Free-Range Kids: Giving Our Children the Freedom We Had Without Going Nuts With Worry, by Lenore Skenazy, Jossey-Bass Publishers (a Wiley Imprint): San Francisco, Calif., 2009, 256 pages, hardcover, $24.99.
The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future (Or, Don’t Trust Anyone Under 30), by Mark Bauerlein, Penguin Publishers: New York, 2009, 270 pages, paperback, $15.95.
Just How Stupid Are We? Facing the Truth About the American Voter, by Rick Shenkman, Basic Books (Perseus Book Group): New York, 2009, 242 pages, paperback, $14.95.
Cathy Gere’s new book, Knossos and the Prophets of Modernism, is of profound significance because it offers the reader an opportunity to examine the manner in which modern and post-modern ideological constructions have hijacked the archaeological study of ancient Crete in the service of various agendas.
On your last visit to Washington, D.C., did you stand marvelling at the size and craftsmanship of the Lincoln Memorial? Did you pause and admire the sublime and simple neo-classical elegance of the Jefferson and Washington monuments? Then, did you wander over to the memorial dedicated to commemorating the unrivaled contributions of James Madison, the man known to history as the “Father of the Constitution?” No, you did not. Not because you don’t appreciate our fourth President’s lifelong dedication to limited government; rather, the Madison monument wasn’t on your list of things to see in the nation’s capital because no such monument exists.
Despite the steadiness of the stream, the fertile field of “Founders Literature” never seems to reach a saturation point. Recently, a flood of books has flowed from familiar fountains: Joseph Ellis (First Family), Bruce Chadwick (Triumvirate), Pauline Maier (Ratification), and Ron Chernow (Washington: A Life). Thousands of pages on the lives and times of the men and women whose names are at the top of the dramatis personae of the founding drama.
For those readers with an interest in the intellectual roots of modern conservative thought, one may well describe Thomas Chaimowicz’s Antiquity as the Source of Modernity as “long-anticipated.” In fact, it is the last work to be published in the Transaction Library of Conservative Thought commissioned by the late Russell Kirk. Dr. Kirk’s introduction was penned 20 years ago (the German edition was published in 1985), and it highlights the significance of Chaimowicz’s work for conservative political discourse:
“Let me save you some trouble,” author Kenda Creasy Dean says in the very first sentence of her book Almost Christian: What the Faith of Our Teenagers Is Telling the American Church. “Here is the gist of what you are about to read: American young people are, theoretically, fine with religious faith — but it does not concern them very much, and it is not durable enough to survive long after they graduate from high school.”
In an age of American culture wars against the particularities of the various regions of these United States, many citizens act as if such regional differences which remain are almost an embarrassment. The notion that one’s identity is first centered on hearth and home; that religious faith first finds its expression at a local altar and pulpit; and that one may take pride in one’s community, state, and nation — in that order — has often fallen beneath the assault of atomizing individualism.
Leading economist and writer Thomas Sowell has a talent for simplifying difficult concepts and applying common sense when analyzing the issues plaguing America today. Nothing exemplifies this talent more than Sowell’s newest work, Dismantling America, a book comprised of over 100 of Sowell’s syndicated newspaper columns written on an array of subjects from financial bailouts to illegal immigration.
Climategate: A Veteran Meteorologist Exposes the Global Warming Scam, by Brian Sussman, Washington, D.C.: World Net Daily, 2010, 224 pages, hardcover.
Gideons International should obtain rights to this title and place a copy in every hotel room in the United States. It is a veritable bible arming readers with information they need to refute the claims of environmentalists that humans can adversely influence climate.
For years, Robert Spencer has endured insults and death threats because of his endeavors as director of Jihad Watch. If one tells the truth about Islam, one is at risk of ending up in the crosshairs of a response which is somewhat more lethal than harsh language. (Dutch film director Theo van Gogh comes to mind as an example.) Jihad Watch’s website (jihadwatch.org) is, generally speaking, one of the more reliable outlets for information on the ongoing Islamist assault on the West, and Spencer’s writings, which now include ten books, are of great value to anyone earnestly seeking a better understanding of Islam.
“What does it take to make a hero?” For anyone paying even scant attention to the lavish manner in which the media awards such designations, the modern reply might be, “Apparently not much.” And yet, there is often an instinctive recognition that the reckless use of such an inherently powerful designation has simultaneously cheapened it.