The American Conservative

The American Conservative: The Magazine for Thinking Conservatives is published by The American Conservative. This magazine focuses on Social and Political issues in all aspects of morality and conservatism.

Articles from Vol. 8, No. 15, December

Ayn Shrugged
Objectively speaking, Rand's opus is a literary disaster.ONE OF THE UNLIKELY beneficiaries of the current financial crisis is the estate of Ayn Rand. Sales of Atlas Shrugged, her dystopian classic, have soared in the past year. The book has been solidly...
Read preview Overview
Ayn Shrugged: Objectively Speaking, Rand's Opus Is a Literary Disaster
One of the unlikely beneficiaries of the current financial crisis is the estate of Ayn Rand. Sales of Atlas Shrugged, her dystopian classic, have soared in the past year. The book has been solidly in the Amazon bestseller list and briefly edged into...
Read preview Overview
Burning Rubber: Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford's Forgotten Jungle City by Greg Grandin: Henry Ford's Jungle Book
In an interview with the Texas Observer in 2006, Greg Grandin complained, "History is abused in all sorts of ways by those who want to reduce every issue or conflict to its barest emotional simplicity in order to justify American power in the world."...
Read preview Overview
Caught in the Rye
Here's one anniversary that has not yet piqued the curiosity of the New York Review of Books. It is now 50 years since I first read The Catcher in the Rye and 50 years, too, since I was expelled, more or less, from Ampleforth College in the north of...
Read preview Overview
Chosen People
[The Israel Test by George Gilder]How to atone for being a WASPMEASURED IN TERMS of military dominance, Israel has never been stronger. But Israel's campaigns against its Arab neighbors no longer receive the international applause they once did. Many...
Read preview Overview
Chosen People: The Israel Test by George Gilder: How to Atone for Being a WASP
Measured in terms of military dominance, Israel has never been stronger. But Israel's campaigns against its Arab neighbors no longer receive the international applause they once did. Many Europeans consider Israel a regional bully. Even in the United...
Read preview Overview
Founding Traitor: An Artist in Treason: The Extraordinary Double Life of General James Wilkinson by Andro Linklater: The Treasonous, Glamorous Life of Agent 13
"Some men are sordid, some vain, some ambitious," James Wilkinson wrote in 1787 in a secret memo meant for Spanish officials "To detect the prominent passion, to lay hold and to make the most of it is the most profound secret of political science."...
Read preview Overview
Free Speech at a Price
[LIBERTIES]We think it best to confess that we didn't buy all of the books reviewed in this issue. Publishers desperate to wedge their wares into the declining number of pages that the declining number of magazines devote to books eagerly send stacks...
Read preview Overview
Friendly Ghosts
Ours is an October house, shrouded by spreading maples. Its creaky floorboards of pine and chestnut were hewn in the 1830s, as Upstate New York was ablaze with the religious and reform manias through which we earned the appellation of the "Burned-Over...
Read preview Overview
Kristol Reflections
How the neocon godfather rewrote the American RightWHEN IRVING KRISTOL died on Sept. 18, neoconservatism lost more than just its "godfather." It lost its most unabashed exponent, "a true, self-confessed - perhaps the only - 'neoconservative,'" as he...
Read preview Overview
Kristol Reflections: How the Neocon Godfather Rewrote the American Right
When Irving Kristol died on Sept. 18, neoconservatism lost more than just its "godfather." It lost its most unabashed exponent, "a true, self-confessed--perhaps the only--'neoconservative,'" as he described himself in the title of a 1979 essay. Others...
Read preview Overview
Lives Less Ordinary
No one wants to read about writers diligently scribbling in lonely garrets. Bring on the addictions, the affairs."AH, SO YOU'RE THE FELLOW who thinks literary biography is a waste of time!" It was with these words, or words to this effect, that my neighbor...
Read preview Overview
Lives Less Ordinary: No One Wants to Read about Writers Diligently Scribbling in Lonely Garrets. Bring on the Addictions, the Affairs
"Ah, so you're the fellow who thinks literary biography is a waste of time!" It was with these words, or words to this effect, that my neighbor at dinner hailed me the other night. I wouldn't have minded, normally. Indeed, I'd have been rather flattered...
Read preview Overview
Mad Money
The Federal Reserve, Treasury, and Congress have had one solution to the financial crisis: more money. Print it, redistribute it, spend it even before the greenbacks roll off the press. Keep interest rates low and get the banks to manufacture more...
Read preview Overview
Mad Money
[ECONOMY]The Federal Reserve, Treasury, and Congress have had one solution to the financial crisis: more money. Print it, redistribute it, spend it even before the greenbacks roll off the press. Keep interest rates low and get the banks to manufacture...
Read preview Overview
Party Favors
