Examine the ways in which expertise, reason, and manners are continually under attack in our institutions, courts, political arenas, and social venues with this collection from the Pulitzer Prize-winning conservative columnist.
George F. Will has been one of this country’s leading columnists since 1974. He won the Pulitzer Prize for it in 1977. The Wall Street Journal once called him “perhaps the most powerful journalist in America.” In this new collection, he examines a remarkably unsettling thirteen years in our nation’s experience, from 2008 to 2020. Included are a number of columns about court cases, mostly from the Supreme Court, that illuminate why the composition of the federal judiciary has become such a contentious subject.
Other topics addressed include the American Revolutionary War, historical figures from Frederick Douglass to JFK, as well as a scathing assessment of how State of the Union Addresses are delivered in the modern day. Mr. Will also offers his perspective on American socialists, anti-capitalist conservatives, drug policy, the criminal justice system, climatology, the Coronavirus, the First Amendment, parenting, meritocracy and education, China, fascism, authoritarianism, Frank Sinatra, Bob Dylan, The Beach Boys, and the morality of enjoying football. American Happiness and Discontents: The Unruly Torrent, 2008-2020 is a collection packed with wisdom and leavened by humor from one the preeminent columnists and intellectuals of our time.
Washington Post columnist Will (The Conservative Sensibility) discourses on politics, history, fashion, and science in this erudite and eclectic collection of his published columns. Will's eulogies of conservative leaders, including presidents Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush, National Review editor William F. Buckley, and political commentator Charles Krauthammer, are particularly rich and insightful. Noting that Krauthammer was in medical school when a diving accident paralyzed him from the neck down, Will writes that "medicine made Charles intimate with finitude... the fact that expiration is written into the lease we have on our bodies." Will also skewers President Trump ("Cry-Baby-in-Chief") and Republican lawmakers who "gambol around ankles with a canine hunger for petting," and dismisses calls by progressives and right-wing populists (the "Cassandra caucus") for economic reforms to better protect American workers as a desire to "liv free from the friction of circumstances." Elsewhere, Will dives into the debate over the authenticity of a photo from the Spanish Civil War and laments the popularity of jeans among American adults. Though his dismissals of climate change and economic inequality feel out of touch, Will is a consistently provocative and articulate opinion-maker. Fans will delight in this expansive survey of his recent judgments.