I’ve decided to end my current 13 Weeks Radical Reading experiment early so that next week I can start fresh, more in synch with my friends Rhonda Robinson (starting today) and Sarah Hoyt (beginning next week too, and with a lovely conclusion today.) Charlie Martin is already a few weeks into his next season, but that’s as it should be — he’s the founder and leader of the 13 Weeks Method.
Among the adjustments that I’m making to the rules of my variation of the 13 Weeks formula for this go-around will be the addition of a pile of to-read books — I’ll make a point to focus on a book from it consistently each day until I’ve finished in addition to some reading from that specific day’s pile. Strong books from each pile will make their way to the higher-priority, to-read-daily pile. The strength of last season’s regimen was that it did encourage what I wanted — an opportunity to see across disciplines and subjects to make new connections. But I’m just not moving fast enough through some of the newer titles that warrant timely reviews. So I’m going to step up the pace. As I commence a new schedule to try and increase the quantity and quality of both my reading and now my writing too these are some of the books and subjects that I plan on writing about, guided by the 7-day-7-subject schedule that I’ve grown accustomed to. I’m not sure how many daily posts each subject or each book will end up generating. Some might be a few days each, others I might be able to articulate more quickly.
(And if anyone has any advice for other books on these or other subject, or if publishers would like to throw some of their books into the piles then please email me. Interesting books that I don’t review myself I try and assign to others — see part 1 of Chris Yogerst’s review of Present Shock yesterday.)
On the Rise of the Counterjihad Movement and the Birth of Conservatism 3.0…
1. Not Peace But a Sword: The Great Chasm Between Christianity and Islam by Robert Spencer; Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences Americans by Ben Shapiro; Rules for Radical Conservatives: Beating the Left at Its Own Game To Take Back America by David Kahane (Michael Walsh!)
The last authors I wrote about at the conclusion of the previous season’s 13 Weeks Radical Reading Regiment were James C. Bennett and Michael J. Lotus and their America 3.0. I really appreciate this book — and I think its 1.0, 2.0, 3.0 paradigm of cultural/economic development is applicable beyond just describing the phases of America’s growth, past, present, and future. In an upcoming piece that I’ve been working on I’m going to make the argument that the transition to America 3.0 should be guided by a conservative movement re-oriented to the realities of today’s enemies and the necessity of rebalancing power between federal, state, and local governments. Among my writing and thinking goals over the next 13 Week season is to begin articulating what a Conservatism 3.0 could (and should) look like. The foreign policy, culture, and history writers I named last season are some of the founding intellectual influences IMHO…
On the Pernicious Effect of Soviet Disinformation…
2. Disinformation: Former Spy Chief Reveals Secret Strategies for Undermining Freedom, Attacking Religion, And Promoting Terrorism by Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa and Prof. Ronald J. Rychlak; Red Horizons: The True Story of Nicolae & Elena Ceausescus’ Crimes, Lifestyle, and Corruption by Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa; Disney’s World: A Biography by Leonard Mosley; Walt Disney: Hollywood’s Dark Prince by Marc Eliot
As I wrote about a few weeks ago Ion Mihai Pacepa’s new book Disinformation and his unique memoir Red Horizons have provided me with valuable tools for understanding the world today. Through coming to grasp Pacepa’s explanation of the history of Soviet disinformation efforts to sabotage Western culture all of a sudden old stories begin to appear in a brand new light. Here’s an example that I’m going to research further.
During the past 13 Weeks regimen my friend Chris Queen and I have been researching the history of Walt Disney, his films, theme parks, and the company he founded. (Make a point to read Chris’s newest review of the memoirs of a colorful, influential Imagineer, Rolly Crump.) I’ve been enjoying one of many Disney biographies, a used book I acquired years ago at Half Price Books by a frequent biographer, the British journalist Leonard Mosley. The book has been a lot of fun to read and the other week I hit page 200 — about 2-3rds of the way through. And then all of a sudden I stepped in a piece of crap. During Mosley’s explanation of the troubles Disney had with unions, their communist infiltrators, and productivity-disrupting strikes, the author claims on page 207 that, “The bleak situation over money drained him of his dynamic. Misery and worry brough out the worst in him, and he was apt to blame everybody–Jews, blacks Commies, union workers–for his misfortunes.”
