Conservative Books for the Conservative Reader

“May you live in interesting times,” goes an old curse. Like it or not, we do. But interesting times make for interesting reading. What’s out there now, or due out soon, for conservative 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 or the HUMAN EVENTS Book Service.

The War on Terror

The unreported story of the war on terror is that we can win it, and that the victories are being won now. In Shadow War: The Untold Story of How Bush is Winning the War on Terror (Regnery, a sister company of HUMAN EVENTS), Richard Miniter explains why. Drawing on material he gathered from court records, government reports, and other authoritative documents, and during travels and interviews with top-level officials in Baghdad, Khartoum, Cairo, Manila, Hong Kong, Paris, London, and elsewhere–as well as New York and Washington–Miniter answers the three most burning questions regarding the terror war: Where is Osama bin Laden? Why hasn’t there been another terrorist strike inside America since Sept. 11, 2001? Is President Bush winning the war?

Miniter also goes beyond the biases and distortions of the evening news to demonstrate that since 9/11, al-Qaeda has made many attempts to kill large numbers of Americans. So far, these attempts have failed–because they have been thwarted. Far from failing to keep up with what radical Muslims are doing, intelligence officials, according to Miniter, are defeating a plot somewhere in the world every day. Miniter shows how the Bush Administration’s aggressive execution of the war on terror–including everything from aerial bombardment and covert operations to relentless counter-intelligence and patient police work–has kept the terrorists at bay.

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Lt. Gen. Mike DeLong was Gen. Tommy Franks’ right-hand man in conceiving and executing the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. While Franks was in the field, former Marine combat pilot DeLong ran Central Command (“CentCom”), the nerve center of both wars–where he was an active participant in discussions involving President Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Franks, George Tenet, and many others. Now, Gen. DeLong offers the frankest and most authoritative look inside the wars–how we prepared for battle, how we fought, how we toppled two regimes–and what’s happening now on these two crucial fronts.

Inside CentCom (Regnery) takes you inside the center of American defense intelligence and war planning for the greater Middle East. You’ll go behind the scenes on the stealth operations leading up to the Afghan and Iraq wars, and then read the after-action report from today’s Iraq. You’ll also get authoritative answers to questions such as: Was President Bush really focused on Iraq from the start? Were we right to attack Iraq? What intel did we have on Saddam Hussein and his WMD? How did we plan and execute these wars?

Foreign Policy

Democrats like John Kerry want to give Kofi Annan and the United Nations authority over American foreign policy. In this appalling new expose, Dore Gold (who served as Israel’s UN ambassador from 1997 through 1999) shows why that’s one of the worst ideas–and most dangerous–ever advanced by an American presidential candidate. Tower of Babble: How the United Nations Has Fueled Global Chaos (Crown Forum) provides conclusive proof that it is absurd to look to the UN to fight aggression, combat terrorism, and preserve global order.

Gold, the bestselling author of Hatred’s Kingdom, demonstrates once and for all that the UN is an abject failure–a fatally flawed organization that has actually accelerated and spread global chaos. Why? Because it’s dominated by anti-Western forces, dictatorships, state sponsors of terrorism, and America’s worst enemies. Gold shows again and again how the rogue’s gallery of dictators and criminals that runs the UN prevents the organization from addressing the problems it was created to solve–and all too often makes them even worse. Using internal UN documents and classified cables, Gold presents stark evidence of how the UN ignores mass murder, emboldens terrorists, props up dictators, and otherwise betrays its mission to protect the world’s security.

The Judiciary

Since his appointment in 1986, Justice Antonin Scalia has been the U.S. Supreme Court’s premier conservative, leading intellectual gladiator–and chief wordsmith. More than any justice in recent history, Scalia has given life to Aristotle’s injunction that “it is not enough to know what to say–one must know how to say it.” Now, in Scalia Dissents (Regnery), Washington attorney Kevin Ring has assembled Scalia’s most scathing, most penetrating, and most accessible opinions to date. Specific rulings and speeches are explained as Ring invites readers into the judicial world where Scalia’s caustic dissents help frame some of the country’s most controversial issues.

Each of the writings collected here show Scalia’s judicial philosophy in practice, reveal his skill at argumentation, demonstrate his ability to foresee future controversies, and showcase his compelling writing style. Before each opinion, Ring provides information to give the reader background on the case: the relevant text of the Constitution, its historical interpretation, Scalia’s general view of the text, the Court’s previous decisions in the area, the relevant facts that led to the case, and the opinions of the Court and other justices.