Conservative bestsellers run long on celebrity but short on ideas.EVEN IN LEAN ECONOMIC times, conservative books are a booming business. Once right-wing publishing was the province of profitless true believers. Now conservative imprints are ensconced...
Read preview Overview
Party Favors: Conservative Bestsellers Run Long on Celebrity but Short on Ideas
Even in lean economic times, conservative books are a booming business. Once right-wing publishing was the province of profitless true believers. Now conservative imprints are ensconced in most of New York's major publishing houses. The liberals who...
Read preview Overview
Perpetual Feast
Herningway's final book showcases his mastery.THIS SUMMER, Scribner released a "restored edition" of Hemingway's Moveable Feast. His grandson claims to have created "a truer representation of the book my grandfather intended to publish." He succeeds...
Read preview Overview
Perpetual Feast: Hemingway's Final Book Showcases His Mastery
This summer, Scribner released a "restored edition" of Hemingway's Moveable Feast. His grandson claims to have created "a truer representation of the book my grandfather intended to publish." He succeeds only in demonstrating that meddlesome heirs...
Read preview Overview
Scholar among Rakes
Macaulay communes across the generations.MACAULAY - or, to give him his full name and peerage, Thomas Babington Macaulay, first Baron Macaulay - died a century and a half ago. No historian has aroused a greater range of emotions, from deep love to wild...
Read preview Overview
Scholar among Rakes: Macaulay Communes across the Generations
Macaulay--or, to give him his full name and peerage, Thomas Babington Macaulay, first Baron Macaulay--died a century and a half ago. No historian has aroused a greater range of emotions, from deep love to wild hate. The deep love became evident in...
Read preview Overview
Shelf Life
Some buildings seem like dreams of the philosophers: the Chrysler Building, Chartres Cathedral. And then there is the dream-building, that great and final place where the humanist can live forever bathed in the glory of Man. The Martin Luther King...
Read preview Overview
The Best Books You Haven't Read
David Bromwich Two stories by Elizabeth Bowen about wartime London have stayed with me since I read them 25 years ago. "Mysterious Kor" begins with a soldier, Arthur, and his girlfriend, Pepita, walking the streets: "Full moonlight drenched the...
Read preview Overview
The Dangers of Literacy
Millions of readers create a market for mediocrity.NOT LONG AGO I looked over a library said to contain a copy of every book published in America down to the year 1800. It bore witness that in those days reading was a fairly serious business; I could...
Read preview Overview
The Dangers of Literacy: Millions of Readers Create a Market for Mediocrity
Not long ago I looked over a library said to contain a copy of every book published in America down to the year 1800. It bore witness that in those days reading was a fairly serious business; I could find nothing resembling what we should call popular...
Read preview Overview
The Lettered Reactionary
John Lukacs is a writer first, a teacher second, a follower never.IN LITTLE MORE THAN six months during 1980-81, historian John Lukacs wrote two major essays addressing the future of the Solidarity movement in Poland. The articles proved as prophetic...
Read preview Overview
The Lettered Reactionary: John Lukacs Is a Writer First, a Teacher Second, a Follower Never
In little more than six months during 1980-81, historian John Lukacs wrote two major essays addressing the future of the Solidarity movement in Poland. The articles proved as prophetic as they were controversial: he argued that the Soviet system was...
Read preview Overview
Tracking Tocqueville
God is dead, but my hair is perfect.In 2006, leading French public intellectual Bernard-Henri Levy wowed us with American Vertigo, an account of his travels across the U.S. in the footsteps of Tocqueville. Here BHL gives TAC a preview of the sequel,...
Read preview Overview
Tracking Tocqueville: God Is Dead, but My Hair Is Perfect
In 2006, leading French public intellectual Bernard-Henri Levy wowed us with American Vertigo, an account of his travels across the U.S. in the footsteps of Tocqueville. Here BHL gives TAC a preview of the sequel, Un Autre Voyage en Amerique, forthcoming...
Read preview Overview
Turning the Pixels
Turning the PixelsWill Kindle replace books? Don't bet on it.THERE IS NO SHAME in owning a Kindle. Literally. Ink-and-paper books can be embarrassing. No one wants to be caught red-handed with The Debutante Divorcée. To get away with reading Gadamer...
Read preview Overview
Turning the Pixels: Will Kindle Replace Books? Don't Bet on It
There is no shame in owning a Kindle. Literally. Ink-and-paper books can be embarrassing. No one wants to be caught red-handed with The Debutante Divorcee. To get away with reading Gadamer in public would require dressing up like a college professor....
Read preview Overview
Untenured Radical: What Are Intellectuals Good for? by George Scialbba: Clearing Space for the Utopian Imagination
Spare a thought, conservatives, for America's leftist intellectuals. The Right has had its ups and downs over the last 30 years, but the Left has had nothing but downs. What could be more painful than to see so many of your hopes hammered flat by history,...
Read preview Overview