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Remember John Kerry’s Running Mate?

From The Scrapbook

May 7, 2012, Vol. 17, No. 32 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
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Required Reading

The Scrapbook sends warm congratulations to our friends at the Claremont Review of Books for reaching two milestones: a decade of publication and the release of the journal’s first compilation. We’ve been dipping into Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness: Ten Years of the Claremont Review of Books, collected by CRB editor Charles R. Kesler and managing editor John B. Kienker, with edification and gratification.

Truth be told, the review released its first issue in the fall of 2000, but publishing can be a leisurely business. We’re glad to see the volume in stores now: The nearly 60 reviews and essays reprinted display the Review’s admirable range. There’s James Ceaser on “The Presidential Nomination Mess” (a prescient piece published four years ago), Steven Hayward on the “gathering backlash among academic scientists against the straitjacket of orthodox environmentalism,” Harvey Mansfield on Harvard ousting president Larry Summers, and Joseph Epstein arguing “Against the Virtual Life.” (And those are just a few essays by some of The Weekly Standard’s frequent contributors.)

But what else would you expect from an editor who compares his magazine and its competitors to David and Goliath, and in passing connects the biblical story to the work of Quentin Tarantino? Elsewhere in his introduction, Kesler succinctly sets the CRB apart, not just from the liberal reviews of books, but also its conservative brethren:

Some conservatives start, as it were, from Edmund Burke; others from Friedrich Hayek. While we respect both thinkers and their schools of thought, we begin instead from America, the American political tradition in all its genius and profundity, and the relation of our tradition to revealed wisdom and to what the elderly Jefferson once called, rather insouciantly, “the elementary books of public right, as Aristotle, Cicero, Locke, Sidney, etc.”

Kesler believes this “approach clears the air. It concentrates the mind.” So does a dip into this excellent sampling of the CRB’s first decade.

The Jeopardy Standard

Last week, readers who also watch Jeopardy!—The Scrapbook suspects there is a lot of overlap in that Venn diagram—may have noticed a diverting question, er, “answer” on the popular game show: “This editor of The Weekly Standard can also be seen on Fox News Sunday.” The screen then showed a publicity photo of our illustrious editor. Much to our collective relief, a contestant correctly asked, “Who is Kristol?”

If we may engage in a bit of ideological ribbing, in January when Alex Trebek posed the answer “This cable TV newswoman received a doctorate in politics from Oxford,” accompanied by a picture of Rachel Maddow, the contestants were stumped. And if we may brag a little further about this magazine’s Jeopardy! pedigree: The Weekly Standard’s advertising director Nick Swezey had a successful run on the show a few years ago, ending up in the Tournament of Champions. One of our founding editors and current film reviewer, John Podhoretz, was a five-time champion on the show in 1986, back when they limited contestants to five wins. And regular contributor and columnist and blogger at the American Enterprise Institute James Pethokoukis won on the show in 2002.

Now you know why whenever we hear “Jeopardy! our question is “What is The Scrapbook’s favorite game show?”

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