Here are some links for your morning enjoyment:
– I am currently reading The Postmodern Imagination of Russell Kirk by Gerald J. Russello and enjoying it immensely. Over at NRO John Miller talks with Mr. Russello about postmodernism, crunchy cons, and whether Kirk would have watched ESPNâ€™s SportsCenter. A taste:
MILLER: When I hear the word â€œpostmodern,â€ I think of graduate students who wear black turtlenecks, hang out in coffee bars, and wish they were French. How is Kirkâ€™s imagination â€œpostmodern,â€ as the title of your book has it?
RUSSELLO: Kirkâ€™s conservatism is â€œpostmodernâ€ in the sense that it was never modern, and therefore is not burdened as liberalism is with the weaknesses of the Enlightenment worldview. Kirkâ€™s emphasis on imagination, his concern for the imagery a society creates of what it admires or condemns, his treatment of tradition and history as not objective but one in which we participate and can change, and his devotion to what Burke called the â€œlittle platoonsâ€ of society all have parallels in postmodern thought. Moreover, Kirk himself saw this. In 1982, he wrote in National Review, that â€œthe Post-Modern imagination stands ready to be captured. And the seemingly novel ideas and sentiments and modes may turn out, after all, to be received truths and institutions, well known to surviving conservatives.â€ With liberalism moribund, it â€œmay be the conservative imagination which is to guide the Post-Modern Age.â€
– Bruce Grossman is one step ahead of me when it comes to Megan Abbott, well probably on a lot of things actually, as he has read Queenpin and posted a review. He has also posted a review of A Nail Through the Heart which I am working on right now. Read his review and come back later for my take.
– At American.com Robert VerBruggen takes a look at Freedomnomics: Why the Free Market Works and Other Half-Baked Theories Don’t by John R. Lott, Jr. Freedomnomics is part of a sort of academic feud between Steven Levitt, author of Freakonomics, and Lott. And VerBruggen finds that is both good and bad:
Whatâ€™s more, the book shares Freakonomicsâ€™s lack of focus. In part itâ€™s a response to Levitt, but in other ways itâ€™s a defense of the free market, even on topics Levitt didnâ€™t touch. And some essays are neither anti-Levitt nor pro-market; Freedomnomics could more accurately have been called The Brief Book of Everything John R. Lott, Jr., has Ever Written About.
Nonetheless, most of what John R. Lott, Jr., has ever written about has been fascinating. Heâ€™s a great writer, especially for the general public, and the book renders lots of charts, graphs and statistical analysis into clear, uncomplicated conversation. In particular, those who havenâ€™t followed Lottâ€™s research and op-eds should read it.