Month: October 2018

The White King: Charles I, Traitor, Murderer, Martyr (Leanda de Lisle)

As with Nicholas II, the last ruling Romanov, how we view Charles I is largely set by how his days ended.  And as with Nicholas, we have been further conditioned by generations of propaganda pumped out by the winners and their ideological allies, claiming that it was Charles’s own bad philosophy, coupled with incompetence, rather than mostly bad luck and choices only wrong in retrospect, that led to his death.  Leanda de Lisle’s The White King rejects the fake news and offers an even-handed view.

The Forest Passage (Ernst Jünger)

Ernst Jünger was one of the more fascinating men of the twentieth century.  Remembered in the English-speaking world primarily for his World War I memoir, The Storm of Steel, he was famous in Europe for a range of right-leaning thought spanning nearly eighty years (he lived from 1896 to 1998).  His output was prodigious, more than fifty books along with voluminous correspondence, and not meant or useful as a seamless ideology, although certain themes apparently recur.  This book, The Forest Passage, was published in 1951, and is a compelling examination of how life should be conducted under modern ideological tyranny.

How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us. . . . (Michael Pollan)

I have led a boring life, at least as measured by the topics covered by this book, Michael Pollan’s How to Change Your Mind.  Not only have I never taken any psychedelic drug of any type, I have never taken any illegal drug at all.  Similarly, I have never had any type of mystical experience whatsoever, though I am certainly open to such a thing and have total confidence that many other people have.  Just not me.  But here, as in many matters, others go where I have not tread.  Pollan, famous mostly for books on food, decided to explore drug-induced alterations of consciousness, and this book is the measured result of his spelunking in the caverns of the mind. I suppose that psychedelics might be interesting for me.  Among other benefits, they are said to provide a lasting uptick in the personality characteristic “openness to experience,” in which I am very low indeed, according to test results.  But I am a bone-deep paranoid, of whom long ago it was said that my core belief …

Militant Normals: How Regular Americans Are Rebelling Against the Elite to Reclaim Our Democracy (Kurt Schlichter)

Militant Normals is an enjoyable read, a rollicking journey with the acid tongue of Kurt Schlichter as our tour leader.  It is full of facts that are impossible to dispute, because they are facts.  It draws difficult-to-argue conclusions, including that our near future is likely grim.  That said, I think Schlichter’s elite/normal framework misses important nuances and is a bit too glib.  But even so, the well-deserved spanking Schlichter gives the Left is worth the price of admission.