How America Became Great

Review: Robert Gordon, ‘The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The U.S. Standard of Living Since the Civil War’

American flag ManhattanLast fall, Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio attempted to rebut “Make America Great Again,” the slogan of his rival, Donald Trump. America, Rubio said, is great right now. Trump responded thus: “You can’t be satisfied [with where the country is now]. You have to use the word ‘again.’ It’s very important, because if he’s saying that, then that means there’s no room for improvement...”

Where Is Islam’s Martin Luther?

Review: Ayaan Hirsi Ali, ‘Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now’

Ayaan Hirsi AliAyaan Hirsi Ali’s Heretic, now out in paperback, is a provocative and ambitious book that aims to reform the second largest religion in the world. Hirsi Ali, a Somali born, Dutch raised, naturalized American most famous (or infamous) for the condemnations of Islam in her previous books, Infidel and Nomad, begins her current work with a brash maxim: “Islam is not a religion of peace.” By this she does not mean that Islamic belief makes Muslims violent, only that “the call to violence and the justification for it are explicitly stated in the sacred texts of Islam.” This is the fundamental point from which all else in Heretic flows.