Capitol HillNeoconservatism, Pat Buchanan has written, is “the Arian heresy of the American right.” The Arians denied the humanity of Jesus, disputing the “Hypostatic Union.”  Neocons are wrong, often tragically wrong. But they are wrong about lesser things. Neoconservatism is to politics what artificial turf is to baseball. But that trivializes its disasters. I would not want a neocon commissioner of baseball, but he would do less real damage than neocons in the White House, Congress, and the Department of Defense have already done.

This weekend I saw Angels & Demons, the controversial film directed by Ron Howard and based on Dan Brown’s book by the same name. The movie is a sequel to the equally controversial The Da Vinci Code, also directed by Howard and written by Brown.

Lords of Finance Once upon a time, when the world was still on the gold standard, four men destroyed the financial order of things by engineering, by accident or by design, the collapse of the world’s economy. What is now known as the Great Depression is textbook history for every schoolboy, along with the names of the politicians — Hoover, FDR, and their counterparts overseas — who grappled with the challenges of the greatest economic and financial meltdown the world has yet seen. But the men truly responsible for the Great Depression — and, by association, for the revolution in government and finance that came about as a reaction — have, for the most part, eluded the scrutiny of the historian’s pen.

Police surveillance camera in Times SquareGeorge Orwell's novel 1984, published in 1949, portrayed a future totalitarian world, ruled by a seemingly omnipotent tyrant called Big Brother. When the actual year 1984 rolled around, the world didn't look just the way Orwell had envisioned; therefore some criticized the book as a failed prophecy. Today, however, the world looks much more as Orwell envisioned it. Moreover, if you read Orwell's novel carefully, it's not even certain that the year is 1984 — that was simply what the people were told by the government, which controlled all information.

Cover of Meltdown by Thomas WoodsToday's hard times are prompting people to learn more about the forces that drive our economy, and the book Meltdown, by Thomas Woods, offers an entertaining way to do just that.

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