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For two more books on the fundamental civic values that shape this great nation, read Democracy and the Constitution, a set of wonderful essays released last year by the American Enterprise Institute’s esteemed Walter Berns, and The Theme is Freedom, a 1993 study, by legendary conservative journalist M. Stanton Evans, of the mutually supportive roles of faith and freedom.
Because baseball this summer was so badly marred by Barry Bonds’s tawdry climb atop the all-time home run list, it is worth going back to find 1979’s Willie’s Time, by San Francisco sportswriter Charles Einstein, who died in March of this year. Einstein does a fine job weaving in an account of the career of the incomparable Willie Mays (Bonds’ godfather) with a pretty decent thumbnail social history of the times in which Mays played. You can’t read this book without loving the Say Hey Kid.
As long as we are on the subject of authors who died this year, two wonderful children’s authors did so, and their books are well worth re-reading. I refer to Lloyd Alexander, whose Prydain series is an evergreen for tweeners on the cusp of adulthood, and Madeleine L’Engle. The latter is most famous, of course, for the wonderful (and sometimes controversial) A Wrinkle in Time, but a better book for conservatives to give to tweeners is her first children’s novel, the ode to faith and family called Meet the Austins.
Another great book for tweeners, this one a new one, is Alabama Moon, by debut author Watt Key. Winner of the 2007 E.B. White Read Aloud Award for Older Readers, it tells the adventures of an orphaned ten-year-old survivalist — and in doing so, celebrates the virtue of self-reliance throughout, while gradually showing the virtues of community and family in the long run. Really good stuff.
Quin Hillyer is a senior editor of The American Spectator.
Mike Huckabeep> War Footing
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?