Reviews

Saving the election, Hollywood-style

Wag the Dog (New Line Cinema, 1997), 97 min. While you are mourning for summer’s end, it’s time to do another “Just for Fun” post. In October 2012, Jason Fraley, film critic at television station WTOP in Washington, D.C., created a list of what he called the 25 Greatest Movies on American Politics. Every now and then, we review a movie from this list. The last review, in...

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What does the Constitution really mean?

The Anti-Federalist Papers and Debates of the Constitutional Convention, Ralph Ketcham, ed. (New York: Signet Books, 2003, 480 pages, $7.95).                 Amazon   Barnes & Noble Tomorrow is Constitution Day. Some Constitutional law scholars would have you believe that we cannot know the intentions of the Founders in writing the Constitution; or if we can, we cannot apply that knowledge...

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A Frenchman looks at America

Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, Vartan Gregorian, ed. (Signet Classics, 2004), 400 pp., $7.95 paperback, $1.95 Kindle. Many editions of this classic are available. The above citation is to one of the most inexpensive currently available. The review cites an older edition now out of print (Richard D. Heffner, ed., Mentor Books, 1956). The year was 1831. A generation had passed since...

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Classic political movies include a Western

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (Paramount, 1963, 122 minutes) Just before the election, Jason Fraley , film critic at television station WTOP in Washington, D.C., created a list of what he called the 25 Greatest Movies on American Politics. The list is quite diverse, ranging from conventional portrayals of the President (The American President), to idealistic portrayals of Congress (Mr. Smith...

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