Book Reviews

Fresh commentary on some of the most important books in law, politics, and culture.

Past Reviews

Reflection and Choice
A Review of Reflection and Choice

Founding Debate

If America’s Constitution needs its own “Bible,” you could do much worse than The Federalist. But Gary Gregg and Aaron Coleman do us one better.

Kristin Lavransdatter
A Review of Kristin Lavransdatter

Misdirected Passion

Sigrid Undset's classic novel shows us now what we want to see but what we’ve been neglecting, the consequences of our autonomous ways.

A Review of Trust

Trusting Mayor Pete

Moderates like Buttigieg are forced to walk the line today, endlessly striving to hit the sweet spot between “inflammatory” and “milquetoast.”

They Knew They Were Pilgrims
A Review of They Knew They Were Pilgrims

The Pilgrims at 400

The Pilgrims were not 21st century liberal democrats, but they embraced institutions and practices that helped advance a commitment to republicanism.

History Has Begun: The Birth of a New America
A Review of History Has Begun: The Birth of a New America

Can Political Fantasy Remake America?

Is America finally making its own way in a world becoming less liberal and in which the West’s saliency as a model for everyone continues to decline?

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First Principles
A Review of First Principles

The Founders’ Lost World

Too often we would rather use the past to confirm what we believe to be right and good than to do the work of personal and national self-understanding.

Religion in the Public Square
A Review of Religion in the Public Square

Catholic, Protestant, Partisan

Is it possible that Sheen and King succeeded because they carefully eschewed partisan politics, whereas Falwell failed because he embraced it?

The Virginia Dynasty
A Review of The Virginia Dynasty

Founding Rivals, Founding Friends

It may be counted among our fledgling nation’s good fortune that a small pocket of Virginia somehow cultivated an enormous concentration of talent.

Hitler and Stalin
A Review of Hitler and Stalin

Varieties of Totalitarianism

Parallel studies of Hitler and Stalin are worthwhile not because their similarities, but because of their profound differences.

Shakespeare and the Political Way
A Review of Shakespeare and the Political Way

Can Shakespeare Survive Woke?

Shakespeare’s plays, including his portraits of the tyrannical soul, remind us that ultimately there is no substitute for studying human nature.