It will be about the American way of life, where it came from, where it’s going and what we should be doing. So far it looks like we will have everything in there: The Magna Carta, the Singularity, Resilient Communities, the Haymarket Riot, the Anglosphere, the Constitution, Libertarians and Conservatives having a group hug, the inevitable doom of our would-be overlords, pretty much everything including the kitchen sink. We are still working on the book proposal. But we are moving along.
So far the awesomeness is only nascent, but the grandeur of the vision is beginning to grip me.
I will be posting on the blog, shamelessly seeking assistance from our staggeringly brilliant readers, as we get into the research and writing. The CBz hive-mind is a juggernaut which nothing can withstand for long.
I plan to pick your brains, dear friends.
You have been warned!
33 thoughts on “Announcement: Jim Bennett and I are working on a book together.”
I’ll order one in advance! Looking forward to it.
Wonderful news. The two of you working together equals a supernova of brilliance.
Lex, google “Yoram Hazony” & “Hebrew Enlightenment”. Your mind will be blown & you will fill in a missing link you likely didn’t even know was missing.
Start here: jerusalemletters.com/letters/may2010.html
Looking forward to publication. If you have as keen of an insight into all these subjects as you did into the meaning of Beck’s rally, it should prove to be a blockbuster.
Going up on my blog. Now get working, you guys!!!!
I cannot wait.
Count me in for thoughts on the Anglosphere … the only sphere that’s contributing knowledge, technology and real help to the trapped miners in Chile.
Cool. Look forward to it!
(Oh, and there was an Instalanche either before or during the Beck-o-lanche, and a previous Levin-o-lanche, so, Mr. Lex, your stuff is circling around lots of places. It’s like that whole “Army of Davids” phenom or something that Professor Reynolds talks about!)
So how do I order an advance copy? (Cheap, of course.)
Will you be publishing as Lexington Green?
Unfortunately, there are very few conservative book publishers out there. Ivan R. Dee, Crown, Encounter and a few conservative inprints of larger houses (RH, Harper, S&S). I would guess all of these are closed to non-represented authors. Thus, an agent would be extremely helpful in getting this published. Having said that, I am pretty sure Roger Kimball, publisher of Encounter (as well as the New Criterion and PJ Media blogger) would love to take a look at your proposal.
How about “returning something in as good or better shape than when originally borrowed?”
In thinking about the “Restoring Honor” rally and how clean things were after, it brought back memories of what I was taught by my father regarding the proper etiquette of borrowing from friends or neighbors.
My dad was a stickler about returning borrowed tools or vehicles promptly and properly cleaned. If the borrowed item had some minor defect that could be fixed, it was repaired before being returned.
I suggest that value was not atypical of Dad’s generation. Somewhere along the way, we became careless with our country and treated her badly.
Perhaps it is now time to return to the idea of leaving things in better shape than when we found them.
I recommend that you keep it forward-looking. Let’s not have any more tedious attempts to build a better yesterday.
You’ll need some chapter epigraphs, here’s some suggestions for starters:
America is so vast that almost everything said about it is likely to be true,
and the opposite is probably equally true.
— James T. Farrell
America is far from perfect. It has blundered through arrogance, selfishness, cynicism, and a great deal through ignorance. But without America, the history of humanity in the 20th century would have been infinitely more tragic.
— Dominique Moisi, adjunct director of the French Institute for International Relations in Paris
Americans need to face the truth about themselves, no matter how pleasant it is.
— Jeanne Kirkpatrick
The accumulation of wealth cannot be justified as the chief end of existence.
.. So long as wealth is made the means and not the end, we need not greatly
fear it. … It is only those who do not understand the American people who
believe that our national life is entirely absorbed by material motives. We make
no concealment of the fact that we want wealth, but there are many other things
we want much more. We want peace and honor, and that charity which is so strong
an element in all civilization. The chief ideal of the American people is
idealism. That is the only motive to which they give any strong and lasting
— Calvin Coolidge, in his “The chief business of the American people is
Our political intuitions work remarkably well. They are designed to clang against each other. The noise is democracy at work.
— Michael Novak
[…T]he United States has one of the longest uninterrupted political
traditions of any nation in the world. What is more, that tradition is
unambiguous; its meaning is articulated in simple, rational speech that
is immediately comprehensible and powerfully persuasive to all normal
human beings. […] You had to be a crank or a buffoon(eg, Henry Adams
or HL Mencken, respectively)to get attention as a nonbeliever in the
But the unity, grandeur, and attendant folklore of the founding
heritage was attacked from so many directions in the last half-century
that it gradually disappeared from daily life and from textbooks. It
all began to seem like Washington and the cherry tree–not the sort of
thing to teach children seriously.
— Allan Bloom, _The Closing of the American Mind_, 1987
As of now at least, more good people are to be encountered in America than in Europe. Theirs is, however, a somewhat coarse and seemingly careless goodness because there is a low level of psychological intensity in human exchanges here, both of the good and the bad.
