Things That Matter: Three Decades of Passions, Pastimes and Politics
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From America’s preeminent columnist, named by the Financial Times the most influential commentator in the nation, the long-awaited collection of Charles Krauthammer’s essential, timeless writings.
A brilliant stylist known for an uncompromising honesty that challenges conventional wisdom at every turn, Krauthammer has for decades dazzled readers with his keen insight into politics and government. His weekly column is a must-read in Washington and across the country. Now, finally, the best of Krauthammer’s intelligence, erudition and wit are collected in one volume.
Readers will find here not only the country’s leading conservative thinker offering a passionate defense of limited government, but also a highly independent mind whose views—on feminism, evolution and the death penalty, for example—defy ideological convention. Things That Matter also features several of Krauthammer’s major path-breaking essays—on bioethics, on Jewish destiny and on America’s role as the world’s superpower—that have profoundly influenced the nation’s thoughts and policies. And finally, the collection presents a trove of always penetrating, often bemused reflections on everything from border collies to Halley’s Comet, from Woody Allen to Winston Churchill, from the punishing pleasures of speed chess to the elegance of the perfectly thrown outfield assist.
With a special, highly autobiographical introduction in which Krauthammer reflects on the events that shaped his career and political philosophy, this indispensible chronicle takes the reader on a fascinating journey through the fashions and follies, the tragedies and triumphs, of the last three decades of American life.
Turkey, now convulsed by an internal uprising; and fragile Jordan, dragged in by geography. And behind them? No one. It’s the Spanish Civil War except that only one side—the fascists—showed up. The natural ally of what began as a spontaneous, secular, liberationist uprising in Syria was the United States. For two years, it did nothing. President Obama’s dodge was his chemical-weapons “red line.” In a conflict requiring serious statecraft, Obama chose to practice forensics instead, earnestly
the woods. And now, just short of 90, he is gone. Those who were touched by this man, so wise and gracious and goodly, mourn him. I mourn a man who saved my life. The Washington Post, August 25, 2000 CHAPTER 2 MANNERS NO DANCING IN THE END ZONE ROUNDS: The ritual whereby a senior doctor goes from bed to bed seeing patients, trailed by a gaggle of students. ROUNDSMANSHIP: The art of distinguishing oneself from the gaggle with relentless displays of erudition. The roundsman is
anything as nasty about Jews as did Nixon. But the public Pat Buchanan goes around fanning hatred for Jews with his sly and not so sly allusions to Jewish power, Jewish influence, Jewish disloyalty. So who is the antisemite? Obsession with self is the motif of our time. It carries over into our thinking about public figures, to our preoccupation—long predating our fascination with Gary Hart’s nocturnal trysts—with their inner life. The reductio ad absurdum of this tendency is Edmund Morris’
thinking counterparts in the universe. For all the excitement, however, the search betrays a profound melancholy—a lonely species in a merciless universe anxiously awaits an answering voice amid utter silence. That silence is maddening. Not just because it compounds our feeling of cosmic isolation but because it makes no sense. As we inevitably find more and more exo-planets where intelligent life can exist, why have we found no evidence—no signals, no radio waves—that intelligent life does
rationing energy, the currency of just about everything one does and uses in an advanced society. So what does the global warming agnostic propose as an alternative? First, more research—untainted and reliable—to determine (a) whether the carbon footprint of man is or is not lost among the massive natural forces (from sunspot activity to ocean currents) that affect climate and (b) if the human effect is indeed significant, whether the planetary climate system has the homeostatic mechanisms (like