Rumors of Walt Disney as a racist, pro-Nazi, antisemitic, racist have persisted for years. (Here’s a good debunking.) But now, after coming to understand how to identify Soviet disinformation, I’m beginning to wonder if this persistent smear is an example. It’s revealing how the only time that Mosley claims Disney was an antisemite is at the time in the book when he was having union problems. I’m going to analyze a book that’s more dedicated to attacking Disney — Marc Eliot’s — and see if there are more signs of Soviet Disinformation. But this claim of antisemitism is comparable to to how the Soviets smeared many.
On the Revival of American Exceptionalism…
3. Blood of Tyrants: George Washington and the Forging of the Presidency by Logan Beirne, The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin by Gordon S. Wood; A History of the American People by Paul Johnson; Lincoln Unbound: How an Ambitious Young Railsplitter Saved the American Dream–And How We Can Do It Again by Rich Lowry and Covenant of Liberty: The Ideological Origins of the Tea Party Movement by Michael Patrick Leahy; Native Americans by James S. Robbins
I think it’s important to juxtapose the analyses of Marxist and Islamist ideology with the Enlightenment liberalism that forged our nation. These history books exploring personalities and philosophies that have shaped our history are some that I plan to explore.
On the Unraveling of the Lawless Obama Administration…
4. Impeachable Offenses: The Case for Removing Barack Obama From Office by Aaron Klein & Brenda J. Elliott; Leading from Behind: The Reluctant President and the Advisors Who Decide For Him by Richard Miniter; The Amateur: Barack Obama in the White House by Edward Klein; Mugged: Racial Demagoguery from the Seventies to Obama by Ann Coulter
Before the election last year I named “The 15 Best Books for Understanding Barack Obama’s Mysterious Political Theology. Here are four more that I’m looking into for an upcoming update of this list.
A few ways that my analysis of Obama has evolved since last November:
1. I’m not as nervous as I used to be — he and his team are much, much more incompetent and ignorant than I first thought. It really is like people with an undergraduate maturity level and matching education are running the government.
2. I think Valerie Jarrett is the real President who makes all the meaningful decisions and bullies Obama into doing whatever she and Michelle want. This is the first real Matriarchal presidency.
On the Historical Rise and Fall of American Abortion Culture and Its Hedonist, Eugenics Roots…
5. Abuse of Discretion: The Inside Story of Roe v. Wade by Clarke D. Forsythe; One Nation Under Sex: How the Private Lives of Presidents; First Ladies and Their Lovers Changed the Course of American History by Larry Flynt & David Eisenbach, Ph.D.; Margaret Sanger’s Eugenic Legacy: The Control of Female Fertility by Angela Franks
I may also add some books from the 1920s and earlier about eugenics to the mix here — and some of the other pseudo-scientific arguments promoting polygamous, polyamous, and promiscuous cultures. This Abuse of Discretion book that I started the other day looks like it might be the definitive Roe v. wade motherlode… Another one of the myths I’ve known since childhood shattered…
One of the hardest pills to swallow during my journey from postmodern Marxist nihilism to Bible-based Americanism has been coming to understand the truth about abortion. “Safe, legal, and rare” — the mantra I was raised on — is a big lie. America is one of only a handful of nations that allow for the abortion of viable babies. And that is primarily what the pro-abortion — yes, pro-abortion, I have finally come accept (thanks Wendy Davis!) — movement simply will not budge on. Pro-Choice vs Pro-Life is dead — and it was always a big sham, used for duping naive do-gooders who know nothing substantive of human biology or the history of the ideologies that fought for this cultural transformation tool and nail. Now I’m going to try and understand better the combination of self-hating, anti-humanist, illiberal ideologies that transformed American culture.
Also: Click here to see my virtual book shelf of upcoming titles. To see, be sure and join the Freedom Academy Book Club — for free, and with the same account as you use for PJ commenting. You’ll also be able to create your own shelf and see the recommendations and book shelves from other — much more knowledgeable and prestigious people than me — on our literary panel.