Almost from the moment its inaugural issue appeared in September 1995, The Weekly Standard has been widely considered the nation's preeminent journal of political opinion and cultural commentary -- and the one magazine you've absolutely got to read if you want to keep up with American conservatism. Beyond reporting the events of the times, The Weekly Standard has played a central role in every major political drama of the past decade. In fact, so influential has it proved in Washington -- year in and year out, no matter which party controlled the White House -- that it's become a must-read for anyone who wants to understand American politics and society as a whole.
Now, in The Weekly Standard: A Reader, editor William Kristol gathers together some of the very best articles and essays the magazine has published in its first decade. The dramas are here, of course: the "Republican Revolution" in Congress; Monica Lewinsky; the Florida recount of 2000; and, above all, 9/11 and the war on terrorism. And on hand to recount and reflect on them is The Weekly Standard's matchless, all-star stable of writers: Fred Barnes, David Brooks, Tucker Carlson, and P. J. O'Rourke, to name just a few.
But there's always been much more to The Weekly Standard than just the week's news. So The Weekly Standard: A Reader is not merely an anthology of unsurpassed opinion journalism. Here readers will find an enormous treasury of timeless writing about dozens of subjects -- art, books, music, movies, you name it -- each handled with the same unique blend of insider savvy, reflective wisdom, and mordant wit that's earned The Weekly Standard an authoritative place in American public life.
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William Kristol is the editor of The Weekly Standard. He is a regular commentator on the Fox News Channel and a former professor at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. He lives in suburban Washington, D.C.From Publishers Weekly:
"Magazine journalism is a perishable medium," writes Weekly Standard editor William Kristol in this anniversary anthology of the right-leaning magazine's writings, and "political and social commentary is the most perishable magazine journalism of all." Though the events framed within this retrospective-from the death of Dorothy Lamour to the war in Iraq-were hot for a moment (or, in some cases, much longer), they remain pertinent pieces of history, even after the public consciousness moves on to the next big thing. During its first decade in print, the magazine has featured the work of conservative luminaries and pundits such as PJ O'Rourke, who, with his acerbic pen, skewered then-first lady Hillary Clinton's book It Takes a Village, which, he noted, offered advice on how to entertain children with a sock puppet. Yet among John Podhoretz's lamenting the death of Broadway and Tucker Carlson's gleeful recollections of forged letters past, there are pieces that will be seen as eerily prophetic. In his April 2003 piece, "Liberating Iraq," Stephen Hayes writes of Saddam Hussein's overthrow at a time when optimism over that country's fate was still palpable. Yet, his observations telegraph problems to come. "Many Iraqis here...seemed to be fighting their own emotions, lurching unpredictably from gratitude to desperation to apprehension." Even more striking is Reuel Marc Gerecht's prescient July 2001 piece on the lack of American urgency in the face of an Al Qaeda threat. Ideology and politics aside, it remains astonishing to review what the last ten years has wrought, and Kristol's ambitious venture has captured them with humor, sobriety and intelligence.
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