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Conservative Book Club Editor Jeff Rubin highlights this season's best new fall books for conservatives.

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Fall Books for Conservatives

Conservative Book Club Editor Jeff Rubin highlights this season’s best new fall books for conservatives.

With the big New York publishers falling over each other to sign up the next conservative bestseller, this a great time for conservative authors and readers. What’s out there now-or due out soon-that should interest Human Events book-lovers? The following list is organized according to a few rough categories. Each book is available at attractive discounts from the Conservative Book Club and from the Human Events Book Service.

The War on Terror

In War Stories: Operation Iraqi Freedom, (Regnery-a sister company to Human Events ) Oliver North he sweeps aside the empty, second-hand chatter of liberal pundits to give you a riveting, eyewitness account of the heroism, courage, and unflagging patriotism of the American military forces that ended Saddam Hussein’s bloody tyranny.

Embedded with Marine and Army units for Fox News during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Col. North -himself a decorated combat veteran- here vividly tells the whole story that his news camera gave glimpses of during the campaign to liberate Iraq.

From the opening seconds of the war-when North witnessed the conflict’s first American casualty-all the way to the takeover of Saddam’s hometown of Tikrit, War Stories is an exhilarating day-by-day diary that offers you an opportunity to see the war in Iraq not as the liberal media would like you to see it, but as it unfolded before the eyes of those who fought it.

North’s accounts of his adventures are riveting-from his ride in a helicopter through an Iraqi sandstorm and his perilous trip in another that is shot up by Iraqi antiaircraft guns to his dramatic walks down Iraqi highways alongside intrepid American Marines.

At every step of the way he gives you insights into Operation Iraqi Freedom that only a fellow warrior could provide. And unlike most reporters these days, he is unabashed in his admiration for the hardships they endured, and the courage, compassion, and skill they brought to their perilous mission.

He offers here a trustworthy chronicle of the remarkable military force that in Iraq did nothing less than surpass all others in history: no military advance has ever gone so far, so fast, and with so few casualties.

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In March 2002, a senior aide to Osama bin Laden named Abu Zubaydah was captured in western Pakistan by American and Pakistani forces. According to two U.S. government officials who served as sources for Why America Slept: The Failure to Prevent 9/11, (Random House) C.I.A. interrogators manipulated the injured Zubaydah’s pain medication to wear down his defenses-then tricked him into believing he was in Saudi custody. Author Gerald Posner describes what happened next:

“What transpired in the next hour took the American investigators completely by surprise. When Zubaydah was confronted with men passing themselves off as Saudi security officers, his reaction was not fear, but instead relief. The prisoner, who had been reluctant even to confirm his identity to his American captors, suddenly started talking animatedly. He was happy to see them, he said, because he feared the Americans would torture and then kill him. Zubaydah asked his interrogators to call a senior member of the ruling Saudi royal family. He then provided a private home number and a cell phone number from memory. ‘He will tell you what to do,’ Zubaydah promised them.”

To the amazement of skeptical U.S. intelligence officials, the two phone numbers proved valid.

The name of that Saudi prince (a prominent figure in both England and the United States), plus other shocking facts gleaned from Zubaydah’s interrogation, are just a few of the revelations you’ll find in Why America Slept-the result of an 18-month investigation that proves once and for all: The Saudis were in on it.

Foreign Policy

Fighting to send arms to Saddam . . . resisting post-9/11 attempts to toughen visa requirements . . . bending over backwards to keep the Saudis happy despite the Kingdom’s clear support for global terrorism . . . doing everything it can to shut down the Iraqi democracy movement-amazingly enough, this is the record of the U.S. State Department, an often out-of-control organization that acts at odds with our nation’s best interests more often than most Americans realize.

In Dangerous Diplomacy: How the State Department Threatens America’s Security (Regnery), seasoned investigative reporter Joel Mowbray explores the seldom-seen inner workings of the State Department. Relying on exhaustive interviews with State Department personnel and extensive research into State’s publications, procedures, and recent history, Mowbray reveals an astounding pattern of shortsighted and misguided policies, compounded by an ingrained resistance to self-criticism and correction.

Mowbray documents a State Department in dire need of reform-and he has helped make that reform more possible by revealing here for the first time just how far State has strayed from its intended role as the primary agent of U.S. interests abroad.

