Books Articles

In Dubious Battle

The Great War, of modern memory, at 100
Jun 30, 2014

Back then, it was not known as World War I, for the obvious reason that the Second World War still lay in the future. It was simply the Great War, for the world had never seen anything like it.

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Mirror, Mirror

The changing instinct for self-depiction
Jun 30, 2014

In the history of art, self-portraiture constitutes a world of its own, presenting us with moods ranging from the lighthearted to the sordid. There is sheer delight in Rubens’s painting of himself and his first wife Isabella Brant in a bower of honeysuckle bliss; acute menace when Caravaggio decks himself out as Bacchus, looking like some exceedingly poisonous rent boy, and veering into grisliness when he lets the severed head of Goliath carry his own likeness.

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NYT: Publisher Won't Make Back Hillary's Large Book Advance

9:03 PM, Jun 25, 2014

The New York Times reports that Hillary Clinton's published, Simon & Schuster, isn't likely to sell enough books to make back her hefty advance.

"Sales of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s new memoir, 'Hard Choices,' declined 43.5 percent to 48,000 copies in its second week on the shelves, according to Nielsen BookScan," the Times reports.

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Civil Rights and Wrongs

The stalemate was ended, but the debate goes on
Jun 23, 2014

In the long, tortured history of race in America, there are few bright spots shinier than the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Democratic and Republican reformers from across the country overcame the resistance, mainly of Southern segregationists, to pass legislation that broke the back of Jim Crow.

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Flesh Is Weak

The science and philosophy of putting on/taking off weight
Jun 23, 2014

Reports have surfaced of a professor with a mania for self-examination. His line of inquiry, however, is not of the Socratic philosophical sort. An expert in computer science, he is collecting data on his bodily functions. To improve his diet (and reduce his weight) he tracks what he eats down to the calorie. He straps sensors to his body to measure his caloric burn while exercising. Unsettlingly, it has been reported, the professor “is deep into the biochemistry of his feces .  .  .

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Spanish Upheaval

Republicans, nationalists, and the crucible of modern Spain
Jun 23, 2014

The virtues of Stanley Payne, the outstanding living historian of the Spanish Civil War, are on gratifying display in this comprehensive volume. He writes with appropriate sweep: “[C]ivil war in Spain was not a complete anomaly, but rather the only massive internal conflict to break out in Western Europe during the 1930s.

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Kristol Podcast: Another Horrible Week for Hillary

Hosted by Michael Graham.
1:45 PM, Jun 20, 2014

The WEEKLY STANDARD podcast withe editor William Kristol on Hillary's second horrible week in a row.

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Hillary: ‘I Am Totally Done With Being Really Careful About What To Say’

'It feels a little bit liberating to me.'
7:48 PM, Jun 14, 2014

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says she's done being "carefule about what to say." She made the comments at a recent book event associated with her most recently published memoir:

"You've never been shy about your opinions," said former aide Lissa Muscatine, who was interviewing her for the event, "but it does seem to me you are pretty free to speak your mind these days."

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Kristol Podcast: Is Hillary Having Fun Yet?

Hosted by Michael Graham.
4:40 PM, Jun 10, 2014

The WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with editor William Kristol on the roll out of Hillary's new memoir.

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Hillary Draws Smaller Crowd Than Jonas Brothers to Barnes & Noble

1:48 PM, Jun 10, 2014

Hillary Clinton signed books earlier today at a Barnes & Noble in Manhattan. A number of people came out to get their copy of her newly released memoir signed. 

"There are roughly 380 people in line at Clinton’s first book signing in New York," CNN claimed. 

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Hillary: We 'Struggled' to Buy 'Houses' After White House

8:14 AM, Jun 09, 2014

Hillary Clinton explains to Diane Sawyer that after leaving the White House she and her family "struggled to, you know, piece together the resources for mortgages, for houses, for Chelsea's education." That's why Hillary Clinton and her husband Bill Clinton have made over $100 million since leaving the White House:

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Syllabus of Errors

Jun 09, 2014

The Scrapbook keeps an eye on the British press—largely because it’s interesting, and sometimes fun, to read; but also because, now and then, a little nugget emerges which tells a larger story. 

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Hillary Book Strategy Meeting Held at White House

9:03 AM, Jun 06, 2014

Hillary Clinton's book roll-out has been discussed at the White House. Clinton, and her former boss, President Obama, apparently were able to settle on a simple message in the meeting between surrogates: "Obama's team of rivals became an unrivaled team."

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Hillary Includes Picture With Benghazi Caskets in Book Montage

9:18 AM, Jun 05, 2014

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has a book coming out next week. Today, her publisher released images from the back cover of the book. The pictures mostly show Hillary meeting global leaders and attending important meetings.

But one of the images is Clinton with President Barack Obama, standing in front of the Benghazi caskets at Andrews Air Force Base, dated September 14, 2012, just days after the September 11 attack. 

