November 1, 2014


Title Menu: A list of great political books that doesn't include What It Takes by Richard Ben Cramer (Steve Donoghue, 11/01/14, Open Letters)

November marks the midterm Congressional elections in the United States, a tense and ominous bellwether of the presidential election to follow in two years' time. And in addition to shining a spotlight on the illicit joys of the country's true national obsession, election seasons remind us that the subject has inspired as much glorious creativity as it has venal power-mongering. The sordid spectacle has always attracted writers of all stripes, and as a result, political literature is as varied as the political landscape. Here are ten titles to get you through the long national nightmare...

We've given A+ reviews to a couple of the recommendations : The Last Hurrah and All the King's Men, but here are some others we'd recommend (reviews at

A few we'd recommend for this particular moment in time or because they address topics of interest and controversy here at the blog:

America 3.0  (James C. Bennett & Mike Lotus)

The Making and Unmaking of the English Catholic Intellectual Community, 1910-1950 (James R. Lothian)

Deflation: What Happens When Prices Fall (Chris Farrell)

Modern and American Dignity : Who We Are as Persons, and What That Means for Our Future (Peter Augustine Lawler) 

Neoconomy: George Bush's Revolutionary Gamble with America's Future (Daniel Altman)

On Humour (Simon Critchley)

Rebel-in-Chief: How George W. Bush Is Redefining the Conservative Movement and Transforming America (Fred Barnes)

Republicanism (Maurizio Viroli)

Revolutions in Sovereignty: How Ideas Shaped Modern International Relations (Daniel Philpott)

The Shield of Achilles (Philip Bobbitt)

And a mess more:

The Tempting of America: The Political Seduction of the Law (Robert H. Bork)

The Unmaking of a Mayor (William F. Buckley, Jr.)

Witness (Whittaker Chambers)

The Conscience of a Conservative (Barry Goldwater)

Democracy: The Two Majorities (Willmoore Kendall)

Christian Faith and Modern Democracy: God and Politics in the Fallen World (Robert P. Kraynak)

Memoirs of a Superfluous Man (Albert Jay Nock)  

Independent People: An Epic (Halldor Laxness)  

Ideas Have Consequences (Richard M. Weaver) 

The Right Darwin?: Evolution, Religion, And the Future of Democracy (Carson L. Holloway)

The Conservative Mind: from Burke to Eliot (Russell Kirk)

The Revolt of the Masses (Jose Ortega y Gasset) 

Leftism Revisited: From De Sade and Marx to Hitler and Pol Pot (Erik Maria von Kuehnelt-Leddihn)

Ambush at Fort Bragg (Tom Wolfe)

A Man for All Seasons (Robert Bolt)  

The Strange Death of Liberal England (George Dangerfield) 

The Person and the Common Good (Jacques Maritain)

The Pity of War : Explaining World War I (Niall Ferguson)

Triumph Forsaken: The Vietnam War, 1954-1965 (Mark Moyar)

Lenin's Tomb : The Last Days of the Soviet Empire (David Remnick) 

What the Anti-Federalists Were For (Herbert J. Storing)

American Subversive (David Goodwillie)

The Aerodrome : A Love Story (Rex Warner)

And the Band Played On (Randy Shilts)

The Autobiography of Malcolm X (Malcolm X)

Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus (Rick Perlstein)

The Children of Men (P.D. James)

The Devil and Daniel Webster (Stephen Vincent Benet)

Dictatorships and Double Standards : Rationalism and Reason in Politics (Jeane J. Kirkpatrick)

Dutch: A Memoir of Ronald Reagan (Edmund Morris)

Emma (Jane Austen)

The End of History and the Last Man (Francis Fukuyama)

Feminist Fantasies (Phyllis Schlafly)

The First Man (Albert Camus)

The Long Truce: How Toleration Made the World Safe for Power and Profit (A. J. Conyers)

Making Patriots (Walter Berns)

Postmodern Pooh (Frederick Crews) 

The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York (Robert A. Caro)

Quantum Enigma: Physics Encounters Consciousness (Fred Kuttner & Bruce Rosenbloom) 

Rationalism in Politics and Other Essays (Michael Oakeshott) 

The True Believer : Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements (Eric Hoffer)

Virtually Normal : An Argument About Homosexuality (Andrew Sullivan)

The World and the West (Arnold J. Toynbee)


Posted by at November 1, 2014 7:46 AM

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