That Man

Bill Clinton has spent virtually every waking minute since he left office aggressively defending his legacy. Hillary plans to run for President on that legacy-at some point. But now, unfortunately for both Clintons, in Legacy: Paying the Price for the Clinton Years (Regnery), Rich Lowry proves that Slick Willie’s administration was one of the most damaging ever for our nation.

With devastating precision and an impressive array of evidence, Lowry zeroes in on the character flaws that doomed Clinton’s presidency before it began. Detailing how Clinton went from being a politician with grandiose ambitions to a hyper-cautious, poll-driven placeholder, and presenting the full record of how he blinked in the face of the threat from militant Islam-despite repeatedly exclaiming, “Gosh, I miss the Cold War!” and publicly yearning to confront a great international crisis)-Lowry closely examines every area on which Bill, Hillary, and the Clintonistas have pinned their hopes for a positive verdict from history: health care, the economy, domestic security, conflicts with rogue states and terrorists, peace in the Middle East, and more. The verdict for each is the same: The Clinton presidency was a catastrophe of immense proportions,- one from which the nation could take decades to recover.

Finally, Legacy demonstrates that Clinton’s preoccupation with how historians would regard him was, ironically, part of the self-centeredness that kept him from accomplishing or even attempting anything of real value. Here, then, is Clinton’s true legacy: The President as Narcissus-in-Chief, with only one real political principle: devotion to himself. You won’t know the truth about Clinton until you read this book.

The Gipper

“You specified that you wanted to hear from me personally, so here I am,” Ronald Reagan wrote to a citizen in 1981. And here he is, in his own words, in over 1,000 letters -to family, friends, colleagues, world leaders, critics, political rivals, and what he called “uncommon” people: typical Americans who wrote to him about his policies or their problems.

Selected from the approximately ten thousand letters Reagan wrote during his lifetime-more than any U.S. President since Thomas Jefferson-the letters included in Reagan: A Life in Letters (Free Press) span the years 1922 to 1994. Collectively, they reveal his character and thinking like no other source, offering many fascinating glimpses into his personal and political life. Among his most frequent and unguarded correspondents were old friends such as National Review founder William F. Buckley Jr., media magnate Walter Annenberg, old Hollywood pal George Murphy, and older brother Neil Reagan. Skillfully edited and annotated by Hoover Institution fellows Kiron Skinner, Annelise Anderson and Martin Anderson, this definitive collection will astonish Reagan’s allies and detractors alike.

Culture Wars

In The Epidemic: The Rot of American Culture, Absentee and Permissive Parenting, and the Resultant Plague of Joyless, Selfish Children (Regan Books), Dr. Robert Shaw sets out heart-stopping evidence that the teenagers who mercilessly slaughtered 12 fellow students and a teacher at Columbine High School were alarmingly representative of the general state of their peers. He explains in that the Columbine killers were the natural outcome of the way millions of Americans have been raising children from comfortable and even affluent families today.

This book sets out appalling and persuasive evidence that school shooters are only the tip of the iceberg: Childbearing attitudes and practices that are accepted as axiomatic almost everywhere these days are actually crippling our children and jeopardizing our future as a nation.

Drawing on examples that every one of us sees daily in our neighborhoods and in restaurants and stores, Shaw demonstrates how our culture raises children to be selfish, insular, materialistic, ungrateful, and dismissive of our culture and heritage as Americans and free people. He explores the roots of this disaster in childrearing, proving that it is not a result of fashionable causes such as poverty, the inner city, or racial discrimination.

Along the way, Shaw reinforces with solid evidence some basic conservative truths that the secular culture has forgotten-such as the essential connection between a good marriage and emotionally healthy children, the necessity for sensible discipline, and much more.

Shaw also lays out a way that you can raise happy, loving, productive children who make their parents happy instead of causing them embarrassment in public and worry for their future. He gives you in these pages a blueprint to combat the toxic elements of our culture: the pressures it puts on parents, the absence of relaxed family time, the outright abandonment of the traditional values of honesty and effort, the devastating impact of media saturation, and the consumerism that pushes constantly to increase our children’s acquisitive urge.

Arts and Sciences

Charles Murray, author of the controversial Losing Ground and The Bell Curve, is once again igniting controversy with Human Accomplishment: The Pursuit of Excellence in the Arts and Sciences, 800 B.C. to 1950 (Harper)-a fascinating attempt to explain why great human accomplishment arises-and why it declines.

The heart of Human Accomplishment is a series of enthralling chapters: on the giants in the arts and what sets them apart from the merely great; on the differences between great achievement in the arts and in the sciences; on the patterns and trajectories of accomplishment across time and geography; among other topics.

