The Making of the American Conservative Mind

The Making of the American Conservative Mind: National Review and its Times, by Jeffrey Hart, 2005, published by the Intercollegiate  Studies Institute (ISI Books)

From the jacket copy:

“National Review has been the leading conservative national magazine since it was founded in 1955, and in that capacity it has played a decisive role in shaping the conservative movement in the United States….Jeffrey Hart provides an authoritative and high-spirited history of how the magazine has come to define and defend conservatism for the past fifty years. He also gives a first-hand account of the thought and sometimes colorful personalities–including James Burnham, Willmoore Kendall, Russell Kirk, Frank Meyer, William Rusher, Priscilla Buckley, Wittaker Chambers, and, of course, the magazines founder, William F. Buckley, Jr.–who contributed to National Review’s life and wide influence.”

Not entirely biased based on the chapter titled George W. Bush: Transformative President. Though he doesn’t explain why he considered W to be transformative per se, other than disastrous Iraq war which cites W as having told a staffer in January 2001 that he planned to wage that war. He mentions the evangelicalism taking effect with prayer groups forming in the White House immediately. And to his credit, he ponders how conservative and evangelical really work, together or not.

Time Bomb

1986 style book jacketTime Bomb: The race between two geniuses to create the one weapon that will decide World War II, by Malcolm C. MacPherson, 1986

Enrico Fermi and Werner Heisenberg, proteges of Nils Bohr, both won Noble Prizes in physics when young men. Fermi fled to USA, Heisenberg stayed in Nazi Germany.

Really good book. Reads like a suspense story. Available used on Amazon.

American Fascists by Chris Hedges

book cover figure of Jesus wrapped in the flagAmerican Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America

Really excellent!

“Dr. James Luther Adams, my ethics professor at Harvard Divinity School, told us that when we were his age–he was then close to 80–we would all be fighting the ‘Christian Fascists.’ The warning, given to me nearly 25 years ago, came at the moment Pat Robertson and other radio and televangelists began speaking about a new political religion that would direct its efforts at taking control of all institutions, including mainstream denominations and the government. Its stated goal was to use the United States to create a global Christian empire. It was hard, at the time, to take such fantastic rhetoric seriously, especially given the buffoonish quality  of the leaders in the Christian Right who expounded it. But Adams warned us against the blindness caused by intellectual snobbery. The Nazis, he said, were not going to return with swastikas and brown shirts. Their ideological inheritors in America had found a mask for fascism in patriotism and the pages of the Bible.”

Compassionate Conservatism by Marvin Olasky

compassion my assCompassionate Conservatism: what it is, What it does, and How it can Transform America  (2000) by The Free Press (I just hate the way they co-opt words and twist the meanings using free like it is not propaganda.)

This “book” (in the most expansive sense vs. lies, propaganda) with a foreword by Governor George W. Bush [so that pretty much gives you a clue about what I think of the content; note this was pre-debacle presidency]

There is a list of others Olasky wrote or co-wrote so if you want to read some propaganda, just check the titles at the end of this post. And I say propaganda having read CC which is full of religious babble:

p.101 [discussed the abhorrent aberration of Social Darwinism, embraced by government officials who complained that “idleness” and “other forms of vicious indulgence” are “frequently, if not universally, hereditary in character. . . .Vigorous efforts must be instituted to break the line of pauper descent.” He goes on to say that the biblical base opposed Social Darwinism. [things change I think].

Continue reading Compassionate Conservatism by Marvin Olasky