Magazine | July 21, 2014, Issue


Writing and the Right

Adam Bellow’s cover piece, “Let Your Right Brain Run Free” (July 7), argues compellingly that without engaging the arts, conservatives’ political efforts are doomed to fail — a prediction likely to prove only too true — and rightly notes that conservatives have failed to put in place the kind of structural support that could help young, right-leaning artists. Writing programs, fellowships, prizes, and the rest would no doubt be a boon. However, since, as they say, books beget books, much good could also be done simply by pointing potential conservative storytellers to masters of the art (beyond J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Flannery O’Connor, and Walker Percy, who, though vital, often seem to be the only worthwhile novelists conservatives have heard of). There are significant strains of conservative thought in mystery and crime fiction, where the problem of evil is paramount. Try P. D. James.

Science fiction has long entertained strong libertarian tendencies. Try not just Ray Bradbury and Robert A. Heinlein, but the brilliant Gene Wolfe. So-called literary fiction has well-known conservative entries (e.g., the work of Wendell Berry, Cormac McCarthy, or Mark Helprin), but there are many rewarding new arrivals: Christopher R. Beha and William Giraldi, for example. None of these authors adheres to a party line — they might even reject one another as philosophical allies — but each exhibits a temperamental conservatism and a masterly ability to transform that worldview into art. Providing examples of substantive conservative fiction to our aspiring novelists will increase the likelihood that a conservative literary movement will flourish for generations to come.

Gregory Campbell

Covington, Ky.

A Forgotten Freshman

John J. Miller’s article “The Mailman’s Son” (April 21) contains one minor error. Miller claims that John Kasich was “the only non-incumbent GOP candidate to win a seat in the House that year” (1982). Nancy Johnson (R., Conn.) won her first of twelve terms that year and, when she left Congress in 2007, was the longest-serving member of the House from Connecticut.

Paul Carver

Old Saybrook, Conn.

Daniel Foster — Daniel Foster is a former news editor of National Review Online.

In This Issue


Politics & Policy

Take Two

En route from New York to Philadelphia — It would be hard to imagine a nicer, swankier bus than Dinesh D’Souza’s. “It’s a lot better than Tom Cruise’s,” says Jerry ...


Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

Hillary’s War of Fog

Reading Hillary Clinton’s memoir of her State Department years is like wading through an ocean of oatmeal. Cloying, tiring (sometimes to the point of exhaustion), and as controversy-free as possible, ...
Politics & Policy

Shaper of Modern America

Docents at William Tecumseh Sherman’s boyhood home in Lancaster, Ohio, treat visitors to a telling anecdote from the general’s youth. The ginger-complected Sherman was so incensed when a foster brother ...


Politics & Policy


Writing and the Right Adam Bellow’s cover piece, “Let Your Right Brain Run Free” (July 7), argues compellingly that without engaging the arts, conservatives’ political efforts are doomed to fail — ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ Okay, the World Cup starts when? ‐ Hillary Clinton can’t leave wealthy enough alone. After her “dead broke” interview, she told the Guardian that regular Americans “don’t see me as ...

Apocalypse-Proof E-Mail

Lucky Lois Lerner: I couldn’t lose old e-mails if I wanted to. Let me explain. First: I hate e-mail. Loathe it. Oh, it was fun at first, back when AOL was ...
The Long View

Official Transcript: Your Money Matters

Syndicated radio call-in show with the Clintons Hillary Clinton: “Hi, is the caller there?” Caller: “Hi, Hillary. Can I call you ‘Hillary’?” Hillary Clinton: “Of course! I’m just an ordinary American grandmother!” Caller: “Oh, ...
Politics & Policy


THE PAINTING When I was sleeping in the sun A window seeped into my eyes: Bright green, soft green, then overrun With orange. There was no gift, no prize Greater than seeing it, no thought Of ...
Happy Warrior

Glorious Gridlock

Fact: Washington’s inability to get stuff done is the most critical issue facing our nation today — and, who knows, maybe ever. I know this because D.C.’s lack of productivity has ...

Most Popular

White House

Another Warning Sign

The Mueller report is of course about Russian interference in the 2016 election and about the White House's interference in the resulting investigation. But I couldn’t help also reading the report as a window into the manner of administration that characterizes the Trump era, and therefore as another warning ... Read More

Supreme Court Mulls Citizenship Question for Census

Washington -- The oral arguments the Supreme Court will hear on Tuesday will be more decorous than the gusts of judicial testiness that blew the case up to the nation’s highest tribunal. The case, which raises arcane questions of administrative law but could have widely radiating political and policy ... Read More
Film & TV

It’s the Deep Breath before the Plunge

Warning. SPOILERS are ahead. If you don’t want to know anything about episode two of the final season of Game of Thrones, stop reading. Now. One of my favorite moments in Peter Jackson's outstanding adaptation of Lord of the Rings happened in the final movie, The Return of the King. On the eve of Mordor's ... Read More