A plethora of books have appeared the past few years seeking to explain the economic crisis that shook the industrialized world in 2008, but few have dealt extensively with the impact of that crisis that emerged even earlier — in 2006 — in the tiny nation of Iceland. For those who have only a passing familiarity with the development of the 2008 collapse, this might not seem to be all that much of a shortcoming: To state the matter crassly, why worry about a nation with a population of a mere 300,000 citizens, when 300 million Americans were wrapped up in their own financial worries?
In an age that glorifies specialization, and often threatens to narrow the interests and achievements of individuals to subfields sterilely reduced to less than an intellectual handbreadth, a person who is truly multifaceted and who offers contributions to a broad array of fields is to be received as a treasure. The recent “manifesto” produced by Jaron Lanier — one of the giants of “virtual reality” research — continues to demonstrate that its author is one such individual.
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.
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:
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.
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.
In his latest book, Soft Despotism, Democracy’s Drift, Paul Rahe examines the roots of what he calls a “popular malaise” that has become pronounced in the West during the 20 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Do you think that our present economic crisis is a great thing? Do you view the fears of Americans for their job prospects and their ability to keep paying their mortgage as a golden opportunity to remake the world according to the pattern of your ideology? Do you look back with nostalgia to the good old days of Jimmy Carter? Then Kurt Andersen’s new book, Reset — How This Crisis Can Restore Our Values and Renew America is the book for you.
In his recently published sixth book, The Conservatives, Emory University professor Patrick Allitt undertakes his most comprehensive effort to date in writing the history of the modern conservative movement.