Three new books that every conservative should read appeared in time for the holiday season, and I recommend them enthusiastically as holiday presents. (I assume you’ve already read my book You Will Be Assimilated: Chiina’s Plan to Sino-Form the World, which would have done nicely for Halloween).
The first is American Awakening: Identity Politics and Other Afflictions of Our Time, by Joshua Mitchell of Georgetown University. Here’s what I wrote about it:
“American Awakening” is a tour-de-force, the sort of book that forever changes the way one looks at the subject. It is the most important book on American politics of the past several years. Joshua Mitchell argues persuasively that America’s political crisis has a religious origin, and that the extremes of identity politics are an expression of a dislodged Protestantism.This is a bold and deeply convincing alternative to conventional thinking that combines a subtle grasp of theology with profound insights into American political process and deep knowledge of history. So skillful a writer is Prof. Mitchell that the reader has the sense of remembering something that was always known, while learning something that was never imagined.
Mitchell diagnoses America’s spiritual maladies with a unique religious sensibility. It’s the best book on American politics since Joseph Bottum’s An Anxious Age in 2014.
Second on my holiday list is Michael Walsh’s Last Stands: Why Men Fight When All is Lost. I’ve read the first third or so, and it’s riveting. Michael is a Renaissance man, a successful Hollywood screenwriter and novelist, as well as a fine classical pianist and former music critic of Time Magazine. Here’s what VIctor Davis Hanson says about it:
Last Stands is a thoroughly original study of doomed or trapped soldiers often fighting to the last man, from Thermopylae to the Korean War. But Michael Walsh’s book is more than a military history of heroic resistance. It is also a philosophical and spiritual defense of the premodern world, of the tragic view, of physical courage, and of masculinity and self-sacrifice in an age when those ancient virtues are too often caricatured and dismissed. A much needed essay on why rare men would prefer death to dishonor, and would perish in the hope that others thereby might live.
Last but not least is Brandon Weichert’s Winning Space: How America Remains a Superpower. Brandon is a brilliant strategic analyst and an adviser to several parts of the US military, and he has a unique understanding of how our future security depends on space. Here’s what Dennis Prager had to say about it:
There are many good books published each year, but few truly important ones. This book is truly important. If America fails to heed this warning, it will no longer be the world’s superpower. And that will be a calamity not just for America, but for mankind and the cause of freedom on Earth.