interesting this time from the NYTBR:

–> David Frum takes to the pages of the NYTBR to review White Protestant Nation: The Rise of the American Conservative Movement by Allan J. Lichtman:

For Lichtman, conservatism is less a body of ideas than a collection of unattractive impulses. No person or group that excites his ire is too obscure to be included as a vital component of the conservative story. Thus, in his telling, Elizabeth Dilling (who self-published conspiratorial anti-Communist and anti-Semitic books in the 1930s) is as integral to the origins of conservatism as Milton Friedman. Willis Carto’s Liberty Lobby deserves equal attention with Paul Nitze’s Committee on the Present Danger. And the racial theorists of the Pioneer Fund take pride of place over the University of Chicago economics department. This kind of unweighted cataloging will surely find an audience among the partisans of the activist left, where everything is connected and any stick will do to beat a dog. Yet to the extent that “White Protestant Nation” aspires to be a work of history rather than a tract for the times, it has to be adjudged to have fallen well short of success.

–> Norm Ornstein, in the same pages, tackles Grand New Party by Ross Douthat and Reihan Salam:

The core thesis of their book “Grand New Party” is that the working class in America — the non-college-educated half of the electorate — continues to ping-pong between the parties and is there for the taking by any group that can seriously and directly address its concerns. The authors note: “Since 1968, these voters have provided the ‘silent majority’ that elected Nixon, the ‘Reagan Democrats’ who gave the Gipper his landslides and the ‘angry white men’ who put the Gingrich G.O.P. over the top in 1994. … Yet after each Republican triumph, this working-class constituency … has become disillusioned with conservative governance and returned to the Democratic column.”

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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