Every month I’m going to inquire as to what The American Spectator staff is reading. Here are this month’s selections.
Matthew Walther, Assistant Editor
Nigel Nicolson, Long Life: A wonderfully sane memoir by one of Britain’s most distinguished publishers. Partially adapted from old Spectator columns, but none the worse for that.
Alan Booth, The Roads to Sata (re-reading): An occasionally sad, and more than occasionally funny, account of a vertical trip through Japan, from Cape Soya to what is now Minamiōsumi. Easily one of the 10 best travel books of the last century.
Nancy Mitford, Madame de Pompadour: A breezy, entertaining life of Louis XV’s mistress, Jeanne Antoinette Poisson. What popular biography should be.
Matt Purple, Assistant Managing Editor
Willa Cather, O Pioneers!: Joseph Epstein naming Cather the best novelist of the 20th century in our September issue piqued my curiosity. A tale of one family’s survival on the unforgiving lands of rural Nebraska.
Tom Coburn, The Debt Bomb: One of the Senate’s most forthright and frustrated members pulls back the curtain on Washington’s profligate ways. Frank and informative, unlike most books by members of Congress.
Matthew Naham, Editorial Intern:
Ross Douthat, Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics: Douthat examines America’s unique religious history over the past century and how our Christianity has become largely the “pray and grow rich” philosophy of Joel Osteen and Oprah instead of Christ crucified.
Ben Brophy, Director of New Media:
Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov: This represents my first foray into Russian literature and I have not been disappointed. The novel is rich with deep Christian thought and unashamedly looks at human depravity in a way that would make most modern readers uncomfortable.
Anne Hobson, New Media Associate
Joshua Muravchik, Heaven on Earth: The Rise and Fall of Socialism: Socialism was man’s most ambitious attempt to supplant religion with a doctrine claiming to ground itself in “science.” Indeed, no religion ever spread so far so fast. Yet while socialism had established itself as a fact of life by the beginning of the 20th century, it did not create societies of abundance.
Scott Russell, President
Scott Alexander, Rhinoceros Success: A short, inspirational book aimed at getting you out of your comfort zone and charging towards success.
Patrick Ryan, New Media Assistant
George R.R. Martin, A Feast for Crows: The Sopranos meets Lord of the Rings in this popular fantasy epic.
Henry Adams, The Education of Henry Adams: This book is an extended meditation on the social, technological, political, and intellectual changes that occurred over Adams’s lifetime.