Magazine July 21, 2014, Issue

Letters

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 FosterDaniel Foster is a former news editor of National Review Online.

In This Issue

Articles

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 ...

Features

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 ...

Sections

Politics & Policy

Letters

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 ...
Athwart

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

Poetry

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

Socialism . . . But?

For once, conservatives were ahead of the curve. American conservatism functioned as a political mass movement in the postwar era not because of the rhetorical gifts of its chief expositors (William F. Buckley Jr. et al.) nor because of the intellectual prowess of its best and most creative minds (ask George ... Read More

Socialism . . . But?

For once, conservatives were ahead of the curve. American conservatism functioned as a political mass movement in the postwar era not because of the rhetorical gifts of its chief expositors (William F. Buckley Jr. et al.) nor because of the intellectual prowess of its best and most creative minds (ask George ... Read More
NR Webathon

This Is Not a Drill

We may be months away from the most radical major-party nominee in American history. Bernie Sanders doesn’t belong on the Burlington City Council, let alone on the cusp of the American presidency, but that’s where the Democratic nomination would bring him. NR has jousted with socialists over the years ... Read More
NR Webathon

This Is Not a Drill

We may be months away from the most radical major-party nominee in American history. Bernie Sanders doesn’t belong on the Burlington City Council, let alone on the cusp of the American presidency, but that’s where the Democratic nomination would bring him. NR has jousted with socialists over the years ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Bill Barr Is Right about Trump’s Tweets

Attorney General Bill Barr rightly and understandably rebuked government by presidential tweet in a notable ABC News interview on Thursday. The attorney general said that President Trump was making his job “impossible” by constantly commenting on an ongoing criminal case, and one involving Trump’s ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Bill Barr Is Right about Trump’s Tweets

Attorney General Bill Barr rightly and understandably rebuked government by presidential tweet in a notable ABC News interview on Thursday. The attorney general said that President Trump was making his job “impossible” by constantly commenting on an ongoing criminal case, and one involving Trump’s ... Read More
U.S.

Two Years Later, Don’t Misplace Blame for Parkland

Two years ago, 17 people died in a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, Fla. In the intervening years, both those who survived it and those who observed it from afar have tried to figure out how something so terrible could have happened. That is understandable. Unfortunately, the ... Read More
U.S.

Two Years Later, Don’t Misplace Blame for Parkland

Two years ago, 17 people died in a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, Fla. In the intervening years, both those who survived it and those who observed it from afar have tried to figure out how something so terrible could have happened. That is understandable. Unfortunately, the ... Read More