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Millennials and the Elderly

By 6.26.15

Disinherited: How Washington Is Betraying America’s Young
By Diana Furchtgott-Roth and Jared Meyer
(Encounter Books, 152 pages, $17.99)

Diana Furchtgott-Roth and Jared Meyer are, respectively, a senior fellow and policy analyst with the Manhattan Institute. They make a generally strong, articulate, pithy, and well-researched case in Disinherited that liberal policy makers from Washington to City Hall have been hamstringing the aspirations and bank accounts of America’s younger generations.

The general perception that millennials are the first American generation with dimmer prospects than their parents is bolstered by the authors, who point to the shock of an $18 trillion national debt, bloated by the President’s Affordable Care Act, with the bill for this record spending being handed to our young to pay.

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The New Federalist Papers

By 6.24.15

Our Lost Constitution: The Willful Subversion of America’s Founding Document
Sen. Mike Lee
(Sentinel, 244 pages, $27.95)

Sadly, the American public has become disconnected from its founding document, the Constitution. Knowledge of civics is so deplorable that few people can identify the three branches of government, let alone the constitutional bases for them. Most Americans have never read the Constitution. Even law students studying Constitutional Law learn mainly about Supreme Court decisions interpreting the Constitution—and arcane “theories” of interpretation— not the actual text. This ignorance has permitted the Supreme Court (and elected officials) to manipulate the Constitution, in the process allowing the Leviathan state to expand beyond the narrow limits intended by the Framers.

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Willie on Willie — Revelations and Recollections

By 6.22.15

It’s a Long Story: My Life
By Willie Nelson with David Ritz
(Little, Brown, 392 pages, $30)

We’re at a scratchy point in our history just now, as we often are, with a lot of sharp-elbows being thrown between the races, the sexes, various political and economic factions. Not the worst we’ve ever seen. But not business as usual either. If some researcher took time away from our current conflicts to identify what more Americans like and agree on than anything else, I wouldn’t be surprised to find that it’s Willie Nelson and his music. (A lot of overseas precincts would agree as well.)

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Medicalizing the Human Condition

By 6.18.15

Admirable Evasions: How Psychology Undermines Morality
By Theodore Dalrymple
(Encounter Books, 127 pages, $21.50)

Does it seem to you that most of the findings of psychology are either obvious or daft? Does the whole enterprise reek of morality-canceling relativism by explaining away all manner of bad behavior as being the result of disorders or syndromes that the individual bad actor is helpless before? Does the head trade in all its practitioners (psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric social workers, counselors of all stripes) strike you as shamelessly entrepreneurial, forever coining new diagnoses that can be turned into billable hours for the shrinks? Does it seem to you that the entire credentialed profession has no more insight into the complex business that is the human condition than acute observers — playwrights, novelists, bartenders, chief petty officers, your Aunt Eunice — have had for centuries?

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Grover Norquist’s Taxation Liberation Movement

By 6.17.15

Grover Norquist has devoted himself full time for over 30 years to thinking about how to limit, and then reverse, the explosion of taxation in America in the twentieth century and beyond. He is quite a treasure for our nation, because Grover has a very powerful mind to devote to this cause, as evidenced by his education as an honors graduate of Harvard College, where I first met him, and Harvard Business School.

The wisdom Grover has developed over the years fighting for this cause is collected in his latest book, End the IRS, Before It Ends U$: How to Restore a Low Tax, High Growth, Wealthy America.  Grover first explains how America went wrong: “Over my many years of fighting big government and its apologists I have begun to see patterns, old tricks that politicians employ over and over again to fool Americans into agreeing to higher taxes.”

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Kirsten Powers’ Profile in Courage

By 5.21.15

This is a book that had to be written — by a liberal. It won’t help Kirsten Powers for a conservative to say this, either. But in writing The Silencing: How the Left Is Killing Free Speech Ms. Powers has done a service to liberals — if they even understand her significant contribution, which is doubtful. She is a profile in courage for simply writing the book — which in itself is a sad comment on the state of free speech in America. Once upon a time in America there would never have been a need for this book. The very fact that Powers felt the need — correctly so — to write it speaks volumes.

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A Top-Down History of World War II

By 5.18.15

American Warlords: How Roosevelt’s High Command Led America to Victory in World War II
By Jonathan W. Jordan
(NAL Caliber, 624 pages, $28.95)

The most horrific and world-changing event in history traveling under one name is World War II. Some call it “the good war,” not because there was anything good about it, but because, compared to other armed conflicts, if featured a good deal of “moral clarity.” Meaning you can tell who the good guys and the bad guys were. (True, though even here there has to be a good deal of moral sleight-of-hand when it came to the Soviet Union.)

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The Brains of the Operation

By 5.11.15

Our Lost Constitution: The Willful Subversion of America's Founding Document
by Senator Mike Lee
(Sentinel, 256 pages, $27.95 list; $17.94 at

In recent years there has been a welcome infusion of young Constitution-minded Republican members into the U.S. Senate. A few of these first-term senators have already announced that they’re running for president. So Ted Cruz (TX), Rand Paul (KY), and Marco Rubio (FL) tend to get the airtime and the ink — not a bad thing since they represent an interesting cross section of the GOP.

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A Hero’s Story — Triumph and Tragedy

By 5.7.15

The Price of Valor: The Life of Audie Murphy, America’s Most Decorated Hero of World War II
By David A. Smith
(Regnery History, 241 pages, $27.99)

In time for the 70th anniversary of VE Day Friday (and how many recent grads know this stands for Victory in Europe day?), Regnery Publishing has issued The Price of Valor, by David A. Smith, an examination of and a tribute to Audie Murphy, who contributed greatly to securing that European victory against a totalitarian regime almost too hideous to imagine.

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An American WWII Pilot’s Tormented Rescue Mission on the Eastern Front

By 4.15.15

Beyond the Call: The True Story of One World War II Pilot’s Covert Mission to Rescue POWs on the Eastern Front
By Lee Trimble and Jeremy Dronfield
(Berkley Caliber, 323 pages, $26.95)

Beyond the Call is an inspiring but uncomfortable read. Inspiring because it shows an American hero and patriot bravely performing his duty under the most difficult and dangerous circumstances. Uncomfortable because it shows our hero being tested to the limit and beyond, seeing about the worst the human race can offer, while getting a good deal less than the support he needs and deserves from his superiors.