Books Articles

On the Bibliohunt

There’s gold in them thar shelves.
Jan 25, 2016

Social media mavens would have us believe that print media is dead, killed off by the innovative disruption of onscreen newspapers, magazines, and ebooks. But it turns out that pockets of print and print lovers still exist. Part of print’s survival is psychological. In the case of books, body weight intimates that the pages within might contain something worth a reader's time and effort. In the case of newspapers, newsprint that comes off on your hand conveys a sense that the information within is somehow "real." However subliminal, the idea of authenticity is important: Lothar Muller recently theorized in White Magic: The Age of Paper that this kind of "heavy" media enables a civilization "to anchor itself."

Some of us

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The Obama Book Club

A dreadful bore.
8:27 AM, Nov 03, 2015

President Obama’s hour-long conversation with the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Marilynne Robinson, published in two parts in the New York Review of Books, inspired responses that were so hyperbolic and adoring, it felt like 2008 all over again.

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Banned Books Week, Busted

9:00 AM, Oct 03, 2015

Banned Books Week, the American Library Association’s annual self-advertisement, has now ended for this year. Bookstores will disassemble their earnest displays of “banned books,”and the semblance of normality will return to public libraries. And we will be left with the sobering thought that, in 21st-century America, there remain people who would ban the works of Harper Lee or J.D.

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Go Get a Refund

Aug 17, 2015

Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird, has long lived as a literary recluse, famously dodging publicity associated with her classic work. After Mockingbird’s publication, she never wrote another novel. The author’s decades of silence (she famously turned her back if anyone mentioned her work in her presence) were broken this year, when HarperCollins announced the discovery of the manuscript for another novel, Go Set a Watchman, in Harper Lee’s safe-deposit box.

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Japan Axes Liberal Arts in Favor of More Job Training

4:01 PM, Aug 04, 2015

Americans have long been skeptical of the liberal arts. Frequently this takes the form of a discussion of whether a degree in history or literature is “worth it” in a purely economic sense. Annual reports highlight the top-earning college majors, subtly encouraging students to forgo a class in literature or history in favor of something useful, like nursing or engineering.

Perhaps it’s a reflection of our innate American pragmatism.

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NYTimes Moves Cruz Behind Jimmy Carter on Bestseller List Despite Selling 58% More Books

2:41 PM, Jul 23, 2015

The latest New York Times bestseller list has Ted Cruz's A Time for Truth at number 8. Just above him is former President Jimmy Carter's A Full Life, coming in at 7. 

The strange thing, however, is that Cruz sold almost 60 percent more copies of his book last week than Carter.

According to Bookscan, which tracks the number of books sold, Cruz sold 8,814 last week. Carter sold only 5,147.

The New York Times list does not indicate either author's books were purchased in bulk orders. 

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Staring a Gift Horse in the Mouth: Notes on Fareed Zakaria’s 'In Defense of a Liberal Education'

12:38 PM, Jul 08, 2015

Fareed Zakaria, CNN’s foreign policy touchstone, has officially entered what is passing for the “culture wars” in American education with his new book, In Defense of a Liberal Education. Zakaria argues that the mode of education known as the liberal arts is in peril, and purports to offer a robust defense.

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Scholastic Publishing Novel on Transgender Eight-Year-Old By Self-Described 'Fat Queer Activist'

1:13 PM, May 26, 2015

The speed with which the transgender agenda is moving may end up making the same-sex marriage debate look slow and deliberative by comparison. And now Scholastic, the children's publisher that specializes in distributing and selling books through schools, is poised to bring the issue to a middle school classroom near you. The medium is George, the story of an eight year old boy named George who desperately wants to be considered a girl.

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Last and Hayes on 'Dadly Virtues'

8:29 AM, May 22, 2015

Jonathan Last and Steve Hayes joined Kennedy on Fox Business to talk The Dadly Virtues: Adventures from the Worst Job You'll Ever Love:

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Must Reading

Mar 09, 2015

Speaking of global warming, The Scrapbook could have used a little more of it this winter. Meanwhile we’ve been bundling up against the cold and curling up next to the fireplace with our favorite new book, Jay Cost’s A Republic No More: Big Government and the Rise of American Political Corruption.

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Malcolm X, Not Madison: Welcome to the Eric Holder Book Club

10:05 AM, Feb 27, 2015

Not long ago, Harvard Law School's Charles Ogletree told Politico that Eric Holder "is a race man":

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The Barbarians

1:18 PM, Feb 26, 2015

ISIS continues its war on civilization by burning:

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Must Reading

Feb 09, 2015

The Scrapbook is pleased to note that Philip Anschutz, chairman and CEO of The Weekly Standard’s parent company, has just written a book that not only adds some authorial luster to our own ranks but makes a genuine contribution to our understanding of America.

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Reid Says He's 'Doing Fine,' But Has 'Not Been Able to Read'

1:03 PM, Jan 22, 2015

In a press conference with reporters today on Capitol Hill, Harry Reid described what he's been up to since injuring his face and ribs in an exercising accident:

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Phil Klein on 'Overcoming Obamacare'

3:49 PM, Jan 12, 2015

It's been almost five years since Obamacare was passed, and the law remains as unpopular as ever—public support hit a record low of 37 percent in November. Opposing Obamacare is a no-brainer for Republicans politically, though the question of what to do about the law remains something that divides the right. And finding the right legislative remedy has become an especially acute challenge now that Republicans control the House and Senate.