Our Ann

Ann Coulter is the most high-profile and controversial conservative intellectual on the scene today. Yet most publications–including even National Review and the Wall Street Journal–find her too hot to handle. But now, in How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must) (Crown Forum), Coulter collects the best of her biting columns, including some that no one dared to print before.

In this book, Coulter explains, are “bootlegs, never-released versions, NC-17 versions, lost classics, remixes, extended-play versions, and the director’s cut columns.” She has included here “columns too hot to be published until now–along with the editors’ rejections. These columns, as well as any columns that caused more than the usual ruckus (like my 9/11 ‘kill their leaders’ column) I preserved in their original form–so you can see what the fuss was about. Some columns I added a little to and some I added so much to that they grew from short columns to entire chapters (e.g., the Eli???? ¡n Gonz???? ¡lez and Confederate flag chapters). Even the unretouched columns are my unretouched columns, as they live on my computer–which was not always the same as the published version.”

It’s the Culture, Stupid

Marriage and family are the foundation of our society, but homosexual activists are determined to destroy both — if they can. That’s why the protection of marriage and the family is far more crucial to the future of our country than almost any other issue. Now, in Outrage: How Gay Activists and Liberal Judges are Trashing Democracy to Redefine Marriage (Regnery), Peter Sprigg explains that a Constitutional amendment on marriage is a certainty–the only question is whether it will come from arrogant judges who will write into that document “rights” that the Founding Fathers could never have imagined, or from those who are determined to protect our most fundamental institution.

Sprigg gives you a comprehensive perspective on this latest battle in the culture war, showing how it was started–contrary to liberal media claims–not by conservative marriage defenders, but by homosexuals anxious to force the issue. He explains why even libertarians and others who disapprove of Constitutional amendments should support the Federal Marriage Amendment. Best of all, he provides compelling refutations of common justifications for “gay marriage,” including civil rights arguments, the assertion that marriage is strictly a private matter, and the idea that “gay marriage” would do no harm to individuals or society.

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It is startling how many Americans–and particularly how many among the leftist media, academic, and political elites–fall for cockamamie ideas that a child can see through. The trouble is, their lies become institutionalized as truth, and we all suffer as a result. Why are liberals such easy prey for stupid ideas? Daniel J. Flynn reveals the answer in Intellectual Morons: How Ideology Makes Smart People Fall for Stupid Ideas (Crown Forum).

Flynn, author of Why the Left Hates America, shows how people (mostly leftists, but also a few on the right) can be so blinded to reality by the causes they serve that they espouse bizarre, sometimes ridiculous, and often dangerous positions. He catalogues an amazing number of jaw-dropping lapses in common sense from even our most celebrated liberal opinion leaders. This book is a welcome reality check for the glaring excesses of what passes today for intellectual analysis among Leftists.

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So many kids today are troubled. Huge numbers are diagnosed with learning disabilities or behavioral problems. Childhood obesity is epidemic. Teenagers are contracting herpes and other sexually transmitted diseases at unprecedented rates. In Home-Alone America (Sentinel), scholar Mary Eberstadt explains why, offering an answer that’s too politically incorrect to say out loud–but factually irrefutable.

Eberstadt points out that it wasn’t too many years ago that most children came home from school to a mother who monitored their diets, prevented sexual activity or delinquency by her mere presence, and provided a basic emotional safety net. Most children also lived with their biological father. But those days are gone. Eberstadt shows that absent parents are the common denominator of many recent epidemics among young people: including obesity, STDs, mental health problems, and the increased use of psychiatric medication even by the youngest kids. Drawing on a wide range of medical and social science literature as well as popular culture, she reopens the forbidden question of just how much children need their parents–especially their mothers.


From non-fiction works like Radical Chic to novels like The Bonfire of the Vanities, Tom Wolfe has proved himself again and again to be one of America’s most acute social observers–and a screamingly funny satirist of liberal follies and politically correct pieties. Now, in his latest novel, I Am Charlotte Simmons (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), Wolfe lays siege to that last bastion of the left: today’s “elite” college campuses. With his signature eye for detail, Wolfe draws on extensive observation of campuses across the country to immortalize college life in the ’00s–including the seamless presentation of up-to-the-minute lingo and timely pop culture details (the band of the moment in the novel is “Swarm”).

The story in brief: Dupont University–the Olympian halls of learning housing the cream of America’s youth, the roseate Gothic spires and manicured lawns suffused with tradition . . . or so it appears to beautiful, brilliant Charlotte Simmons, a sheltered freshman from North Carolina. But Charlotte soon learns, to her mounting dismay, that for the uppercrust coeds of Dupont, sex, cool, and kegs trump academic achievement every time. As Charlotte encounters Dupont’s privileged elite, she gains a new, revelatory sense of her difference and of her very innocence.

