Books by David Frum

Released: Jan. 16, 2018

"Evenhanded, ideologically consistent, and guaranteed to generate a slew of angry tweets should a copy land at the White House."
The conservative stalwart takes measure of the current administration and finds it sadly wanting—and dangerous, and immoral, and…. Read full book review >
COMEBACK by David Frum
Released: Dec. 31, 2007

"Lively writing and one intriguingly contrarian proposal salvage an otherwise standard-issue conservative polemic."
The primary reason for the Republican Party's recent election failures, argues a former Bush speechwriter, is that it has neglected to respond to changing demands. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 1, 2000

" A thoroughly enjoyable time capsule for the turn of the century. (Author tour)"
Fun and factual popular history tracing our present-day culture to its roots in the 1970s. Read full book review >
Released: June 19, 1996

Commentary can best be described as a reflective critique of current events. Which is precisely what Frum (Dead Right, 1994) offers in this impressive medley of previously published essays on various aspects of political conservatism. Taken from the pages of such periodicals as The American Spectator, Forbes, The National Review, and The Wall Street Journal, the 30-odd pieces collected here are divided into three main groups: politics and politicians; public policy; and the thinkers whose convictions in one way or another helped shape contemporary conservatism. Although candidly partisan in his perspective, the Canadian-born author casts a clear, cold eye on fellow tories and their office-seeking antics. Cases in point range from unsparing profiles of the latter-day right's saints and sinners—Pat Buchanan (a.k.a. ``the Conservative Bully Boy''), Newt Gingrich, Phil Gramm, Jack Kemp, Colin Powell—through harsh takes on the Christian Coalition (which, for all the fear and loathing it inspires on the left, has a largely unrealized agenda). He also takes on the ideationally addled Republican lawmakers who support subsidies for Big Business or compound the problem of spiraling health-care costs with other than market solutions. Included as well are perceptive disquisitions on John Maynard Keynes (``the Nietzsche of economics''), Russell Kirk (who ``taught that conservatism was above all a moral cause''), and Harry S. Truman (an unfortunate neocon icon in Frum's view). Throughout, the author is insistent that conservatives and their candidates must value principle over popularity with the electorate, stressing minimal government intervention, individual freedom, self-reliance, personal probity, fiscal responsibility, and actual (as opposed to rhetorical) cuts in federal spending. Right-minded observations from an intellectual and ideological heir of William Buckley. Read full book review >
DEAD RIGHT by David Frum
Released: Aug. 3, 1994

A young tory's unsparing critique of political conservatism in the US and the divisive shambles its putative partisans have made of their cause. In his morning-after analysis, the Canadian-born Frum (a sometime Forbes columnist who now writes for The Financial Post) casts a cold eye on the 12-year span during which Republicans tenanted the White House. During the 1980s, he asserts, the increasing incidence of drug abuse, ethnic balkanization, family breakdown, and allied ills tempted some conservatives to cultivate new constituencies while others cursed the dark. By the time the Bush administration had petered out, he concludes, Reagan's bedrock supporters had split into three mutually contemptuous factions: optimists like Jack Kemp, who believe they can steer the ship of the welfare state on a rightward course; moralists like William Bennett, the former secretary of education; and isolationist nationalists, of whom Pat Buchanan is the ranking exemplar. Having done with internecine warfare, Frum goes on to dispute the notion that the so-called religious right poses a threat to the body politic, let alone to the secular left. As a practical matter, he argues, fundamentalists view their deity in much the same way as Great Society liberals thought of government: ``a distant benevolent agency that showers goodies upon all who ask, without demanding anything much in return—except for the occasional campaign contribution.'' Looking ahead to 1996 and beyond, the author sees little future for the conservatives unless (probably at the cost of immediate electoral gain) they return to their ideological roots, which stress minimal government intervention, individual freedom, self-reliance, personal probity, fiscal responsibility, and actual (rather than rhetorical) cuts in federal spending. A clear guide to the current fault lines in American conservatism by an author who laments that the conservative revival has stalled. Read full book review >