Vintage Krauthammer, containing abundant examples of his often fierce argumentative style and small-c conservative values.




A posthumous collection from the noted columnist, building on and bookending Things That Matter: Three Decades of Passions, Pastimes, and Politics (2013).

As edited by Krauthammer’s son Daniel, who provides an engaging, sentimental portrait of his father at work, this collection of (mostly) magazine and newspaper commentaries highlights the columnist’s abiding interests: overarchingly politics, if politics sometimes filtered through the arts, sciences, baseball, and the like—all things the author considered “fundamentally subordinate” to the larger realm of politics “because of its capacity, when benign, to allow all around it to flourish, and its capacity, when malign, to make all around it wither.” Krauthammer long espoused a kind of classical conservative view that resisted authoritarianism while championing individual freedom. “Freedom is being left alone,” he writes. “Freedom is a sphere of autonomy, an inviolable political space that no authority may invade.” An early hero was Ronald Reagan, whom he considered a kind of intellectual without intellectual credentials or pretenses and whose particular political genius was to restore the faith of a nation in crisis. (Never mind Iran-Contra.) Later in the collection, Krauthammer champions the notion of “constitutionalism as a political philosophy” along the lines of Antonin Scalia’s judicial doctrine of originalism, calling for the least government possible while not hating government as such. It was a stance that, late in his life (Krauthammer died in June 2018), put him at odds with the GOP of Donald Trump, about whom he wrote, “the good news of the early Trump presidency is that America’s political institutions, so decried as weak and pliant, have proved a resilient and powerful check on antidemocratic tendencies in the executive.” Krauthammer also offers a grudging but ultimately generous endorsement of the Washington Nationals: “I want them to win. Why? I have no idea….I’m actually invested in the day-to-day fortunes of 25 lunkheads I never heard of until two weeks ago.”

Vintage Krauthammer, containing abundant examples of his often fierce argumentative style and small-c conservative values.

Pub Date: Dec. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-984825-48-3

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Crown Forum

Review Posted Online: Jan. 3, 2019

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Not an easy read but an essential one.

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Title notwithstanding, this latest from the National Book Award–winning author is no guidebook to getting woke.

In fact, the word “woke” appears nowhere within its pages. Rather, it is a combination memoir and extension of Atlantic columnist Kendi’s towering Stamped From the Beginning (2016) that leads readers through a taxonomy of racist thought to anti-racist action. Never wavering from the thesis introduced in his previous book, that “racism is a powerful collection of racist policies that lead to racial inequity and are substantiated by racist ideas,” the author posits a seemingly simple binary: “Antiracism is a powerful collection of antiracist policies that lead to racial equity and are substantiated by antiracist ideas.” The author, founding director of American University’s Antiracist Research and Policy Center, chronicles how he grew from a childhood steeped in black liberation Christianity to his doctoral studies, identifying and dispelling the layers of racist thought under which he had operated. “Internalized racism,” he writes, “is the real Black on Black Crime.” Kendi methodically examines racism through numerous lenses: power, biology, ethnicity, body, culture, and so forth, all the way to the intersectional constructs of gender racism and queer racism (the only section of the book that feels rushed). Each chapter examines one facet of racism, the authorial camera alternately zooming in on an episode from Kendi’s life that exemplifies it—e.g., as a teen, he wore light-colored contact lenses, wanting “to be Black but…not…to look Black”—and then panning to the history that informs it (the antebellum hierarchy that valued light skin over dark). The author then reframes those received ideas with inexorable logic: “Either racist policy or Black inferiority explains why White people are wealthier, healthier, and more powerful than Black people today.” If Kendi is justifiably hard on America, he’s just as hard on himself. When he began college, “anti-Black racist ideas covered my freshman eyes like my orange contacts.” This unsparing honesty helps readers, both white and people of color, navigate this difficult intellectual territory.

Not an easy read but an essential one.

Pub Date: Aug. 13, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-50928-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: One World/Random House

Review Posted Online: April 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2019

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...


Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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