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In Florence of Arabia (Random House), bestselling comic novelist Christopher Buckley (son of William F.) delivers a satire so daring it just may earn him a fatwa from the corrupt Muslim “moolahs” he so mercilessly lampoons. The premise: Outraged by the beheading of her friend Nazrah, rebellious wife of Prince Bawad of Wasabia (read: Saudi Arabia), Florence Farfarletti, deputy to the deputy assistant secretary for Near East Affairs, invents a far-reaching, wide-ranging plan to liberate Arab women by starting a regional women’s satellite TV station in Matar, Wasabia’s secularized coastal neighbor. From there the message of female emancipation will be broadcast throughout the Muslim world. The lineup on “TV Matar” includes The Thousand and One Mornings, a daytime talk show that features self-defense tips to be used against boyfriends during Ramadan; an addictive prime-time soap opera about a royal family in a country uncannily similar to Wasabia; and a sitcom about an inept but ruthless squad of Wasabi-type mukfelleen (religious police) titled Mukfellahs.

The result: the first deadly car bombs in the country since 1936, a fatwa against the station’s entire staff, a struggle for control of the kingdom–and, of course, interference from the French. And that’s only the beginning.


American university and college campuses are no longer centers of higher learning but leftist indoctrination factories, filling students’ minds with politically correct and often morally repugnant mush. Freefall of the American University (Nelson Current) provides hard evidence, in clear and unimpeachable terms, to prove that today’s colleges are covertly and overtly proselytizing with leftist slants on sexuality, politics, and lifestyles.

Author Jim Nelson Black dares to name names. He provides specific and credible insights from faculty members, administrators, professional observers and analysts who have witnessed and chronicled the intellectual and ethical collapse taking place within the academy. He also shows that these problems can no longer safely be ignored–and maps out a plan of action for all who are ready to take our universities back.


Most American history books–both for students and adults–are riddled with PC nonsense that makes over the Founding Fathers into racist slaveholders, the settlers of the West into genocidal land-stealers, and the welfare state as the harbinger of the ultimate triumph of liberalism. But now at last conservatives and patriotic Americans have an antidote: The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History (Regnery) is a handy one-volume guide to our nation’s glorious past that has one key advantage over today’s dozens of dreary PC history books: this one tells you what really happened–not what liberals wish had happened.

From the Puritans through the drafting of the Constitution, the Civil War, the World Wars, the rise of the “Great Society” all the way up through the fiasco of the Clinton Administration, this brightly written book gives you the whole truth and nothing but the truth about our great nation: history professor Thomas E. Woods presents the Founding Fathers as the visionary heroes they were; he discusses the real causes of the Civil War and World War I fairly and objectively; and examines in depth the ravages of statism, high taxes, and the war against American initiative.

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In his acclaimed bestseller War Stories: Victory in Iraq, Col. Oliver North brought you riveting, eyewitness accounts of the American military campaign that ended Saddam Hussein’s bloody tyranny. Now, in War Stories II: Heroism in the Pacific (Regnery), he does the same thing for the unsung heroes of World War II.

In this stirring book, the courageous men who fought and won the war in the Pacific tell their stories–giving you an insight into the great campaigns of the war that the history books don’t. Their first-hand accounts are framed by North’s vivid, concise and insightful recounting of what happened in the war’s key battles, and how each affected the overall course of the great struggle. North includes gripping stories from Pearl Harbor; the Fall of the Philippines in January 1942; the living hell of the Bataan Death March; the daring Doolittle Raid; the Battle of the Coral Sea; the Pacific war’s turning point at Midway in June 1942; the forgotten front of the China-Burma-India Theater; Guadalcanal; the Marianas; the battle of Leyte; the daring rescue of the Ghosts of Bataan in January 1945; Iwo Jima; and Okinawa, the last battle of World War II.


Arguably the greatest single poem ever written, The Divine Comedy, presents Dante Alighieri’s all-encompassing vision of the three realms of Christian afterlife. Yet Dante is one of the most difficult poets to render adequately into English verse. Now, with this major new translation, poet and scholar Anthony Esolen has succeeded brilliantly in capturing both the poem’s line-by-line vigor and its allegorically and philosophically exacting structure. Esolen also provides, for each of the three volumes, a critical Introduction and endnotes, plus appendices containing Dante’s most important sources–from Virgil to Saint Thomas Aquinas and other Catholic theologians–that deftly illuminate the religious universe the poet inhabited.

Robert Royal, president of the Faith and Reason Institute, declares in Crisis magazine “If there is any justice in the world of books, [this] will be the standard Dante in the classroom and the home library for some time to come.”

