Finding Donald Trump under the Christmas tree

Three new books examine a nation's people at cross purposes and the potential for America's new president to reconcile those differences

Finding Donald Trump under the Christmas treeChristmas at our house is synonymous with book giving. This year, books about Donald Trump and the America that chose him are front and centre in my pile. I'm gazing at Mark Singer’s Trump and Me (2016), with an almost equivalent book-length foreword by New Yorker editor David Remnick; Arlie Russell Hochschild’s Strangers in Their…

JFK and Reagan more alike than you’d think

Kennedy and Reagan have assumed sainthood status for their polarized parties and claiming continuity between them strikes many as rank heresy

JFK and Reagan more alike than you’d thinkA new book – JFK and the Reagan Revolution – says John F. Kennedy was the true inspiration for Ronald Reagan’s economic policies. The two men, the authors claim, were committed to pursuing economic growth via a policy mix emphasizing reduced taxes and sound money management. And the tax reduction aspect set them apart from the American…

Robert Conquest, the man who was right

Apologists for the Soviet Union and Stalin in particular, according to Conquest, suffered a form of “mental aberration”

Robert Conquest, the man who was rightRobert Conquest, who died on August 3 at the age of 98, was an interesting guy. He was also a man ahead of his time, someone who was prepared to row against the current when necessary. With books like The Great Terror (1968) and Harvest of Sorrow (1986), he told the truth about Stalinism, and…

Trudeau, Mulcair autobiographies election season pap

Trudeau's autobiography reads like it was written by committee; Mulcair's is not telling the whole story

Trudeau, Mulcair autobiographies election season papBoth Justin Trudeau and Tom Mulcair recently wrote political autobiographies. The Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, had the good sense to write about hockey, which many Canadians actually care about. When self-serving politicians write about themselves, the results are usually badly written and filled with clichés (as both these books are). Worse, they are boring. Reading…

Nixon in love

The new biography by Evan Thomas gives us Nixon in the round, talented and tortured, ambitious and insecure

Nixon in loveIn Being Nixon – the new biography by Evan Thomas – erstwhile speechwriter William Safire is quoted as joking that “The boss has fallen in love again,” the reference being to Richard Nixon’s political infatuation with former Texas governor John Connally. It wasn’t the first time that Nixon had been smitten. And the object of…