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Guide for the Discerning Gift-Giver

10:02 AM, Nov 27, 2009 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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It occurs to me that WEEKLY STANDARD readers, sitting at home and avoiding the malls this weekend, may be wondering: What presents should I be giving to my discerning friends, discriminating acquaintances, and benighted relatives for the holidays?

Answer: Gift subscriptions to THE WEEKLY STANDARD, of course--available with just a few mouse-clicks at this website. Give one, give many! Don't leave your friends, acquaintances--and especially relatives--in the dark!

But then what? WEEKLY STANDARD readers are generous folks. A few magazine subscriptions may not be enough. Answer: Books from THE WEEKLY STANDARD family.

Hot off the presses, there's Matthew Continetti's The Persecution of Sarah Palin--fun reading for Palin fans, important for anyone interested in media elites, conservative populism, and the state of American politics.

Earlier this year, Christopher Caldwell offered us his Reflections on the Revolution in Europe. An instant classic--must reading if you want to think seriously about Europe, Islam, and the 21st century.

This week, contributing editor David Gelernter's spectacular Judaism: A Way of Being, appeared from Yale University Press. Here's what we had to say about it in THE SCRAPBOOK:

"David has written a spectacular book. It's at once short and deep; it's a fun and easy read with many stop-let-me-think-about-that moments; it's both scholarly and inspiring. David's exploration of the role of images, or what he calls 'image-themes,' in Judaism is fascinating, and his explanation of how Judaism's 'multi-layered images' reveal and explain 'the unique beauty and truth of the Jewish worldview' is extraordinary.

"Gelernter writes that his is a book primarily for Jews, and I'd think that will prove to be the case. But his account of 'Judaism at full strength, straight up; no water, no soda, aged in oak for three thousand years' will I suspect prove fascinating to many serious people of other faiths, especially Judaism's little brother or cousin, Christianity. For David has written a book that, in its exploration of Judaism, tells us something-tells us a lot-about the human condition."

And a little while ago, P.J. O'Rourke brought forth Driving Like Crazy--another P.J. boffo performance.

This is to say nothing of books from the last couple of years by Andrew Ferguson, Stephen Hayes, Joseph Epstein, Robert Kagan, Frederick Kagan and others. They're also in print--and, needless to say, well worth reading!

And don't worry that you'll have nothing left to buy and give in 2010--new books are coming next year from Philip Terzian, Matt Labash and Andrew Ferguson, among others.

Consider this THE WEEKLY STANDARD's very own private-sector stimulus package. Unlike President Obama's, it's worth it.