My books of 2019

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I have written about all but three of the books I read this year on Power Line. Here they are with the briefest of notes on each.

Andrew McCarthy, Ball of Collusion: The Plot to Rig an Election and Destroy a Presidency. McCarthy brings his professional background and experience to bear on the biggest scandal in American political history. Only he could have written the book, and he provides just about everything the intelligent reader needs to make up his own mind about the issues as of this date. It is astounding that the Democrats’ media adjunct has simply ignored the book. They can’t deal with it.

Lee Smith, The Plot Against the President: The True Story of How Congressman Devin Nunes Uncovered the Biggest Political Scandal in U.S. History. An invaluable contribution to understanding the scandal from a different angle — the angle of media complicity and the role of the man who did most to bring the crucial elements of the scandal to light.

Gregg Jarrett, Witch Hunt: The Story of the Greatest Mass Delusion in American Political History. This book is not perfect, but I found it too to be must reading. Jarrett’s long chapter on the Mueller miasma is worth the price of admission all by itself. Jarrett’s relentless account gives voice to the righteous indignation that is entirely warranted by the facts.

Kimberly Strassel, Resistance (At All Costs). I wrote about Kim’s book at length shortly after its publication in October. Long story short: Don’t resist it.

Tom Cotton, Sacred Duty: A Soldier’s Tour at Arlington. Part memoir, part history, this is an incredibly powerful account of The Old Guard and the service of our favorite Senator in it.

Rich Lowry, The Case for Nationalism: How It Made Us Powerful, United, and Free. Like me, Rich has sought to figure what is to be learned from the forty-fifth president of the United States. He titles his introduction “What Trump Realized.” Chapter 4 draws on “The Exemplar of Ancient Israel,” with a telling quote from Psalm 137 (sung by Don McLean in a nearby post).

Heather Mac Donald, The Diversity Delusion: How Race and Gender Pandering Corrupt the University and Undermine Our Culture. Identity politics portends the destruction of the United States. If any one person can begin to roll back the tide, that person is Heather Mac Donald. This book collects her essays on the subject.

John Marini (ed. by Ken Masugi), Unmasking the Administrative State: The Crisis of American Politics in the Twenty-First Century. To understand the administrative state is to unmask it. Professor John Marini has spent his career seeking to do just that. This book compiles his essays on the subject.

Montaigne (trans. Donald Frame), The Complete Essays. Montaigne gives us an example of the free mind at work and play. He is an incredibly witty and companionable writer. He can even teach us how to speak our minds in a tyrannical time. Montaigne’s thought nevertheless transcends his time; the Essays live (or lives). This year I studied “Of friendship” with my friends Bruce Sanborn and Mike Frost and “Apology for Raymond Sebond” with them as well (and at the St. John’s Summer Classics program). I cannot recommend this most humane writer highly enough.

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