Day of Reckoning
by Patrick J. Buchanan
(Thomas Dunne, $26)
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Pat Buchanan’s doomsday fears about racial and ethnic diversity put him out of step with most of America, said Chris Suellentrop in The New York Times. But the former Nixon speechwriter and three-time presidential candidate “knows how to provoke.” Liberals might be surprised at how many of his foreign-policy views they can agree with. Republicans should read him to test their assumptions.
by Jonah Goldberg (Doubleday, $28)
You have to hope that National Review’s Jonah Goldberg is kidding when he draws a parallel between Whole Foods and Hitler, said Fred Siegel in The Wall Street Journal. Goldberg’s new book reflects his mixed motives, though. He wants to mount a serious study of the historical links between European-style fascism and New Deal liberalism, but he also wants to thumb his nose at FDR’s Democratic heirs. His second purpose “undermines his first.”
by Randall Kennedy (Pantheon, $22)
Randall Kennedy’s “brisk and enjoyable” new book works to define when—if ever—a member of the African-American community can be branded a “sellout,” said Erin Aubry Kaplan in the Los Angeles Times. But it makes little sense to ask people to be more logical about the use of an emotionally charged insult. Sellout is most compelling when Kennedy is musing about related dilemmas “that remain unresolved in his mind.”
Freedom for the Thought That We Hate
by Anthony Lewis (Basic, $25)
It can be inspiring to read Anthony Lewis’ “passionate if discursive” account of how Americans came to enjoy a nearly unassailable right to criticize their government, said Jeffrey Rosen in The New York Times. But while Lewis’ enthusiasm for this 20th-century development is justified, the former New York Times columnist assumes too readily that judges were the heroes.
Wrong on Race
by Bruce Bartlett (Palgrave, $27)
Bruce Bartlett’s new book offers plenty of evidence that a longer, stronger history of racism exists in the Democratic Party than in the Republican, said Robert A. George in the New York Post. The ex–Reagan and Bush I aide undermines his case, though, by failing to deal honestly with the reasons the parties’ positions flipped after 1964. Worse, his suggestion that today’s GOP would benefit strategically from backing slavery reparations is “woefully naïve.”
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