Book review: “A Gentleman in Moscow” by Amor Towles

Like self-quarantining, but you'll get shot by the KGB if you leave the house. But seriously, a beautiful work of historical fiction. "The surest sign of wisdom is constant cheerfulness." Count Rostov, once-aristrocrat and Former Person in Soviet Russia, embodies this life lesson of his on every page.

Book review: “10 Books that Screwed Up the World”

"There is nothing so absurd, that it can't be said by a philosopher." Wiker's thesis is that ideas have power, and a lot of them can be dangerous. OF the 14 books be reviews, some would be universally condemned such as Hitler's Mein Kampf-- but others were written by eminent scientists such as Darwin's "Descent of Man."

Book review: “10 Books Every Conservative Must Read” by Benjamin Wiker

Wiker's book claims a lot of ground for the conservative tradition-- he calls on both Chesterton and Lewis, and both Federalist and Anti-Federalist arguments, and even Lord of the Rings. But Wiker's vision of conservatism seems very different from the current embodiment of the Republican party. His discussions surrounding self-government, a distributed economy, and cultivation of virtue seem like a call to return to our roots. It is a refreshing reminder that politics shouldn't be entirely defined by what we're against.

Book review: “Mistakes Were Made, But Not By Me”

What can I possibly have in common with perpetrators of murder and torture? Tavris and Aronson argue, quite a lot. The same patterns you use to justify you yelling at your child or spouse or cheating on a test have been used by governments to justify much worse things-- and still be able to feel like a basically good person. Tavris and Aronson's book really hits hard-- but it's not just a self-help book to become a better person. Self-justification quickly becomes political.

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