Magazine | November 1, 2010, Issue


Practically Idealist

In John Derbyshire’s most informative review of The High Tide of American Conservatism (“Bliss Was It . . . ,” October 4), he uses a familiar quote from Calvin Coolidge in an unusual way: to describe Coolidge, rather than to criticize him. As a resident of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts who must therefore admire Coolidge in secret, this was pleasing to read. But while the quote Derbyshire used is correct, it’s merely the half of it.

Those who wish to paint Coolidge as one-dimensional and terse have got away with leaving off an especially meaningful part of his characterization of Americans. Shortly after saying that “the chief business of the American people is business,” he added: “The chief ideal of the American people is idealism.”

Here is a statement from a well-rounded and perceptive observer. It might have been much better for all of us if Coolidge had chosen to run for reelection.

Lars Wiberg

Via e-mail

Daley’s Second Amendment Record

In the October 4 issue’s “Week” section, you had some positive things to say about Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley, while acknowledging that he is “a massive overspender, a friend of corruption, and a patsy for the unions.” But how could you fail to note his contempt for the Second Amendment?

Recently, after the Supreme Court struck down Chicago’s outright ban on the private ownership of handguns, Daley promised to comply with the ruling, but he is doing so in the most grudging manner possible — making it only almost impossible for Chicago citizens to legally protect themselves.

Of course, as mayor, he has 24/7 armed security.

Bill Brockman

Atlanta, Ga.


Remedial Orthography

I will give National Review the benefit of the doubt that the misspelling of “dormitory” in the background of the illustration on page 38 of its October 18 issue is a satiric commentary on the poor quality of current educational standards rather than a mere mistake.

Kenneth Starke

Nellysford, Va.

NR Staff — Members of the National Review editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”

In This Issue


Politics & Policy

Rust Belt Revival

Call them Reagan-Hillary Democrats. That label may sound awkward, but it provides a useful description of the working-class whites who helped the Gipper secure a pair of landslides in the ...
Politics & Policy

Oslo Scores

On the second Friday in October, the customary day, the Norwegian Nobel Committee made its big announcement. This is the committee that determines the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. ...


Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

Hope from the Past

Every generation gets the George Washington it deserves. In the polyester, Watergate-era Seventies, Gore Vidal reduced America’s most revered president to a pompous figure of fun in his novel Burr, ...
Politics & Policy

Young Lisbeth

I got Dan Brown, I really did. The history was bunk, the prose was Lego, and yet there was something there — that maddening, tantalizing what’s-going-to-happen-next — that kept me ...
Country Life

The Eternal Seasons

As torrents in summer, Half dried in their channels, Suddenly rise, though the Sky is still cloudless, For rain has been falling Far off at their fountains, So hearts that are fainting Grow full to o’erflowing, And they ...


Politics & Policy


Practically Idealist In John Derbyshire’s most informative review of The High Tide of American Conservatism (“Bliss Was It . . . ,” October 4), he uses a familiar quote from Calvin Coolidge ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ If Congress wants to prosecute those who accept foreign money, Tim Geithner had better keep a suitcase packed. ‐ At his White House farewell, Rahm Emanuel, President Obama’s departing chief ...
Politics & Policy


THE SUIT My grandfather, nineteen years of age, Falls from the pages of the unabridged Dictionary where I keep him pressed, A sepia print of him in his second suit, A double-breasted serge. The satin ...

Action-Game Activism

We’re told the election will be about the economy. As in, “We would like to have one again.” No luxuries like social issues: When businesses can hire without worrying that ...

Most Popular


The Gun-Control Debate Could Break America

Last night, the nation witnessed what looked a lot like an extended version of the famous “two minutes hate” from George Orwell’s novel 1984. During a CNN town hall on gun control, a furious crowd of Americans jeered at two conservatives, Marco Rubio and Dana Loesch, who stood in defense of the Second ... Read More

Billy Graham: Neither Prophet nor Theologian

Asked in 1972 if he believed in miracles, Billy Graham answered: Yes, Jesus performed some and there are many "miracles around us today, including television and airplanes." Graham was no theologian. Neither was he a prophet. Jesus said "a prophet hath no honor in his own country." Prophets take adversarial ... Read More
Film & TV

Why We Can’t Have Wakanda

SPOILERS AHEAD Black Panther is a really good movie that lives up to the hype in just about every way. Surely someone at Marvel Studios had an early doubt, reading the script and thinking: “Wait, we’re going to have hundreds of African warriors in brightly colored tribal garb, using ancient weapons, ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More