Feature

William Kristol

William Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard, chooses six of his favorite books.

Exodus: The Traditional Hebrew Text With the New JPS Translation edited by Nahum M. Sarna (Jewish Publication Society, $65). My favorite book of the Bible (if one is allowed to make such a choice), perhaps because it is the most political. A deep study of the relationship between human liberation and gratitude, and between political freedom and duty.

Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville (University of Chicago Press, $35). Written more than 150 years ago, this remains, in my judgment, the best book on America. We can now read it in a new edition edited by Harvey Mansfield and Delba Winthrop, who provide a superb introduction and a fine and careful translation.

The Gathering Storm: The Second World War (Volume 1) by Winston Churchill (Mariner Books, $18). In this first volume of his six-volume memoir of World War II, the century’s greatest politician, Winston Churchill, explains how W.W. II happened, and why it didn’t have to happen. It’s the best guide I know to the perplexities of international politics.

Thoughts on Machiavelli by Leo Strauss (University of Chicago Press, $19). The most beautiful book, in my judgment, of the century’s greatest philosopher. Leo Strauss provides a guide to the thoughts of his great teacher and rival, Niccolo Machiavelli, and therewith to his own thoughts.

Neo-Conservatism: The Autobiography of an Idea by Irving Kristol (Ivan R. Dee Inc., $19). An indispensable key to thinking about recent—and current—American politics. The godfather of neo-conservatism, Irving Kristol teaches us how to begin to understand our contemporary political situation, the crisis of liberalism, and the limitations of conservatism.

Trust Me on This by Donald Westlake (Mysterious Press, $5). An uproarious novel about mysterious goings-on at a supermarket tabloid. While you’re at it, read the sequel, Baby Would I Lie?, and then the rest of Westlake.

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