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Month: August 2018

Book Review: The 2020 Commission Report on the North Korean Nuclear Attacks Against the United States
(Jeffrey Lewis)

For some time now, I have been telling my children, none of whom have ever lived through any event that significantly harmed America, that sooner or later, history will return.  The older ones roll their eyes; the younger ones have no idea what I mean.  This book shows what I mean, through a fictionalized look at a 2020 nuclear attack by North Korea on South Korea, Japan, and the United States.

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Book Review: From Plato To NATO: The Idea of the West and Its Opponents
(David Gress)

This is a ferociously erudite book.  The author, David Gress, offers an analysis and synthesis of essentially all thought on the idea of the West, from the Greeks to the postmodernists, in a book that seems to contain more than its actual six hundred pages of small print.  The amount of thought he presents is astounding.  My habit is to write down interesting-sounding books to which an author refers, then buy them.  I probably bought thirty books, maybe more, as a result of reading From Plato to NATO.  Every portion of this book was interesting—but still, paradoxically, it left me unable to write the type of review I typically write.

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Book Review: Win Bigly: Persuasion in a World Where Facts Don’t Matter
(Scott Adams)

Would you like to read a book about Scott Adams?  Then this is your book, especially if you want to hear Scott Adams talk about how awesome he is.  Would you like to read a book about persuasion techniques?  This book may shed a little light, maybe two pages’ worth.  Would you like to read a book about how Donald Trump got elected, which is what this book is supposed to be?  You are mostly out of luck—unless you want to be told that Donald Trump got elected primarily because of Scott Adams, in which case you are again at the right place.

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Analysis: On Equality and Liberty as Ultimate Ends

Of late, I have repeatedly claimed that the Left’s core goal is to achieve a utopia where all people have complete equality combined with wholly unfettered liberty.  This has occasioned numerous queries (especially when one book review was linked on Reddit), asking, in effect, whether this is not internally contradictory.  That is, if liberty is unlimited, is it not the case that inequality, rather than equality, is the inevitable result, so that it is false that the Left simultaneously pursues both goals?

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Book Review: The Storm Before the Storm: The Beginning of the End of the Roman Republic (Mike Duncan)

How the Roman Republic ended is well known, even in these undereducated days, but all the attention focus goes to Julius Caesar.  True, he was the pivot of the actual end of the Republic, but what came before and after was more important.  What came after, during the long reign of Augustus, may not be as thrilling as story, but it dictated much of the later history of the West (and of the Roman East, now temporarily in thralldom).  This book covers the other side of the transition, what came before—a period that nowadays is nearly forgotten, but is perhaps more critically important in what it can teach us today.

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Book Review: The Common Law
(Oliver Wendell Holmes)

[Admin’s Note: This is a guest post by Jared, who has a tendency to drift between British and American spellings, but who has recently been trying to standardise (ha ha) on the former.]

One of the most interesting topics to me, a total neophyte in the field of law, is the comparison between civil law (i.e., law decreed by a sovereign), and common law (i.e., law constructed by judges in the Anglo-American tradition).  The topic is deep and weighty, and one in which it’s hard to cleanly resolve a question along the lines of which might be “better.” Everything is subtlety and nuance, comparison of principles and implementation, and a noting of the successes and failures of each in history.

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