Sunday, July 8, 2012

Economic History, Church-State Doctrine, the Pursuit of Al Qaeda: This Week in the Book Pages

Stepping into the discussion of Michael Lind’s Land of Promise: An Economic History of theUnited States (Harper) (it was reviewed once in the New York Times and noted in a David Brooks column), Jack Rakove, writing in TNR: The Book reminds us that “the notion that Hamiltonian and Jeffersonian values have repeatedly struggled against each other in ordering our discussions of economic policy is a well-established theme in American history.”  Rakove warns those wondering what a real Hamiltonian or Jeffersonian would think about contemporary economic policy to “proceed with a great deal of caution,” and is critical of Lind’s “juxtaposition of Hamiltonian and Jeffersonian themes.”  The complete review is here.

More on the economy in TNR: The Book: Eric Posner reviews Edward Conard’s Unintended Consequences:Why Everything You’ve Been Told About the Economy is Wrong (Portfolio Hardcover).  "Conard presents himself as a critic of the move back toward regulation, exemplified by the Dodd-Frank Act, and as a defender of free market principles," explains Posner.  The book, in his appraisal, is a  "hodgepodge of the good and the bad."

Marc O. DeGirolami reviews Steven K. Green’s The Bible, The School, and the Constitution:The Clash that Shaped Modern Church-State Doctrine (Oxford University Press), which as Karen noted here was also reviewed recently in the Law and Politics Book Review.  "In his fine book" DeGirolami writes "Steven Green does his part to rectify [the] misapprehension" that debate over church-state matters began in 1947 by showing "that many of the disagreements about the school question which we believe are contemporary culture-war phenomena had antecedents in nineteenth-century debates and exchanges."  Read on here. 

In the New York Times this week Jonathan Mahler reviews two books on the pursuit of Al Qaeda: Terry McDermott and Josh Meyer, The Hunt forKSM: Inside the Pursuit and Takedown of the Real 9/11 Mastermind, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (Brown & Company), and Seth G. Jones, Hunting in the Shadows: The Pursuit of Al Qa’ida Since 9/11 (Norton & Company).

The New York Times also has reviews of David B. Frisk’s If Not Us, Who?: William Rusher, National Review, and the Conservative Movement (ISI Books) (here) and Chris Matthews reviews Douglas Brinkley’s Cronkite (Harper), which he describes as an “exceptional biography” (here).

In the Wall Street Journal "The Indomitable de Gaulle" is a review by Frederic Raphael of two books: Jonathan Fenby's The General: Charles de Gaulle and the France He Saved (Skyhorse) and Sudhir Hazareesingh's In the Shadow of the General: Modern France and the Myth of De Gaulle (Oxford). 

Happy reading!

Shawn Francis Peters’s The Catonsville Nine: A Story of Faith and Resistance in the Vietnam Era (Oxford University Press, 2012) is reviewed in the Boston Globe and the Wall Street Journal.  DRE.