Straightforwardly and undogmatically, Murray takes on some controversial questions, including why an overwhelming proportion of the significant figures in the arts and sciences come from what used to be called Christendom; why 98% of history’s greatest achievers were males; why the level of accomplishment has varied even within Europe, with a few countries-and a few regions within countries-producing the bulk of the significant figures; and why, with the rise of relativism and subjectivism, the West is rapidly losing its ability to generate enduring artistic and scientific creations.

Media Bias

Former CBS News journalist Bernard Goldberg’s controversial book Bias removed any lingering doubt that the mainstream media is deeply, irredeemably tilted toward the Left. Now he follows up that bestseller with an even more scorching expose of the real aims and views of the media’s most powerful figures. Arrogance: Rescuing America from the Media Elite (Warner) goes far beyond simply identifying bias. In it, Goldberg once again fearlessly names names and explains why media titans not only remain in denial about the prevalence of liberal bias in news reporting, but are now advancing the fanciful claim that the media are actually biased toward conservatives!

Goldberg skillfully explodes that idea, detailing just how hollow and ridiculous it is despite its loud repetition these days in several best-selling books. He also shows why, given the way media types do business, the slanting of the news is all but inevitable. Finally, he outlines a series of solid proposals for breaking the liberal hammerlock on our news outlets and protecting our democratic processes from the corrosive effects of this all-pervasive bias.

Political Correctness

If all the victims of Communism are totaled up they dwarf those murdered by European fascism; Communist regimes survived for much longer than Nazi Germany. Yet the enormous human cost of Communism barely intrudes into American intellectual life. Worse, write John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr in In Denial: Historians, Communism, and Espionage (Encounter), a significant cadre of American intellectuals now openly applaud and apologize for one of the most bloody ideologies of human history. And, instead of being treated as pariahs, they hold distinguished positions in American higher education and cultural life.

How has it been possible that the memory of the crimes of communism has vanished so swiftly while the crimes of nazism remain so fresh? Haynes and Klehr reveal how, beginning in the late 1960s, the study of communism in America was taken over by “revisionists” who have attempted to portray the U.S. as the aggressor in the Cold War and saw suspicion about the American Communist Party (CPUSA) as baseless “paranoia.” They show how, years after the death of communism, the leading historical journals and many prominent historians continue to teach that America’s rejection of the party was a tragic error, that American Communists were actually unsung heroes working for democratic ideals, and that those anti-Communist liberals and conservatives who drove the CPUSA to the margins of American politics in the 1950s were malicious figures deserving condemnation.

Arnold Beichman writes in the Washington Times, “For parents who are spending tens of thousands of dollars in annual tuition fees, for those concerned with intellectual honesty in the academic profession, for college students enrolled in American history courses, and for members of Congress who appropriate taxpayer money to support the American university, the report in this book is a startling, explosive expos√?¬© of where the money and their trust are going.”

Your Vanishing Rights

The mother of a chubby teenager sues the San Francisco Ballet for not accepting her daughter into its professional program, accusing it of “weight discrimination.” The city of Denver, under pressure from American Indian activists, refuses to issue a Columbus Day parade permit unless the organizers promise that “there will be no references, depictions or acknowledgement of Christopher Columbus during the parade.”

The Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association bans 80 words and phrases from real estate ads to avoid liability under fair housing laws; the list includes phrases like “near church” and “walking distance to synagogue.”

These anecdotes are just a few examples of the growing threat anti-discrimination laws pose to civil liberties. Now, in You Can’t Say That! -The Growing Threat to Civil Liberties from Antidiscrimination Laws (Cato), David E. Bernstein shows how left-wing activists and judges are using such laws to undermine free speech on campus and in the workplace, the right of local community leaders to speak out against government policies, the rights of private associations such as the Boy Scouts to determine their membership policies, and even the rights of individuals to choose their roommates.

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In Mugged By The State (Regnery), Investigative reporter Randall Fitzgerald weaves together a disturbing pattern of excessive government abuses from individual horror stories: a homeowner forced to fight off developers; a family unable to move into their new home because of changes in New York state housing laws, prompting a protracted $700,000 legal battle; and a Utah cattle rancher facing costly fines because wild birds were suspected of preying on an “endangered species” of snail on his property.

This brief but hair-raising book exposes how ordinary, common citizens are subjected to harassment, intimidation and coercive treatment by local, state and federal government agencies with unrestricted authority to enforce excessive regulations on productive and law-abiding individuals.