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If there is a “leading authority” on conservative books, Chilton Williamson, Jr., is surely it. Currently book review editor for the conservative magazine, Chronicles, he was for nearly 14 years the literary editor of National Review. Now, in The Conservative Bookshelf: Essential Works That Impact Today’s Conservative Thinkers (Citadel Press), Williamson introduces you to the 50 books that best articulate (or have had the greatest impact on) conservative thought. Even if you never get around to reading some of them, you’ll learn enough about all of them to know why they’re so important to the conservative world-view.

Williamson’s list embraces everything from the Bible, Cicero’s Republic and Toqueville’s Democracy in America to 21st-Century bestsellers by Ann Coulter and Pat Buchanan. His selections will spur debate and foster intelligent discussion of the most vital issues of our time–and prove that these essential works not only make up the structure of conservatism, they represent the very mainsprings of Western civilization.

Science and Pseudo-Science

Consumer’s Guide to a Brave New World (Encounter) is a clear-eyed explanation of what awaits us in the strange new world of human cloning, biotechnology and human embryo manufacturing. Wesley J. Smith, the acclaimed author of Culture of Death: The Assault on Medical Ethics in America, here provides a much-needed guide to the moral and ethical minefields of this new world that is no longer a figment of our imagination, but a reality.

At the core of this highly readable and carefully researched book is Smith’s report on the gargantuan “Big Biotech” industry and its supporters among the liberal intellectual elite at America’s universities, as well as in the science and bioethics establishments. Smith reveals how the lure of astronomical prophets, along with the warped ideology of “scientism,” today threatens to impose on society a “new eugenics” that would dismantle ethical norms and call into question the uniqueness and importance of all human life. “At stake,” he warns, “is whether science will continue to serve society, or instead dominate it.”

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Since the defeat of Nazism, evolutionists have been at pains to conceal the obvious connection between Darwin’s theory of “survival of the fittest” and Hitler’s ideology of a death-struggle between superior and inferior races. Their chief tactic: to claim that Hitler’s “social Darwinism” was a perversion of “true” Darwinism. But in From Darwin to Hitler (Palgrave Macmillan), Richard Weikart conclusively proves that Hitler’s views not only were based firmly on core Darwinian principles, but were also widely echoed by leading Darwinist scientists, philosophers and ethicists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

With impeccable documentation, Weikart demonstrates that many leading Darwinian biologists and social thinkers of the pre-Hitler era believed–and celebrated the fact–that Darwinism overturned traditional Christian ethics, especially those pertaining to the sacredness of human life. In its place, they exalted evolutionary “fitness” (especially in terms of intelligence and health) as the highest arbiter of morality. Thus, whatever “improves” the race by favoring the strong and eliminating the weak is justified morally–and this included not only euthanasia and abortion for certain groups, but even infanticide and genocide, all ultimately embraced by the Nazis.


Since 9/11, legions of “experts” have strained to present Islam’s cultural impact as no less positive (or at least no more negative) than Christianity’s. Now, in The Great Divide: The Failure of Islam and the Triumph of the West (Continental Sales), Alvin J. Schmidt provides extensive documentation from history, the Koran and the Bible that there are indeed chasm-wide differences between the two religions–and between the societies where they hold sway.

“Islam is not just a different religion,” argues Professor Schmidt, “but interwoven with it is also a very different culture.” In comparison to the Christian West, he shows, Islamic nations throughout history have been culturally sterile, technologically backward, materially impoverished, prone to barbarism and cruelty, and almost perpetually at war not only with their non-Muslim neighbors but with each other. What accounts for this “great divide” between the culture of the Christian West and that of Islam? The answer, Schmidt demonstrates, can be found in the religions themselves.

For Children and Families

In When Washington Crossed the Delaware: A Wintertime Story for Young Patriots (Simon and Schuster), bestselling children’s author Lynne Cheney (wife of the Vice President) tells a dramatic story that will teach the young about the heroism, persistence, and patriotism of those who came before them.

Christmas night, 1776, was a troubled time for our young country. In the six months since the Declaration of Independence had been signed, Gen. George Washington and his troops had suffered defeat after defeat at the hands of the British. It looked as though our struggle for independence might be doomed, when Washington made a bold decision. He would lead the main body of his army across the Delaware River and launch a surprise attack on enemy forces. Washington and his men were going against the odds. It seemed impossible that the ragtag Americans could succeed against the mightiest power in the world. But the men who started across the icy Delaware loved their country and their leader. Under his command they would turn the tide of battle and change the course of history.