Joe Wolverton, II, J.D.
During the fallout following the government bailout of banking, investment, insurance, and the auto industry, President Obama justified the extension of corporate welfare by informing the American people that these businesses were “too big to fail.”
While many of the acts of the United Nations are accurately described as laughable, their latest idea is literally comical.
For decades constitutionalists of all stripes (read: Tea Partiers, Tenthers, etc.) have mourned the demise of our constitutional republic. They feel that despite their often heroic (and unheralded) efforts to fend off the near constant attacks on our founding charter by the enemies of limited government, the vigorous eradication of the first principles of liberty continues unabated.
On your last visit to Washington, D.C., did you stand marvelling at the size and craftsmanship of the Lincoln Memorial? Did you pause and admire the sublime and simple neo-classical elegance of the Jefferson and Washington monuments? Then, did you wander over to the memorial dedicated to commemorating the unrivaled contributions of James Madison, the man known to history as the “Father of the Constitution?” No, you did not. Not because you don’t appreciate our fourth President’s lifelong dedication to limited government; rather, the Madison monument wasn’t on your list of things to see in the nation’s capital because no such monument exists.
Despite the steadiness of the stream, the fertile field of “Founders Literature” never seems to reach a saturation point. Recently, a flood of books has flowed from familiar fountains: Joseph Ellis (First Family), Bruce Chadwick (Triumvirate), Pauline Maier (Ratification), and Ron Chernow (Washington: A Life). Thousands of pages on the lives and times of the men and women whose names are at the top of the dramatis personae of the founding drama.
A reader unfamiliar with the history of the complex admixture of conflict, compromises, condescension, and coercion that led to the “shot heard ‘round the world” would be forgiven if after reading William Hogeland’s new book, Declaration: Nine Tumultuous Weeks When America Became Independent, he believed that if it wasn’t for the manipulation of the Adams cousins – John and Sam – then the American War for Independence (for it was not revolutionary) never would have happened. And, furthermore, we all might have been better off if it hadn’t.
When it comes to the totality of our lives, Americans (and all Westerners) are culturally Hebrew, Greek, and Roman. We owe our intellectual inheritance to Athens, our religious attitude to Jerusalem, and our legal, administrative, and political acumen to Rome. In his new book, Why We're All Romans, historian Carl J. Richard, argues that the complex composition of Westerners depends on Rome and the influence of its empire for our diversity.
Jack Rakove knows how to stoke the fires of amateur historians. In the “Founders Lit” genre of popular non-fiction, Rakove is one of the elite. Rakove won the Pulitzer Prize in 1997 for his book Original Meanings: Politics and Ideas in the Making of the Constitution, wherein he presented a balanced and nuanced approach to interpreting the Founders’ intent behind some of the most debated aspects of our national Constitution.
David Aaronovitch has not written a “whodunit;” he has not written a “who really dunit;” he has a written a “why only idiots and simpletons think that someone other than who is supposed to have dun it actually dun it.”
In the Sunday New York Times, Adam Kirsch, senior editor at The New Republic, writes a review of a recent biography of Ayn Rand, one of American history’s most iconic figures. In his review, Kirsch includes numerous condemning gobbets he lifts from the pages of Anne Heller’s biography, Ayn Rand and the World She Made. He quotes Heller’s claim that although she is unapologetically critical of Rand’s philosophy and personal behavior, she is “a strong admirer, albeit one with many questions and reservations.”