The Corner

Friday Book Blegs

1) I am in constant, longterm, search for examples of the following premise: Politicians on both sides of the aisle are unwilling or incapable of arguing that an idea is good even though it’s not supported by the American people. If they propose a policy they insist that it be phrased to the public in such a way that polls show it is favorable. If social security reform is a good idea, it should be regardless of whether or not Americans support it, right? Unfortunately, we have a chicken-or-egg situation where reforms cannot be sold until they are popular and they cannot be popular until they are sold.

2) Serious critiques of Pragmatism, John Dewey, William James etc. preferably from avowed philosophical approaches, i.e. Libertarians on pragmatism, conservatives on it, Marxists, etc.

3) Any good essays that actually define, programmatically, ideologically or philosophically the American “Old Right” by which I mean the pre-WWII right. I’ve read quite a bit on the subject and the group still seems like a grab-bag of different personalities.

4) Contemporary and historic examples of “lying for justice” — be it environmentalists exaggerating environmental threats, racial hoaxes on campus, etc.

5) And, as always, examples of absurd arguments ad hitlerum, i.e. arguments where the Nazis, Fascists or the Holocaust are compared to minor budget cuts, opposition to affirmative action etc.

As always, please send book-bleg responses (with appropriate subject headers) to


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