Permanent Things Here and Abroad
The University Bookman has long been concerned with issues of the nature of history and historical memory. We are therefore pleased to present in this issue a major review-essay on historical thinking, by Mark G. Malvasi. Malvasi captures the complexity of the debate, and explains why prominent figures such as John Lewis Gaddis and Constantin Fasolt fail in their recent books to grasp the true scope of the “postmodern” challenge to the practice of Western historiography and to historical consciousness itself. Russell Kirk, too, in some of his works, saw through the false objectivity of Enlightenment history, and sought to reinject a sense of narrative and the subjective into history without falling into a crude relativism.
As another election season rolls upon us later this year, this issue includes some timely books on the nature of our constitutional republic. Charles Dunn reviews a new reader on the presidency, the image of whom has changed from the relatively modest executor of the people’s law to a combination Solomon/Samson and therapist-in-chief. Joseph Devaney examines a new work from the unlikely precincts of the Yale law School that dares to challenge prevailing orthodoxy on the Fourteenth Amendment. And Paul Gottfried contributes a review of a study of John Calhoun, one of the few true first-rank political theorists America has produced.Finally, among other significant pieces, we offer a “Letter from Italy” discussing new books published on the Continent that we believe will be of interest to our readers, a feature we expect to continue in the coming issues.
Gerald J. Russello
Posted: March 18, 2007 in Editor’s Notes.