The Washington Examiner's Phil Klein has justly earned a reputation as one of the best reporters covering Obamacare, and the timing of his new book, Overcoming Obamacare: Three Approaches to Reversing the Government Takeover of Health Care, could not be better. Here Klein takes a look at three major schools of thought on the right about how to fixing the law, or what he calls the reform school, the replace school, and the restart school. If you want to know what the future holds in store for Obamacare, Klein's book is essential reading—and the Kindle version is just $2.99.

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'Menachem Begin’s Zionist Legacy'

8:42 AM, Dec 16, 2014

Mosaic has just published Menachem Begin’s Zionist Legacy, by Michael Doran, Daniel Gordis, Douglas Feith, Hillel Halkin, Meir Soloveichik, and Ruth Wisse.

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Sadly, It Won't Be 'Invisible Man'

A Parody.
Oct 27, 2014

Cuomo Sells 945 Copies of Book; Paid Over $700,000 Advance

9:42 AM, Oct 22, 2014

Andrew Cuomo's book is a dud. The memoir, released last week, has sold 945 hardcover copies in its first week of sales, Amy Chozick of the New York Times reports.

"Andrew Cuomo's memoir sold 945 hardcovers in first week on shelves, according to BookScan. That's right, guys, 945 copies," writes Chozick on Twitter.


Andrew Cuomo's memoir sold 945 hardcovers in first week on shelves, according to BookScan. That's right, guys, 945 copies.

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B&A Podcast: La Luce, the NFL, and Good-Bye -- Again

The B&A Podcast is hosted by Philip Terzian.
9:05 AM, Oct 12, 2014

THE WEEKLY STANDARD Books & Arts Podcast with Philip Terzian, on the October 13th Issue's Books and Arts section.

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Hayes Podcast: U.S. Isn't Committed to Winning War on ISIS

Hosted by Michael Graham.
12:35 PM, Oct 08, 2014

The WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with senior writer Stephen F. Hayes on the latest on the airstrikes against ISIS and the efforts to discredit Leon Panetta after he criticized the White House on foreign policy in his new book.

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Ancient to Modern

The Loeb Classical Library goes digital
Oct 06, 2014

“Chemistry and Physics Get Million from Loeb,” blared the Harvard Crimson headline. “Funds will modernize laboratory facilities and establish chemistry chairs.” The donor: scientist Morris Loeb ’83. A million dollars is indeed generous. But on the Harvard scale, did it really warrant a Crimson headline? 

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Librarians Against Books

A worthless initiative in Florida.
3:08 PM, Aug 25, 2014

Florida Polytechnic “University” (it isn’t accredited) is making headlines this week by opening a bookless library. Instead of checking out traditional codex books, students will be forced to read class material on tablets, e-readers, and/or laptops. According to the middle-aged librarians and bureaucrats who run the school, a bookless library will appeal to the youth.

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Activist Encourages Defacement of Cover of Paul Ryan's Book

7:53 AM, Aug 19, 2014

Erica Payne, founder and president of the left-wing Agenda Project, is encouraging people to deface the cover of Paul Ryan's new book, which is hitting shelves today.

"Hi Daniel," Payne writes in an email. "Just a heads up, Paul Ryan's new book comes out today and his publisher is furious! It turns out that they accidentally shipped it with the wrong cover, and they need your help to make things right.

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Prominent Reagan Biographer Accuses Another of Plagiarism

10:50 AM, Aug 03, 2014

Craig Shirley, a prominent biographer of Ronald Reagan, has accused historian Rick Perlstein of plagiarism in his new book, The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan. Shirley has cited 45 instances in which he says Perlstein uses information and passages from his 2004 book, Reagan’s Revolution: The Untold Story of the Campaign That Started It All, without proper attribution.

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Perchance to Dream

Night visions of Americans, and what to make of them
Jul 28, 2014

It’s hard to know what to make of Lincoln Dreamt He Died. On reading the title, my first irreverent thought was: Hey, safe bet. My second: Contrary to popular myth-ology, many of us dream of our own deaths—and guess what? We’re prophetic! Then I studied the subtitle and worried some more. Was this going to be as bad as the publisher heralded?

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Fantastic Voyage

The literary (?) career of Jules Verne
Jul 21, 2014

Certain amusements appropriate to childhood or adolescence have established a beachhead in adulthood, or its 21st-century American simulacrum. Grown men and women indulge, with or without shame, in video games, fantasy football leagues, sitcoms, online porn, comic books, and movies based on comic books—or that involve Las Vegas, 33 shots of tequila, and waking up athwart two female Sumo wrestlers and a chimpanzee.

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Vodka: How a Colorless, Odorless, Flavorless Spirit Conquered America

10:26 AM, Jul 17, 2014

Our affable colleague, senior editor Victorino Matus, is famous for his big head, big heart, big appetite—and encyclopedic knowledge of food, drink, the consumption of same, contemporary German politics, and the sociology of his native New Jersey.

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The Clintons v. Halper, Round One

6:32 AM, Jul 14, 2014

In a new report on a bizarre email sent to dozens of reporters over the weekend, the Daily Beast's Lloyd Grove explores "The Strange Leak of the New Expose 'Clinton, Inc.'"

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And Gladly Learn

Will you, won’t you, benefit from graduate education?
Jun 30, 2014

When I sat for my SAT exams as a high school senior, I thought to myself, “This is the last standardized test you will ever have to take!” I had never considered myself an intellectual and was vaguely distrustful of anyone who chose the cocoon of the academy over the rough-and-tumble of the “real world.” Ten years later, I was sitting in a café in downtown Shanghai, gritting my teeth over the Princeton Review’s GRE prep manual. 

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