Category: Books and Arts

Little House, big idea

Last month the American Library Association voted to change the name of the Laura Ingalls Award to the rather bland sounding Children’s Literature Legacy Award. The reason for its previous name is because Wilder’s ‘Little House’ book series was one of the most successful and impactful pieces of writing in American history, and for good reason. The official announcement from the ALA was full of the typical weasel statements you’d expect when left oriented groups are trying to remove such influential writings from national consciousness. Try this on for size:

Wilder’s books are a product of her life experiences and perspective as a settler in America’s 1800s. Her works reflect dated cultural attitudes toward Indigenous people and people of color (sic) that contradict modern acceptance, celebration, and understanding of diverse communities. 

There’s no Sherlock award for working out that the books are a product of her life experiences, … Read the rest

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Book review: Kingdom of the Wicked

Kingdom of the Wicked is a story with a trial at its centre. Yeshua ben Yusuf and his associate Yehuda Iscariot are in custody for causing a riot at the Temple resulting in deaths. The place is Jerusalem and the time is 31AD. But this isn’t the story you’re thinking of, at least not quite. Because Helen Dale has recreated the ancient Roman Empire – it has undergone an industrial revolution – and it is dragging the ancient, monotheistic Judaean culture along with it.

Much is familiar about this new industrialised Roman society – we can recognise the militarism, the paganism, the tiered society of citizens and non-citizens, and the rule of law that we know to be true of the historical Roman Empire.  What’s new is the modern medicine, tanks, flying machines and abortion clinics. In this respect the new industrialised Roman Empire of Kingdom of the Wicked bears Read the rest

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Book Review: The Permission Society

Not having to ask permission is one of the most essential parts of freedom. Is opening sentence of the ‘Permission Society: How the ruling class turns our freedoms into Privileges and what we can do about it’ written by Timothy Sandefur. The book explores how our freedoms are gradually being turned into privileges granted by the state and the ruling elite.

Sandefur the Vice President for Litigation at the Goldwater Institute and is an Adjunct Scholar with the Cato Institute. He brings his considerable legal knowledge to this book and explores how the courts have interpreted traditional freedoms in the United States. In the book’s first chapter, Charters of Liberty granted by power he compares the the inalienable rights envisions by the America’s founding fathers with charters of liberty that were granted by Kings or the State that existed elsewhere.

The first chapter makes clear that James Madison clearly felt Read the rest

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