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. […]
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I have two new interviews out this week for Salon, and they could not be more different (other than both being about writers): * I talk here to conservative opinion-maker Pat Buchanan about his new book The Greatest Comeback, which is about the years he spent helping Richard Nixon rise from back-to-back races for the presidency (1960) and […]
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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’"
The initial reviews of Bruce Allen Murphy’s Scalia: A Court of One have largely praised the book as an engrossing intellectual biography of Justice Scalia or criticized it for being grounded more in published materials than in personal interviews. The latter group, including Joshua Hawley’s review in the Wall Street Journal, strike me as criticizing the […]
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Earlier this week, Kirkus Reviews published an abbreviated version of my interview with Bruce Allen Murphy about his new biography, Scalia: A Court of One. In this longer version of the interview, Murphy and I discuss Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s background, legal writing, and judicial philosophy. Let’s start with the basics of originalism vs. textualism. […]
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“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.
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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 Kirkus Reviews for my interview with Harvard professor Cass Sunstein about his new book, Conspiracy Theories and Other Dangerous Ideas. Sunstein explains — among other things — why Team Romney was surprised he lost the 2012 election. This is my first piece for Kirkus Reviews.
Read more "Cass Sunstein on foxes, hedgehogs, Glenn Beck and Santa Claus"