Daniel J. Mahoney on The Conservative Foundations of the Liberal Order
“I simply can’t imagine a society that is radically secular or anti-religious that is nonetheless able to sustain liberty and human dignity in any meaningful way,” says Daniel J. Mahoney, author of The Conservative Foundations of the Liberal Order: Defending Democracy against Its Modern Enemies and Immoderate Friends.
Kevin Williamson on The Politically Incorrect Guide to Socialism
“[Barack Obama] is a guy who believes in greater level of government involvment in the economy, if not outright government ownership of the means of production, then certainly government control them through regulation, subsidies, and all the rest of it,” says Kevin Williamson, author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Socialism.
E. E. Knight on March in Country
“It would be hard to choose a favorite [vampire book or movie]. I tend to gravitate more towards the one where they’re out beating up on the vampires and killing them because I’m always a little more on the side of people like Lucy Westenra in the original [Dracula],” says E. E. Knight, author of March in Country.
Stephen Hunter on Dead Zero
“My breakthrough, such as is was, was when I understood after a period of rather orthodox conformity in the ’60s as a college student…I realized that that wasn’t me…I somehow found the strength to be who I was, and that was A) rather conservative, B) someone who really profoundly enjoyed shooting, and C) someone who believed that it wasn’t a privilege, that is was a right,” says Stephen Hunter, author of Dead Zero.
Dean Koontz on What the Night Knows
“I’ve rejected Freud entirely…I realized many years ago that I…was writing villains out of a Freudian perspective…I looked…to see who were the greatest characters…in fiction, and they were all pre-Freudian. [T]here’s [not a] whiff of Freudianism in Dickens, and…[the characters] are as alive as any you would ever…find in fiction,” says Dean Koontz, author of What the Night Knows.
Otto Penzler on Christmas at The Mysterious Bookshop
“[A] good, satisfying mystery, with a happy ending, in which the bad guy is caught…is a perfect story for the [Christmas] season…It wouldn’t be appropriate for a science fiction story, say, or a western, but for a crime story or a mystery story it fits in with the tone of the season,” says Otto Penzler, editor of Christmas at The Mysterious Bookshop.
James L. Buckley on Freedom At Risk
“If you want to choose an instrument for solving complicated problems without getting in the way of progress, goverment is basically the last place you would turn,” says James L. Buckley, author of Freedom at Risk: Reflections on Politics, Liberty, and the State.
Jeffrey Meyers on Orwell: Life and Art
“Orwell showed [in Homage to Catalonia] that the left…were fighting Franco, and the facists, and they were also fighting themselves. And one of the reasons that Orwell turned so much against the Communists is that the Communists were trying to eliminate every other party on the left,” says Jeffrey Meyers, author of Orwell: Life and Art.
Larry Niven on The Best of Larry Niven
“The spacecraft had gotten good enough, our control of rocket motors had gotten good enough and dependable enough, our computers had gotten good enough and small enough, that…we thought we could shoot down incoming missiles dependably. That gave us the [Strategic] Defense Initiative,” says Larry Niven, author of The Best of Larry Niven.
Harlow Giles Unger on Lion of Liberty
“[Patrick Henry] was a farmer. He considered the fruits of the soil a gift from God, a reward for his toil and hard work, and he did not believe he had to share a seed or a blade of grass with any government tax collectors,” says Harlow Giles Unger, author of Lion of Liberty: Patrick Henry and the Call to a New Nation.
Andrew Klavan on The Identity Man
“I wanted to address an issue…which I…think is the ‘Great American Question’, which is: how free is a person to reinvent himself? How tied is he to the accidents of his birth and genetics and his race?…Especially in a world like ours now in which…identity politics has become the thing that defines people,” says Andrew Klavan, author of The Identity Man.
Roger Scruton on The Uses of Pessimism
“The need to hope…will always reassert itself, even when there are no grounds for hope. I’m a child of the ’60s and saw all this happening…in which people seized upon the most unreal speculations as to how a new society could be born out of this abundance of the baby boomers and, in pursuit of this, set about destroying everthing that would make it possible to live. That was a very good example of hope springing out of nothing,” says Roger Scruton, author of The Uses of Pessimism.
P.J. O’Rourke on Don’t Vote It Just Encourages the Bastards
“I like [the Tea Party]. I think that it’s amazing that we have a populist movement in America that is demanding less government…It is saying ‘Roll back, get outta my face, go away’ and I think that’s just wonderful,” says P. J. O’Rourke, author of Don’t Vote It Just Encourages the Bastards.
Benjamin L. Carp on Defiance of the Patriots
“The truth is that Bostonians had not been very good patriots…While New York City and Philadelphia had been smuggling all of their tea by 1770…the Bostonians were willing to purchase a little bit of the legal tea and pay the duties on it. So they were not as good at being boycotters as the [other cities] were,” says Benjamin L. Carp, author of Defiance of the Patriots: The Boston Tea Party and the Making of America.
Mary Downing Hahn on The Ghost of Crutchfield Hall
“I think kids like to be scared in a safe way and I think a ghost story fits the bill for that…Even though the story scares them, they really don’t think it’s going to happen to them. I think because of that they like that little chill,” says Mary Downing Hahn, author of The Ghost of Crutchfield Hall.
Steven R. Weisman on Daniel Patrick Moynihan
“This is a guy who grew up on the streets of New York, shined shoes, worked on the docks, tended bar, joined the Navy after his freshman year at CCNY, and he never forgot his working-class roots even though he was one of the great public intellectuals of our time,” says Steven R. Weisman, editor of Daniel Patrick Moynihan: A Portrait in Letters of an American Visionary.
Stanley Kurtz on Radical-in-Chief
“I did avoid claiming Obama was a socialist…But…I was looking into these socialist scholars conferences which it became…clear Obama attended…And when I saw the programs for [them] my jaw sort of dropped,” says Stanley Kurtz, author of Radical-in-Chief: Barack Obama and the Untold Story of American Socialism.
Vince Flynn on American Assassin
“When I created Mitch Rapp, I thought what mentally healthy person decides to become a killer for the C.I.A. or for their country?…I wanted guy…when he decided that someone was a bad guy and needed to be killed, he wasn’t going to cry or go vomit in the corner or lose any sleep over it,” says Vince Flynn, author of American Assassin.
Bernard Cornwell on The Fort
“Paul Revere only ever fought the British once and that was on the Penobscot Expedition. That was the only time he ever acually fought. And at the end of it his own side court-martialled him for incompetence and cowardice…he was anything but a hero,” says Bernard Cornwell, author of The Fort.
Rochelle Schweizer on She’s the Boss
“Early on [Nancy Pelosi] gave her moderates cover…and she was willing to work with them. Once [Obama] got into the White House…she saw…an opportunity for them to really push their agenda, and maybe…she overreached, and we may be seeing the repercussions of that,” says Rochelle Schweizer, author of She’s the Boss: The Disturbing Truth About Nancy Pelosi.