Skip to comments.BOOKS!
Posted on 06/09/2003 7:47:33 AM PDT by KC Burke
Okay, fellow bibliophiles and freerepublic readers wanting to get some ideas on books and periodicals, get ready.
This is the Thread.
I've placed it in General Interest because it isn't a thread about a single book or even about a class of books, but instead, a thread to review once in a while to see what others have found interesting to read and why.
It doesn't need to be renewed daily, the software will keep it down to load-easy size on this wonderful forum. It does need to have a few guidelines for proper functioning however.
First, this is not a competition, we don't need lists longer than 25.
Second, make a point and give an opinion about a book, don't just list it. We know you aren't eloquent; you're here aren't you?
Third, trust us, we know the standard criticisms of the various wings of conservatism toward certain icons. We need no food fights on this thread about paeleocons, neocons, objectivists, libertarians, monarchists, stateists, and anarchists. You are welcome to say you didn't care for a book when it is posted, but make one, and only one, negative post in reference to the posting of a book and trust that readers will get your point. The book can be debated elsewhere in depth; in fact, if you are passionate about the issue, create a thread and rant to your hearts' content.
Fourth, remember that the purpose of the thread is to provide readers of the forum a place to find mention of books that they might want to add to their reading list or library. If a book has been added to the thread, discuss it, but let's not post the same books innumerable times. I will try to do a recapitulation every once in a while to make that point.
The Future of Freedom, Illiberal Democracy at Home and Abroad By Fareed Zakaria (ISBN0-393-04764-4) andI have slected these two relatively new books to begin with to show that the classics of conservatism aren't the only things worth reading. These two are great bookends to looking at conservative principles and how they apply to the rest of the world. The reflection on our own culture and government are thereby subtle reflections that any reader can profit from, not just those of us who think on that subject every day. Has anyone else come across them?
The Mystery of Capital, Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else by Hernando De Soto (ISBN-0-46501614-6)
Standing Firm by Dan Quayle.
I recommend this to go back and read, even if you have not done so. Quayle mis-read some people, and unfortunately the record is there in black and white. I supported Quayle before he withdrew from the presidential race, and I have no axe to grind. This is an instructive book on how one's opinion of leaders is shaped by events.
Barbara Bush: A Memoir by Barbara Bush.
This is an easy read, but it has some interesting detail, and should be read in preparation for Reflections, by Barbara Bush, which is coming out in October. Reflections will cover the time since they left the White House until their son was elected. Coincidentally, those years are the Clinton years, and advance word is that Mrs. Bush is pulling no punches. Heheheh.
Just got done reading The TAlisman by Stephen King and Peter Straub. I recently "discovered" King novels, especially all that are connected to The Dark Tower series. Talisman was a bit slow and had little to do with The Dark Tower, however I am told the sequel, Black House has more DT info...
Currently I reading Villa Incognito by Tom Robbins...
Waiting not so patiently for the Next Harry Potter....
I'm not really a big fan of today's fiction, but for those who are, I can recommend "A Fine Balance" by Rohinton Mistry, a story of Parsees and untouchables in Bombay that's a worthy successor to the great novels of the 19th century. Also, just about anything by Robertson Davies, a great Canadian novelist of recent years. Davies had a real talent for creating characters and drawing readers into a world not so different from our own, but more interesting. His work is uneven, but once I picked up one of his books I always wanted to finish, and when I had, I couldn't wait to read the next one.
Growing up in the fifties and sixties, my peers and I were force-fed the liberal Charles Beards Economic Interpretation of the Constitution, a book that leftist professors are still calling a classic today and forcing on students. Well, starting with his doctoral work, McDonald formed a test of those theories in 1958 and subsequently demolished them in We the People: The Economic Origins of the Constitution. We have that destruction to thank him for if for nothing else in his long career.
While considered by many to be a historian with a conservative bent, he has some surprising opinions based upon his research. Before you doubt him, remember that his professorship at Alabama was the Distinguished Research Professor of History. Many of his books are published by the University of Kansas Press, Lawrence, KS.
Two books of McDonald that I enjoy referring to are:
Novus Ordo Seclorum, The Intellectual Origins of the Constitution by Forrest McDonald (ISBN 0-7006-0311-5)
States Rights and the Union; Imperium in Imperio by Forrest McDonald (ISBN 0-7006-1040-5)
Slander by Ann Coluter. Love her wit! She can pack more into a sentence than most can put into an entire chapter. Quite enjoyable reading.
One of my all time favorites is the 12 volume set "Brann and the Iconoclast". The Iconoclast was a newspaper out of Waco Texas in the late 1800s. Brann was the writer/editor. The writing is wonderful and gives a peek into politics and business of America and worldwide. Brann's subscription base was over 10,000 internationally. As a side line but woven thoughout the articles of the newspaper was Brann's ongoing disagreement with some of the powers at Baylor University. He stood up for the honor of a young girl, 14 years old(from Brazil I believe it was). She was brought from her home by missionaries with the promise to her mother of her being educated and taught to become a missionary. Instead she was put to work in the kitchen where she caught the eye of a young man who shall we say did not hesitate to make his advances. When she became pregnant their treatment of her was beyond disgraceful. Brann wanted justice for the girl whose reputation and life had been terribly ruined and never hesitated in calling out the guilty party in his writing. Needless to say there were those at Baylor who insisted he was wrong and their desire for his silence on this issue clouded their ability to think. This dispute grew so heated at one point Brann was kidnapped by some of the students. Another time an attempt to tar and feather him failed when one of the young men left the bucket of tar under a bridge. Needless to say Brann spared no words describing these adventures.
After loosing his life in a gunfight in the streets of Waco regarding this same Baylor situation his wife had the newspaper printed and bound in book form which makes up the 12 volumes.
For a real view and a taste of the flavor of the West this is a great read.
Diplomacy by Henry Kissinger
The Prize by Daniel Yergin
Or am I hallucinating?