Skip to comments.Conservative/ Reagan book recommendations? (Vanity)
Posted on 07/01/2008 9:13:57 AM PDT by SnakeDoctor
Hey, I've been reading a few conservative books lately, including:
- God and Man at Yale, William F. Buckley; - Save the Males, Kathleen Parker; - Feminists Say the Darndest Things, Mike Adams; - When Character Was King, Peggy Noonan; and, - America: The Last Best Hope, Vol. II, William Bennett.
I was just wondering if anyone here has any particular recommendations? I can highly recommend all five of the above -- and particularly Bennett -- as a good read.
Buckley can be a little dense to read at times, but he was always sharp. Mike Adams is pretty irreverent, but quite funny ... takes some good shots at the "Womyn's" movement on college campuses. Parker's book is both amusing and informative, and a quick read. Haven't gotten that far into Noonan.
I've been particularly looking for an anecdotal book on Reagan -- not a policy wonk study, but more of a personal portrait. I saw Bill Bennett give a speech on C-Span this weekend (doing publicity for Last Best Hope), and he told probably a half-dozen personal stories about Reagan (including of Reagan stopping the motorcade and leaving Bennett in a corn field as a practical joke; meeting Jaime Escalante, etc.). I'd love to read a book with more personal Reagan stories like that. Anyone know of one?
Ann Coulter's stuff is often a pretty good read. Ollie North's recent book is on my list. My step-niece got an autographed copy.
I own the Reagan Diaries, but haven’t cracked it yet.
Dinesh D’Sousa has a good biography of Ronald Reagan. It’s relatively light, but it’s good. If you want really heavy reading, I recommend The Conservative Mind by Russell Kirk.
The Tempting of America by Robert Bork. You will finish the book inspired, enlightened and saddened that this constitutional giant was denied a supreme court seat he so richly deserved. We are a lesser nation for it.
Witness by Whitaker Chambers. An American classic - Bob Novak said it changed his life. A must read.
America Alone by Mark Steyn. Find out what all the fuss is about in Canada’s Human Rights Star Chamber.
Off Topic Warning: Unintended Consequences by John Ross - fictional epic that is deliciously over the top as the gun grabbers in Congress get their come-uppance.
Still Off Topic: Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell. True story of a Navy Seal Op gone bad in the mountains of Afghanistan. Do not start this book until you have 8 hours to finish it - you have been warned!
>> The Tempting of America by Robert Bork. You will finish the book inspired, enlightened and saddened that this constitutional giant was denied a supreme court seat he so richly deserved. We are a lesser nation for it.
I actually read that in connection with a Constitutional Law class in Law School. Robert Bork is among the greatest American Constitutional scholars that ever lived.
Best Reagan book is “President Reagan: Role Of A Lifetime” by Lou Cannon. Lou Cannon is a California journalist who covered Reagan from the beginning of his political career all the way through his Presidency. The book is an objective, non-ideological view of Reagan and what made him so successful. It’s especially enlightening about his years in Hollywood and how they shaped his political views, and about his campaigns for Governor of California.
I wondered how good Cannon’s book was. I’ve seen it pretty cheap at Half-Price Books — a store manned by a bunch of hippie rejects. They come to work dressed like they’re going to a Code Pink Rally ... tattered t-shirt, unkempt beard, haven’t showered in a week. Its always fun to walk up to these wackos with the most right-wing book I can find ... Clancy, Limbaugh, Coulter, Schlessinger, anything about Reagan. They’re used to catering to an audience more into Michael Moore than Ronald Reagan. Crazy people ... but, I digress. I’ll have to pick Cannon’s book up next time I can stand the smell.
I’m encouraged to hear they read him in Law School! After reading the book I had the impression guys like Lawrence Tribe get a lot more play than Bork. I really felt like my analytical skills were sharpened from having read the book. I can’t bear to read what passes for Constitutional analysis after reading it either.
Read “what I Saw at the Revolution” by Peggy Noonan
I loved “When Character was King” by Peggy Noonan. The last part of the book where Noonan took her soon to meet Reagan and he didn’t know who she was brought tears to my eyes.
I went to South Texas College of Law ... a pretty conservative law school. Its a private law school in Houston, Texas -- the Law School affiliated with Texas A&M University. Our Federalist Society and Republican Law Students Assoc. were both twice as big as our Democratic Law Students Assoc ... and, as a Federalist Society debater, I can assure you the debates weren't even close.
Tribe gets some play as well. We had some liberal professors -- including this dope-smoking hipster doofus, Buford Terrell, that taught 1st Amendment Law, and refused to take roll because he thought it too "authoritarian" (he actually guest hosts a drug legalization show on wacko Pacifica Radio in Houston).
That's the schmuck that taught First Amendment Law.
But, overall, this was a conservative, upper-middle class, Texas law school. You want liberal -- try Texas Southern University Law School ... but, they're not turning out Constitutional scholars, they're turning out traffic court lawyers.
>> I really felt like my analytical skills were sharpened from having read the book. I cant bear to read what passes for Constitutional analysis after reading it either.
Honestly, it was the best book on Constitutional law I've ever read. Bork and Scalia are pretty much the pinnacle of Constitutional legal thought in this country. Clarence Thomas, William Rehnquist, Mark Levin ... there are others. But you cannot beat Bork and Scalia.
You want a good Constitutional Law read ... try "Scalia Dissents", a collection of Antonin Scalia's most scathing dissenting opinions.
The following was pretty good. More about what Reagan was like as a friend than about policy.
A classic book which I read years ago are Modern Times by Paul Johnson (history from a conservative standpoint).
On economics, Free to Choose by Milton Friedman
and The Forgotten Man by Amity Schlaes.
The latter is a new book about the Great Depression and how FDR and Hoover made it much worse than it had to be.
a great personal Reagan book is How Ronald Reagan Changed my Life by Peter Robinson
it’s not too policy heavy and Robinson is the speechwriter who helped with the Tear Down this Wall!
Here’s my list of books I’m thinking about trying:
- “Gross National Happiness: Why Happiness Matters for America, and how we can get more of it”, Brooks
- “Understanding America: The Anatomy of an Exceptional Nation”, Schuck and Wilson
- “Why We Wisper”, DeMint and Woodward
- “Liberal Fascists”, Goldberg
- “Indoctrination U”, Horowitz
- “Female Chauvinist Pigs” (feminists make me laugh)
- “The Heritage Guide to the Constitution”, Ed Meese/Heritage Foundation
- “Cheney” - Hayes
- “An Inconvenient Book” - Beck
- “Who Stole Feminism?” - Summers
- “Strategery” — Sammon
- “Misunderestimated” — Sammon
- “What’s So Great About America?” — D’Souza
- “What’s So Great About Christianity?” — D’Souza
- “Politically Incorrect Guide to Women, Sex and Feminism”
Anyone read any of those?
Democratic Capitalism and its Discontents - Brian Anderson