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A ‘conservative libertarian’ delivers laughs

The constant left-wing harangue mistreating Americans every day needs to be countered in a decisive way. Enter a book to counter that harangue: “The Gutfeld Monologues: Classic Rants from The Five” by Greg Gutfeld.

Revisiting Israel’s founding document

The year 2017 marked the centenary of the Balfour Declaration, one of the most famous — and to its opponents, most infamous — promises ever issued by a colonial power to a people seeking to reclaim its nationhood in its ancient land, in this case, the Jewish people’s historical connection to the land of Israel.

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How the Cuban-American underworld took hold

While much is known about Italian, Russian and other ethnic organized crime groups, not much is known about Cuban-American organized crime. That lack of knowledge can be corrected easily by reading T.J. English's book "The Corporation: An Epic Story of the Cuban American Underworld."

The splash of Pope Francis

You have to wonder about an incoming pope whose personal motto is "Make a mess!" For those of you who didn't know, "Hagan lo!" -- which means exactly that in Spanish -- is a favorite expression of the current occupant of the Throne of Saint Peter. If he hasn't made a mess yet, Pope Francis, born Jorge Bergoglio to Argentine parents of Italian immigrant stock in 1936, has certainly made a splash.

Healing loss, finding love on the road

- The Washington Times

Pival Sengupta, a recent widow from India, leads the narrative. Her authoritarian husband has died, and with new-found freedom she decides to travel to America in search of Rahi, her son who has disappeared under mysterious circumstances. Constrained by years of yielding to a dominant spouse who rejected Rahi when he disclosed he was gay, the First Class India USA Destination Vacation Tour Company offers Pival a way forward.

Baseball's evolution into respectability and America's transition

That verse, writes Mr. Rapp, "would soon become the manifesto for an epic American saga," that saga being baseball's evolution into respectability and our national pastime. Interestingly, that verse may have also helped propel its author into a bigger writer's league. As Mr. Rapp points out, "F.P. Adams would one day claim a charter seat at the Algonquin Round Table. a member of the Manhattan literati and celebrity circuit until his death in 1960."

The men and women who keep Israel safe

Last weekend's dramatic escalation in rocket firings by Hamas against Israel's bordering communities and the Israel Defense Forces' (IDF) powerful and surgically precise retaliatory aerial bombings against Hamas' targets in Gaza, highlight the importance of understanding the nature of the IDF and its role in Israeli society.

A macabre and entertaining romp with poison

Last autumn, the Renwick Gallery boasted a record number of visitors to its exhibit "Murder is Her Hobby: Frances Glessner Lee and the Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death." I can imagine those same morbid souls who enjoyed the exhibit are going to also thoroughly relish the macabre and entertaining romp through "The Royal Art of Poison" by Eleanor Herman.

A bitter obituary for the Civil War

If one reads "Gone with the Wind" as a sweet elegy for the Civil War, then Charles Frazier's "Varina" is its bitter obituary. No "rest in peace" here, just be dead and be damned -- in the title character's simmering view that Dixie plutocrats created the conflict through stupidity and pride. The Mississippi lady's message is clear: Some things are right, some wrong; slavery was an unmitigated sin and secession an ungodly error. Yet neither life nor history is so simple, as this novel proves with tragic elegance, shimmering nuance and heart-stopping surprises.

Reshaping 'King Lear' with contemporary malevolence

Re-telling a Shakespeare play in a contemporary mode is a daunting task. It is not the plot, but the psychology and extraordinary language that lie at the heart of Shakespeare's genius. A very hard act to follow or imitate.

New information about a famous coterie of spies

Even after the passage of more than half a century, anyone even vaguely familiar with national security clearances must blink at British handling of the coterie of Soviet spies known as "The Cambridge Five."

Protecting data-driven cyberspace from exploitation

"Exploding Data: Reclaiming Our Cyber Security in the Digital Age," by former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, is an important and insightful critique of what he terms an out-of-date legal framework in the United States that governs the collection and use whether by government or private sector entities of citizens' personal data on the Internet.

Tracing the conservative roots of Ronald Reagan's presidency

Political popularity is mostly written in sand. As personal auras fade, solid accomplishments count for more and tabloid charisma for less. Consider the cases of Dwight Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy. The only Americans alive today who could have voted for Ike when he ran for re-election in 1956 are in their early 80s or older. Anyone old enough to have voted for JFK in 1960 would now be 79 or older.

A large book about a one-term president

On the evening of Nov. 4, 1980, President Jimmy Carter got some very bad news. He was to be a one-term president, a damning indictment of his tenure. Not only that, but he won only six states and barely scratched 40 percent of the popular vote.

When radicalization gets close to home

With many homegrown violent Islamist extremists plotting to carry out terrorist attacks in the United States and elsewhere around the world, everyone agrees that "See Something, Say something!" is the best way to preempt extremist attacks and avoid needless killings of innocent victims. This guidance by the Department of Homeland Security is the correct response, but what are the specific measures one can take to "Say Something"?

A chilling tale of a brutal regime

At hand is what could be termed a double-header of a book. The main story line involves the search by a Korean-born CIA officer for her twin sister, abducted as a child as part of a sickeningly nefarious plot by the country's leader.

An engaging look into the human mind

Neuroscience may seem like a drab topic to read about, but there's an unmistakable grandeur to the way Helen Thomson writes about it that makes "Unthinkable" the perfect exception.

Charting the artist's whimsical word play and his life of influence

Any child who was lucky enough to grow up with Edward Lear's "Book of Nonsense" experienced the delight at discovering a world of linguistic word play, full of oddities and whimsy, thrown together as if by happy accident. In 2012, a poll in the United Kingdom voted "The Owl and the Pussy-Cat" (composed in 1867) as the nation's favorite poem. Now, one of Britain's most celebrated biographers has written the life of Edward Lear portrayed in all of his complex glory.

How the Navy helped win the Cold War

As a young workaday Defense Department civilian employee in the mid-1970s, I watched with regret as the American military deteriorated after the end of the Vietnam War. As a Navy veteran who served on an aircraft carrier during the Vietnam War, I was particularly saddened to see our once-great Navy diminished greatly.