The University Bookman


Spring 2015

Editor’s Note

Naming Crimethink

The first three months of 2015 at the Bookman have been busy, and fruitful. We continue to feature reviews of books and ideas that further our defense of the Permanent Things.

The current scene embodies much of what Orwell called crimethink. Ideas that were commonplace a few years ago are now simply ruled out of bounds by ideologues among the elite. Too often, conservatives themselves have forgotten the richness of our tradition and the lessons of the past.

Last month, Helen Andrews published an extraordinary essay on the lost history of the anti-suffragettes. It is a masterful piece of moral archeology, and a sympathetic account of a lost cause worth remembering for its lessons on ideology, politics, and how to defend what is worth defending (hint: not by blind obeisance to “equality”). Here is an excerpt:

I hesitate to draw too close a comparison between women’s suffrage and gay marriage. Still, I regret that the anti-suffragists have been scrubbed so completely from our historical consciousness. They were among the very last people ever to take a stand against the politicization of family life, against the elimination of all havens from the culture wars, against the displacement of human relationships by the benevolent state. As those fights rage anew, we are worse off for not having the memory of the antis to call upon.

Essays and reviews such as this are why the Bookman exists: to maintain or bring back an almost-lost way of looking at the world, one that can contend with secular liberalism for the popular imagination.

There has been much else alongside Andrews these last few months. Mark Anthony Signorelli finds an important lost book in the debate between the humanities and the sciences; Micah Mattix explodes the pretensions of “gender theory”; Ian Tuttle of National Review considers esoteric writing; Adam Schwartz recovers the WWI poet David Jones, who has been unjustly forgotten in the Great War memorials; Jason Duncan reviews a new history of the Cold War; Francis Sempa looks at two new books on General MacArthur; and Jake Meador analyzes the evolution of evangelical culture.

We have a lot more coming for the remainder of 2015, but we need your help. The Bookman operates with a tiny budget and little support from foundations, so we need your help. Buy our e-books, or support us financially here.

As always, thank you for your readership and support. 

Gerald J. Russello

Posted: April 5, 2015 in Editor’s Notes.

Did you see this one? book cover

Liberal Idealism Critiqued
Peter Augustine Lawler
Volume 37, Number 3 (Fall 1997)

To live with a gnawing grudge against one’s own civilization is the way to a personal Hell, not to a Terrestrial Paradise.

Russell Kirk


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