Claremont Review of Books Archives - Ethics & Public Policy Center

In Plague Time

There is a masterly and instructive literature that treats of epidemics far more frightful than that of COVID-19, and reminds us what human beings are capable of, in the way of nobility and depravity, when the question of whether one will live out the week is a 50-50 proposition.

The Mind of the Moralist

Everyone knew what a man Samuel Johnson was, the very best of the best. If only he had known it himself.

Everlasting Youth

Renowned above all for his flights of lyric sublimity, Percy Bysshe Shelley could be as ravishingly melancholy as John Keats and as tenderly exultant as William Wordsworth. Yet his verse could be flagrantly unlovely in the service of his political hatreds, which were many and fierce.

Battle for a Continent

Without candor and a sense of proportion, the whole truth about the encounter of civilization with barbarism in North America has degenerated into a Hollywood fantasy of unforgivable evildoing on the part of white invaders. A corrective to this woke narrative can be found in the writings of Francis Parkman, the supreme historian of that fateful encounter, which was really a world-historical collision.

Revolt of the Somewheres

Our moralizing modern-day aristocrats are at odds with American justice.

A Politics of National Purpose

A proper national politics naturally protects both our shared prerogatives and our individual rights.

The Fellowship of the Cursed Poets

Delmore Schwartz, Randall Jarrell, Sylvia Plath, Robert Lowell, and John Berryman, all of whom died more than 40 years ago, remain the most famous American poets born in the 20th century. They are known even more for their tortured, prematurely extinguished lives than for their poetry.

Persuasion and the Art of Writing Tweets

In his new book, Scott Adams demonstrates not only that President Trump strategically made his case to voters, but that he is a uniquely talented persuader.

The Tragic Sense

Joseph Conrad remains the greatest English language novelist since Charles Dickens, and many of the best writers of the 20th century, including H.L. Mencken, Ernest Hemingway, and T.S. Eliot, paid homage to his excellence or came under his influence.

Blue-Collar Blues

Any attempt to make working-class voters a permanent part of a center-right coalition must start with a thorough, candid assessment of conservative ideology’s capacity to repel the working class as much as progressive ideology does.