Kevin Mattson

  • In Dubious Battle

    Michael Bérubé’s The Left at War is an important book—though it’s not for everyone. If you want a painstaking critique of Noam Chomsky or of protestors who chanted “Imperialism!” when America attacked the Taliban in Afghanistan, it offers no end of material and thoughtful argument. But general readers will find its last third off-putting. Following the author’s own penchant for witty turns of phrases, allow me this slogan: “Part of the way with Bérubé!”

    A perceptive critic of the left, Bérubé is a little like George Orwell, except funnier. His frustration crystallized not with the September

  • Right Makes Might

    When I was in graduate school studying American history, there was a quick and easy interpretation of postwar politics. It went something like this: A “liberal consensus” dominated the American political scene from around 1945 to 1968. During those years, anticommunist liberalism—which included battling the Soviet Union abroad while securing civil rights for African Americans and a welfare state at home—exerted a Borg-like hold on the political establishment. Liberal ideas were everywhere. They were the air that America’s leaders breathed. Conservative ideas—if such things existed—were little