With the 40th anniversary of Richard Nixon’s resignation coming up on August 9, there’s a slew of new books about Nixon and his presidency. I wrote recently about several of the new titles: * I interviewed Pat Buchanan for Salon about his new book, The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose from Defeat to Create the New Majority. […]Read more "What this blog needs is more Nixon"
I have two new pieces up today at The Daily Beast: What the Hell Is ‘Twee’? A Genre? A Mindset? An Art Form?: My Q&A with Marc Spitz, the author of Twee: The Gentle Revolution in Music, Books, Television, Fashion, and Film, a new book about the history Twee art. When the Right to Vote Wasn’t […]Read more "‘Twee’ and ‘Freedom Summer’"
“If you read James Madison’s notes from the Constitutional Convention and the Constitution itself, the Founders were very focused on the states keeping strong militias—who would lead the militias, how would they be armed, could the federal government take them over—and above all, they did not want a standing army. They thought a standing army […]Read more "A new (old) perspective on the Second Amendment"
This review originally appeared in my column for Huffington Post on April 23, 2014. As you may recall from your eighth-grade social studies class, the United States Constitution was written to be changed and we have changed it often. Even as the last of the 13 colonies were ratifying the Constitution in 1789 and 1790, the First Congress […]Read more "Retired justice says time to hit refresh on the Constitution"
Head over to Kirkus Reviews for my interviews with Adam Begley about his new biography of John Updike and Boston Globe columnist Alex Beam about his history of the early Mormon church.Read more "Two new Kirkus interviews"
This piece originally appeared in my column for Huffington Post on April 8, 2014. First, a rant: Every year, the Pulitzer Prize Board announces the nominees and winners in mid-April. The nominees and winners are announced the same day. There is no Nominations Day followed a few weeks or months later by Announcement Day. There is only […]Read more "Pulitzer Prize Preview: First a rant, then some predictions"
Head over to Salon.com to read my Q&A with chief White House correspondent Peter Baker about his new book, Days of Fire: Bush and Cheney in the White House, a history of the Bush administration that documents President Bush’s preoccupation with Iraq from his first weeks in office.Read more "Bush’s misadventures in Iraq"
This piece originally appeared in my column for Huffington Post on October 27, 2013. On the eve of the fiftieth anniversary of the Kennedy assassination, with bookstore shelves overflowing with reexaminations and conspiracy theories, John T. Shaw takes a look at an important but under-reported period of President Kennedy’s life in JFK in the Senate: Pathway to the Presidency. Shaw, a […]Read more "JFK Transformed"
Andrew and Stephen C. Schlesinger discuss The Letters of Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., a collection of their father’s letters to Harry Truman, Robert Kennedy and others, in a recent appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” Here’s a summary of the book: The Letters of Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. reveals the late historian’s unvarnished views on the great issues and […]Read more "‘Letters of Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.’"
This piece originally appeared in my column for Huffington Post on October 10, 2013. Here’s one tried and tested way for a president to deal with a difficult Congress: Go to your private office on Capitol Hill and stay there until a deal is done. Woodrow Wilson, the 28th president of the United States, lobbied Congress from […]Read more "‘Wilson,’ Obama and Congress"