"I must study politics and war," John Adams wrote famously, "that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture in order to give their children a right to study paintings, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain."
Adams was more prescient than he knew. What Adams surely did not anticipate was how his descendants would come to reject the "a priori truths" and "eighteenth century" ideas that he and his compatriots pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor to vindicate. And therein lies a tale.
The Adamses were, to borrow the title of Richard Brookhiser's new book, America's First Dynasty. How the family Adams descended from a mastery of "politics and war" to "tapestry and porcelain" is the cover subject of the Winter 2002 issue of the Claremont Review of Books, available this week.
In four important new essays, Charles R. Kesler, C. Bradley Thompson, Richard Samuelson, and Christopher Flannery look at the ideas and events that shaped and motivated four generations of Adamses, their triumphs and failures, and above all, what Americans can learn from them today.
Also in the new issue of the Claremont Review, a special section in honor of Thomas B. Silver, our publisher and the president of the Claremont Institute, who died in December from an aggressive brain tumor. The co-founders of the Institute remember what was best their friend and fellow student and scholar, and we give readers an exclusive first look at his final book, The Liberal Century: How Progressivism Transformed America.
But that's not all. Angelo M. Codevilla inaugurates a new feature, "Victory Watch," which follows up on his controversial Fall 2001 essay, "Victory: What It Will Take To Win." In this first installment, Codevilla sifts through the rubble of the Afghanistan campaign and asks, "Are we winning yet?" His answer will surprise you.
Also in this issue:
- Historian and classicist Victor Davis Hanson explains why democracies produce such ferocious warriors.
- David Tucker looks at terrorism and sees the next stage in the imperial struggle.
- Steven F. Hayward investigates The Strange Death of American Liberalism and finds the news of its demise to be greatly exaggerated.
- Martha Bayles contemplates the global reach of "Gilligan's Island."
- Ken Masugi finds Socrates and God in some popular films now playing at a theater near you, and Bradley C.S. Watson sees Plato in the smoke rising from a diabolical sultan's head. (Read and you will understand.)
And, as always, much more. But the only way to read all of these great reviews and essays is to subscribe. Why would you want to miss out? A one-year subscription is only $19.95 for four issues. To subscribe to the CRB, use our online form, or call (909) 621-6825.