Republican Citizenship and War

There’s a toxic, increasingly popular misconception of citizenship, particularly around election season. Simply put, it makes voting a necessary and sufficient condition of being a good citizen. This is pernicious in many ways, but it is especially so in the area of war. Given recent events in Iran and Iraq and the upcoming election, I’d […]

On Presidents

I love President’s Day and I love America. I love President’s Day because it’s a long weekend that gives me the opportunity to take a day off and drink beer with good friends. I love America because, unlike almost all its historical antecedents–and many contemporary nations–I can write what I’m about to write with no […]

In Defense of Discussion

About two years ago a pair of college professors wrote a succinct, brilliant statement about the importance of unfettered dialogue in a free society. Echoing the British philosopher John Stuart Mill, Cornel West and Robert P. George remind us that intellectual progress can’t be made without having productive discussions with folks on both sides of […]

Freedom from Fear

Freedom from Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945—David M. Kennedy (Amazon Kindle) My quick thoughts on a long book. Summarizing the Great Depression and World War II in ~850 pages is no small feat. That Kennedy won a Pulitzer for it is no surprise. His ability to select and organize information and […]

The Barbary Wars

Dawn Like Thunder: The Barbary Wars and the Birth of the US Navy-Glenn Tucker (Amazon Kindle) The Barbary Wars: American Independence in the Atlantic World-Frank Lambert (Amazon hardcover) Ed. note: Dawn Like Thunder is one of the finest history books I’ve ever read. In lieu of a full review of the book–since I have nothing […]

Hockey Is Cool and Fun

I had had enough. Thanks to the NBA’s near-universal adoption of advanced analytics–and the concomitant idea that it was in teams’ best interest to push the pace and shoot endless three pointers–the game was already becoming a glorified track meet. Then, in its annual “Points of Education” prior to the 2018/19 season, the league informed […]

Book Commentary: The Philip K. Dick Reader

Philip K. Dick is best known outside of the literary community for things he inspired: Blade Runner, Minority Report and Total Recall were all extremely successful movies based on his short stories, and Amazon’s hit show Man in the High Castle expanded upon what many consider the best science fiction book of all time. Yes, Dick […]