Magazine January 23, 2012, Issue

Always Bet on Black

Conrad Black arrives at the Federal Courthouse in Chicago for a status hearing, January 13, 2011. (John Gress/Reuters)
A Matter of Principle, by Conrad Black (McClelland & Stewart, 592 pp., $35)

In the United States, as in most other modern democratic regimes, one of the most important political issues today concerns the relation between the individual and the coercive power of the state, which is suddenly up for fundamental renegotiation. This is an odd turn of events, since one of the main points of being a modern democratic regime was to have worked out a way of securing the individual against arbitrary and intrusive state power. Did folks like James Madison and Alexander Hamilton labor in vain? No. They helped devise a splendid system of checks and balances. Human ingenuity, however,

Roger Kimball — Mr. Kimball is publisher of Encounter Books, and co-editor and publisher of The New Criterion.

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