Here are the back cover images, as they were released on Twitter:

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Biden Pulled in Less than $201 in Book Royalties

Jill Biden made between $15,001-50,000 for hers.
2:59 PM, May 15, 2014

Vice President Joe Biden is not making too much money off his book Promises to Keep: On Life and Politics. Last year, in fact, he made less than $201 in royalties from his book publisher, according to just-released disclosure forms.

Here's the disclosure form, which has been "reviewed and certified by ethics officials," according to the White House:

Biden's book was published in 2007 by Random House.

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Ben Carson Moves Toward Presidential Run

6:01 AM, May 15, 2014

Ben Carson is warming to the idea of running for president. Since the famous brain surgeon retired last year from Johns Hopkins Hospital, he’s been speaking around the country to enthusiastic audiences. And they’ve affected his thinking about seeking national office.

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Geithner: White House Wanted Me to Lie on Sunday Shows

6:35 AM, May 12, 2014

Timothy Geithner, the former secretary of the Treasury Department, says the White House wanted him to lie in scheduled appearances on the Sunday TV talk shows. As Geithner writes in his new memoir:

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Democrats Fundraise Off Book Advocating Impeachment of Obama

6:10 AM, May 09, 2014

Next month former prosecutor Andrew McCarthy will publish his book Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment. And already the Democratic party is trying to raise money off the title.

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The Reluctant Bibliophile

Joseph Epstein, bibliomaniac
May 05, 2014

I'm pleased to report that I’ve just returned from the Evanston Public Library saleroom empty-handed. The saleroom is off the main lobby and contains used books, donated to the library, which sell for a mere 50 cents. Not all the books in the saleroom are serious—junky novels predominate—but a fair number of superior books show up. The library is less than a block from my apartment. When passing it, I find it difficult not to step inside to check the saleroom for a book I don’t need but nevertheless buy. 

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Hillary Book to Be Called 'Hard Choices'

6:14 AM, Apr 18, 2014

The title of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's new book will be Hard Choices, Simon and Shuster announced this morning:


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Jay Carney Plugs Wife's Book from White House Podium

1:52 PM, Mar 12, 2014

White House spokesman Jay Carney plugged his wife's book today at the White House press briefing: 

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A Christmas Tradition

Dec 23, 2013

The Scrapbook is delighted to commend to readers a new ebook from our contributing editor Joseph Bottum.

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What Happened in Laramie

Everything you know about Matthew Shepard is wrong
Nov 18, 2013

Stephen Jimenez sounds remarkably chipper on the phone when he calls in from Portland, his thirteenth city on a seemingly endless book tour. He’s plugging The Book of Matt, and the reason he’s chipper is that he hasn’t been burned in effigy, yet, or heckled mercilessly, yet, or denounced, at least by anybody that really matters, as a traitor to the cause. Yet. 

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Civility Deb

9:28 AM, Oct 15, 2013

Debbie Wasserman Schultz is out, today, with her first book.  In his Politico Playbook, Mike Allen calls it a "D.C. Must-Read."  Which, if true, is the most depressing news to come out of the Imperial City so far this week. But, then, it is only Tuesday.

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The Oldest War

Remember when the battle of the sexes was a laughing matter?
Aug 12, 2013

I'm showing my age again, but I can remember, just barely, when we had the war between men and women. Not a war, but the war: eternal and (of course) metaphorical, a fight without massed ranks of infantry or elaborate flanking maneuvers or formal parleys among belligerents.

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Nixon and All That Jazz

Leonard Garment, 1924-2013
Jul 29, 2013

It's a thankless job, being a political aide. Your every prerogative and responsibility derives like planetary light from the combustion of your supernova, the Great Man or Woman who has brought you into his (or her!) orbit and whose gravitational field guides and sustains you. The connection isn’t fated to end in disillusion, necessarily. Every once in a while an aide survives to wrest an individual achievement from the years of secondhand glory. 

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Review of 'This Town'

12:18 PM, Jul 15, 2013

Andrew Ferguson reviews Mark Leibovich's This Town in the Wall Street Journal:

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'Jeremiah's Johnson'

3:01 PM, Jul 02, 2013

Andrew Ferguson reviews George Packer's The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America in the latest issue of Commentary: 

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Kenneth Minogue, 1930-2013

8:02 AM, Jul 01, 2013

Kenneth Minogue, longtime professor of politics at the London School of Economics, died Friday, age 83. He was a leading conservative political thinker of our time—no, he was a leading political thinker, period, of our time, whose classic, The Liberal Mind, written a half century ago, remains must reading. Here's a taste of Minogue, courtesy of Steven Hayward at Powerline:

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Misreading Millennials

6:23 AM, Jun 28, 2013

As a “millennial” (i.e. one born between 1980 and 2000), I’ve grown used to reading descriptions of myself – written, always, by those much older than I – that I don’t recognize. It’s a bit like hearing my voice on tape – can that really be me?

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