Researcher and Writer in Washington, DC

Posts in category Nonfiction Reviews

First Among Equals: How George Washington Became George Washing...

First Among Equals: How George Washington Became George Washington

George Washington was born to middling stock in Virginia in 1732. He was a “conventional Virginia provincial” whose world had a stable social order and agrarian political economy. A planter class led this stratified society. These gentlemen dressed, spoke, and behaved differently from others, and their mores owed much to the English motherland and to […]

Lefties Who Moved Ri...

Lefties Who Moved Right

I very much enjoyed reading the Exit Right: The People Who Left the Left and Reshaped the American Century (Simon & Schuster, 2016), which details the movement of six very different individuals from the political left to the political right. The book’s subjects are Whittaker Chambers, James Burnham, Ronald Reagan, Norman Podhoretz, David Horowitz, and […]

Thomas McCraw, The Founders and Finance: How Hamilton, Gallatin, and Other Immigrants Forged a New Economy (Harvard University Press, 20...

Thomas McCraw, The Founders and Finance: How Hamilton, Gallatin, and Other Immigrants Forged a New Economy (Harvard University Press, 2012)

The October 14, 2013 issue of The Weekly Standard carries my review of this book. Back in 2007, I reviewed McCraw’s biography of Joseph Schumpeter for the Standard. (See here.) McCraw sent me an e-mail of thanks, which was very decent of him. Pity that McCraw died late this past year—I think he would have […]

Mark Leibovich, This Town (Penguin Group, 20...

Mark Leibovich, This Town (Penguin Group, 2013)

Political junkies indubitably will devour Leibovich’s chatty take on Washington, DC. I myself have a limited interest in and patience for the self-obsessed DC press-political gaggle. I tend to be more interested in political and social phenomena than chatter about them. Yet, I enjoyed Mark Leibovich’s This Town (Penguin Group, 2013). For one, Leibovich frequently […]

Benn Steil, The Battle of Bretton Woods: John Maynard Keynes, Harry Dexter White, and the Making of a New World Or...

Benn Steil, The Battle of Bretton Woods: John Maynard Keynes, Harry Dexter White, and the Making of a New World Order

The August 26 issue of The Weekly Standard carries my review of this new book. It is very smartly written—Steil has a flair for making the abstruse interesting. That said, it is not for the casual student of economics. Appropo of a Princeton University Press book, The Battle of Bretton Woods carries loads of heady discussions […]

Dan Kennedy, Loser Goes First (Crown, 20...

Dan Kennedy, Loser Goes First (Crown, 2003)

My mind was exhausted. I wasn’t ready for sleep, but I hadn’t the stomach for TV. All the magazines and nonfiction books by my bed were just too much.  I need an easy read—easier than any of the few dozen paperback mysteries piled up by my desk. And there it was—Dan Kennedy’s Loser Goes First. […]

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