The real topic of the latest book by Australian counterinsurgency specialist David Kilcullen, an account of the bloody series of events that started around the middle of 2014, is contained in the book’s subtitle: “The Unraveling of Western Counterterrorism.” Kilcullen offers a unique perspective as a key architect of the very strategy whose demise he explains. His verdict is scathing: America’s abdication of responsibility as the steady leader of the international order has been apocalyptic. The Western world, left rudderless, is far worse off today than at the turn of the millennium.
The distinguished Polish professor of classical thought Ryzsard Legutko’s newly translated book, The Demon in Democracy: Totalitarian Temptations in Free Societies, is a polemical tour de force that accuses Western elites of having willfully and shamefully betrayed their intellectual tradition. His main thesis, that the increasing similarities between communism and liberal democracy are systemic, even inevitable, will undoubtedly stir controversy. No mere academic, Legutko is also a member of the European Parliament who routinely and eloquently challenges his colleagues’ well-worn liberal clichés, much to their dismay.
Do psychopathic dictators spawn monsters? Jay Nordlinger’s answer is a qualified yes. And it’s the qualifiers that make Children of Monsters: An Inquiry Into the Sons and Daughters of Dictators such a riveting and informative read. In an easy, elegant style to be expected from a Senior Editor of National Review, Nordlinger coaxes his reader into a universe of evil all the more astonishing for its ubiquity: the twenty men whose offspring he selects for scrutiny span the globe.