Brookhiser on Bob Dole’s Salute & Custom

But we have customs that train us in how to behave, curbing our emotions and memories. Every conservative writes about them: Don’t tear down the great English oak unless you know why it was built, etc. etc.Sometimes the customs go wrong, sometimes very wrong. Then people stir, wise men think, demagogues shout “Drain the swamp!” But often customs help us do and think the right thing.So the 95 year old man was hoisted out of his wheelchair, flicked away the hand supporting his usable left...

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A Happy Marriage Across Party Lines

Living together so long has taught us that it is possible to tolerate our opposition on serious issues because we agree on what matters most, which is that the camaraderie we have created in every other sphere is more basic, and far more precious, than ideology. Nobody makes me think and laugh, or comforts me when I cry, the way he does. The things that bring us together are deeper than the things that could have torn us apart; we can finish each other’s sentences on every subject but...

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My Favorite Reads of 2011

My Favorite Reads of 2011

I wasn’t able to post thoughts on the books I read in 2011 by the end of the year so I am doing it this week.  I noted the general statistics yesterday and today want to tackle my favorite reads.  Like last year, I am going to break in out into categories. Young Adult Fiction A large chunk of my reading this year was YA (30 of 79 books were roughly in this category) so I had a lot of books to chose from in 2011. So here are ten of my favorites in no particular order: I am going to...

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WFB Bio, James Madison & Post-Harry Potter

WFB Bio, James Madison & Post-Harry Potter

Terry Teachout finds the most recent William F. Buckley bio (Buckley: William F. Buckley Jr. and the Rise of American Conservatism) disappointing: Sure enough, Buckley is as fair-minded a study of its subject’s career as you could possibly expect from a contributor to The Nation and Tikkun. It deals bluntly but honestly with such difficult topics as his equivocal views on civil rights, and it gives him full credit for having purged the conservative movement of such...

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