These vignettes reveal the destructive impact that unbridled government power can have on the most vulnerable members of civil society.

Religion

You won’t hear about it from Dan Rather or the New York Times, but there’s a new revolutionary movement sweeping China. Christianity, explains David Aikman, is growing so fast that by 2050 or even earlier, China could be one of the largest Christian nations in the world. Nor is Christianity’s growth unanimously resisted by China’s authoritarian top brass.

In Jesus in Beijing: How Christianity is Transforming China and Changing the Global Balance of Power (Regnery), Aikman, Time magazine’s former bureau chief in Beijing, reveals that even top Chinese officials-including former President Jiang Zemin-have identified Christianity as the secret of the West’s success, and want to bring that success to China.

Those officials, of course, want to bring Christianity’s economic and social benefits to China, without allowing it to become in any real sense a Christian nation. But Jesus in Beijing provides provocative evidence that those officials may be powerless to halt Christianity’s spread, and that both Protestant and Roman Catholic groups are flowering today despite the continuing threat of persecution. Aikman traverses China to interview rank-and-file Chinese Christians and their leaders, establishing beyond any doubt that Christianity is already growing in numbers far beyond the minuscule figures recognized by Chinese officialdom-and that with those numbers goes influence. The results could change the face of geopolitics forever.

For Children and Families

Good manners are about much more than selecting the proper fork and keeping one’s elbows off the table. They are, writes Karen Santorum, “an outward expression of inner virtue”-the everyday habits of conduct and speech by which we express our fundamental respect for others, whether parents, friends, colleagues, or strangers. And, like the virtues themselves, good manners are best learned through constant practice and examples. That’s why Mrs. Santorum created Everyday Graces: A Child’s Book of Good Manners (ISI)-a wonderfully rich, 450-page anthology of stories, poems and literary excerpts that illustrate the connection between good manners and good character.

Mrs. Santorum-at-home mother of six, and wife of Sen. Rick Santorum (R.-Pa.)-provides no fewer than 164 selections that teach good manners in the home . . . in speech . . . at meals . . . in personal hygiene and dress . . . towards the elderly, sick and disabled . . . in public and in other people’s homes . . . with friends, schoolmates and teachers . . . at play and in sports . . . in correspondence . . . at church, weddings and funerals . . . towards animals . . . in citizenship . . . and more. Mrs. Santorum writes that this anthology “grew out of the frustration of not being able to find a book on manners that instructs through stories rather than by rules of dos and don’ts.”

Each of her selections has been tried and tested on her own children-and each is introduced and concluded by her own thoughtful commentary. Authors include Hans Christian Anderson, Robert Louis Stevenson, George MacDonald, Aesop, Mother Goose, Beatrix Potter, Mark Twain, Frances Hodgson Burnett, Geoffrey Chaucer, Homer, A. A. Milne, William Blake, L. Frank Baum, C. S. Lewis and Max Lucado, to name only a few. “Karen Santorum touches a raw nerve,” comments Charles Colson. “The moral decay in American life has led to the coarsening of America. . . . Through stories, poems, fables and myths, here is a great resource to restore manners.”

Classics

Orestes Brownson’s 1865 book, The American Republic (Regnery), ranks with The Federalist Papers and Alexis de Tocqueville’s classic Democracy in America as an indispensable analysis of the America experiment in republican self-government. Reproduced here for the first time in a manner worthy of its importance, replete with its first comprehensive index, this neglected American classic, written from a strongly Roman Catholic viewpoint, is essential reading for anyone wishing to understand the “constitution, tendencies and destiny,” to quote the book’s subtitle, of the American regime.

With philosophical rigor combined with linguisitic beauty and lucidity, Brownson (1803-1876) maintained that divine providence had bestowed upon every nation a constitution suited to each, and that it was only in careful conformity to this providential constitution that political actors should behave.

The American Republic both illustrated the contours of that divine constitution that Brownson contended formed the backbone of the American political experience, and warned against dangerous ideas that threatened to undermine it. With power and clarity, Brownson discussed the origin of governments; just constitutions and legitimate sovereignty; the role of Providence in the life of nations; the exact nature of states’ rights under the Constitution; the rule of law and personal liberty; religious freedom and the political order; and more. The American Republic is a great intellectual achievement and a landmark contribution to American political theory.

Written By

Mr. Rubin is the editor of the Conservative Book Club and an award-winning screenwriter.

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