Books In Brief


The Case for Trump, by Victor Davis Hanson (New York: Basic Books; 400 pp., $23.99). It is expected of an author that he say something new and big about someone or something new and big, even should it have been so for two years already.  President Trump remains something new and big, though his detractors by now appear old and small.  Professor Hanson’s book is both competent and comprehensive, but it has little if anything new to say about its subject.  This is too bad, since of all its dramatis personae only Trump is really of interest; largely because American politics on its left wing is increasingly tyrannical, and nothing is more boring to read about than tyranny and tyrants, though living under them is usually not boring at all.  Fortunately, we in America have not yet come to that, though if plenty of Democratic politicians had their way we should have already, shortly after Donald Trump had been guillotined on the Mall in front of the Lincoln Memorial.

A further difficulty with this book is that it is, unfortunately, mistimed.  The winter of 2019 has been shaping up as a politically slack period, not only in the United States but also in the United Kingdom, France, and even Italy, where political paralysis has set in over immigration,...

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