Things That Matter
Charles Krauthammer
Contributed by Nina Calhoun

Eva D. Sullivan, The Dartmouth Review (2016)

Sullivan describes Krauthammer’s work in the most compelling way possible. She claims that the collection of articles represents a timeless testimony to the power of intelligent inquisition, and it exhibits an honest analysis especially for the politically minded individuals. Besides, she writes that the book shows the author’s belief in politics to be the most critical social entity (Sullivan para. 1). Sullivan considers the author an extensive investigator of the elements surrounding the nation’s political health. In addition, she thinks that Krauthammer made the effort of covering various topics including those that receive minimum attention (Sullivan para. 1). 

Apart from that, Sullivan says that Krauthammer examines and explains complex subjects that have troubled many Americans over the years such as immigration, abortion, and war. She also notes the weight given to lesser essential such issues as pop-culture and chess (Sullivan para. 1). Besides, Sullivan makes a recommendation to the appropriate audience for the book, claiming that the work may interest the author’s fans, politically informed individuals and everyone seeking well-thought and credible information on the things that matter.  

Sullivan also covers Krauthammer’s career life, mentioning his leap from being a psychiatrist to a journalist. She highlights the author’s view on freedom and joy saying that the two aspects are subordinate and irrelevant in case the politics are wrong (Sullivan para. 2). She also notes various essays covered in the book including Zionism, Bioethics, and America’s global role. Also, she relates most of the articles to the American politics despite the none right-leaning ideologies followed by the author. Instead, she considers logic and rationality developed during the author’s educational journey as the basis of his standpoint.

Sullivan also thinks that the author provides young readers with an insightful introduction to the true origins of the numerous conflicts often overlooked in the partisan rhetoric (Sullivan para. 4). Additionally, she points out for college students an article from chapter 7, Ambiguity and Affirmative Action, as a relevant discussion on the general public support for the Supreme Court to uphold affirmative action in 2003 (Sullivan para. 6). Lastly, she thinks that the book effectively reminds young readers that the present world issues emanate from the past, as people recycle the concerns repeatedly as time passes.

I agree with Sullivan’s review as she makes her case from an informed point of view. Ideally, she covers Krauthammer’s work diligently and with great observance. For instance, she distinguishes the topics given more weight such as the role of America as a superpower from the lesser ones such as chess. Considering Krauthammer’s book, it is evident that he discusses America more profoundly, explaining both the internal and the external influences made by the nation. However, she discusses chess and other lesser topics in a brief way, often dedicating a single article to each minor topic. Therefore, I think Sullivan’s work represents the author’s intentions effectively.

Fans of Books

Fans of Books sees Krauthammer’s work as an accurate reflection of his belief system, considering that he is a strong supporter for lower taxes, free markets and individual rights (Fans of Books para. 2). Ideally, they consider the book compelling enough to make readers want to cover it all (Fans of Books para. 5). Talking about Time’s Magazine person of the century, they point out the author’s opinion that upholds Winston Churchill above Albert Einstein (Fans of Books para. 6). Apart from that, they note that the article titled Angry White Male is a myth created by political stakeholders in the efforts of delegitimizing the 1994 elections (Fans of Books para. 8).

On the Holocaust, the author believes that the public still has a clear consciousness of the events that transpired during the ordeal (Fans of Books para. 9). However, the Fans of Books claim that future generations may have limited information on the occurrence, and evidence will be available in history books and the Washington Holocaust Museum.

Lastly, the author says that Krauthammer’s book is a necessary read for everyone including the people who are not fond of the writer (Fans of Books para. 11). He provides several topics covered in the book including feminism, evolution, society norms, the death penalty, Jewish destiny and America’s role as a superpower in the world.

Despite developing a short and sketchy review, Fans of Books provides an insightful content on the book. I agree with their work because it clearly shows the reader the information to expect in Krauthammer’s book. For instance, they talk about the Holocaust, an ordeal experienced by the Jewish community during the reign of Hitler. Additionally, they show the author’s interpretation of the metaphor of the Angry White Male and its political significance. Therefore, the review is an insightful representative of the book, and it successfully presents relevant information as covered by the author.

Michael Taube, The Washington Post (2013)

Taube acknowledges Krauthammer’s grammatically correct as well as well-formed sentences. He argues that the essays and columns in the book stood the test of time. He goes on to state that no columnist’s body of work – even his own – could ever be described as perfect. Nonetheless, the “mark of a successful writer is to create theses, devise arguments and defend them with intelligence and eloquence” (Taube para. 5). Changes in time will occur, transformations in economic situations will occur, and political winds will blow in different directions. Nevertheless, the written words of Krauthammer will prevail, even though that moment in time has passed. Taube also states that imperfections that Krauthammer perceives in the book are the perfections that very few people could ever attain. He concludes his review by noting that Krauthammer’s writings remain as fresh, intelligent, compelling and thought-provoking as they were when they were first written.

I agree with Taube in regards to his comments about Krauthammer’s grammars. In part three of the book’s introduction, Krauthammer agrees to having made a few minor grammatical changes “for the sake of uniformity.” He acknowledges making some tiny edits and typo corrections for reasons of redundancy, obsolescence or obscurity. Additionally, Krauthammer spoke grammatically correct and well-formed sentences on Fox and when talking off the cuff as well, and it happens that he learned to speak so precisely during his residency at Massachusetts General Hospital. I also agree with Taube’s description of Krauthammer’s writing as “intelligent, compelling and thought-provoking.” Krauthammer’s book becomes even more compelling and thought-provoking by each page. He could push the reader to question their morals and ideologies by presenting his. This stylistic technique helped bring Krauthammer’s writings to life, making them prevail.

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