— Czeslaw Milosz, foreword to Aleksander Wat, My Century
I hope you will spend a lot of time with the notions in Hackett’s Albion’s Seed. American history starts somewhere back around the 13th century at least. The culture of our North comes from England’s South, and our midland South from England’s North, with all the mutual prejudices in both countries still intact. I have yet to see a satisfactory explanation of the mechanism that accounts for this historical continuity.
Dick Leed: Bullseye! We will offer an explanation of the mechanism. Stay tuned.
Sanity Inspector: A nice collection. Can’t promise we will use them all.
When it comes to required reading on this topic, I’d put Rhys Isaac’s The Transformation of Virginia: 1740-1790 at the top of the list. It’s no study of the usual Virginia giants! if you want to trace cultural attitudes towards everything from law, to uniquely American flag waving, to colonial eye gouging in tavern brawls, for example, try Chapter 5:
There’s more American bedrock in Virginia than most people realize, and Isaac’s approach to the subject is both scholarly an entertaining.
Actually you would want to google “biblical century” or “Hebrew republic” instead of “Hebrew enlightenment”. But that URL I posted is the place to start.
Better get hopping. Macfarlane isn’t getting any younger and I’d love to see him contribute.
I thought I may mention the difference between rural and populated city centers. People in cities tend to be at each others throats full time – hence the control freak mentality leading to political parity with political control freaks.
Then there is the rural areas where everyone pretty much has room and lets each other alone. I have been looking at this dichotomy for some time and demographics do not lie. Rural America tends to be predominately conservative whereas population central tends to be liberal. Look at the election maps.
Anyways, I like the work you do and please excuse my run-on sentences.
Ohh, may I also mention that our big cities are bastions of ignorance with very sub par educational vocational schools.
Please, please – make sure that you put in BIG BOLD PRINT that Thomas Jefferson did not write the Constitution. He was in France at the time. Also, please make sure that you get everyone straight on the phrase “separation of church and state”. It does not exist in the Constitution and was not the basis of the reference to religion in the First Amendment. The phrase came from a lettter that Jefferson wrote to the Danbury Baptists Ministers re-enforcing the First Amendment that Congress shall make no law establishing a religion or abolishing religion. Also, the purpose of the Constitution is to limit the power of government in people’s lives, not vice vers. Thank you and good luck. I look forward to your book.
Who is Jim Bennett?
“Who is Jim Bennett?”
A good question. I wonder myself, sometimes.
Howdy and welcome to the wonderful wacky world of bloggers-turned-book-authors! The fantastic thing is that the both of you already have an established fan-base to market the book, and lots of linky-love with other well-established, high-traffic bloggers, (I’ve actually lost track of how many bloggers have books out there, who never would have considered writing a book until they had a couple of years of writing so many hundreds of words so many times a week. It’s the discipline of it, I guess.)
As Fresh Air pointed out, not many conservative publishers out there, but by all means, put a proposal to any or all of them that take your fancy. Your proposed book is topical – and if the political fortunes of the US turn the way they are likely to turn after November 2010 – there will be a great deal of interest in anyone who can soberly explain how it happened. So, you may very well catch the brass ring and get a traditional book deal out of it.
But if you give traditional publishing a try, and no-one bites, the next option is POD, or even setting up as your own publisher. There are a lot of advantages to that option: you can get your book out there sooner, and you’ll get to keep a larger portion of the royalties – but you would have to do yourself (or hire someone) to perform the sub-jobs that come with a traditional deal; editing, cover design, marketing and all. But there are resources out there, and POD/indy authoring have become a very much more respected option in the last couple of years. I belong to an indy author support group, the Independent Author’s Guild (at http://www.independentauthorsguild.com) which started as a discussion group for authors of historical novels from small publishers or POD houses. Lots of information there, much of which will be applicable. I also am a partner in a tiny subsidy publishing house, Watercress Press (www.watercresspress.com) which has done traditional litho print work for decades, but we are setting up a POD option for our clients. (Traditional litho print: large print run, large initial expense, but relatively low price for a single copy. POD – not much expense up front, but cost for individual copies is a little higher.)
Bottom line – your options with your book are practically unlimited, even in the current economic situation. You are more than welcome to send a private message if you want to know more about the intricacies of indy publishing!
Sgt.Mom, thanks for the practical suggestions.
Although it’s a flawed book, I think Phillips “Cousin’s Wars” does a nice job highlighting the back and forth of political thought between Britain and the US and even argues that the US civil war can be viewed as a second (or even third) English civil war. Language and culture matter and the ability to exchange ideas between nations, even when they were potential enemies (such as the US and Britain in the 19th century) is important.
Bismark was right, and English speaking North America was a decisive fact of modern history.
Also, don’t forget economics, one of the lessons of “Replenishing the Earth” (forgetting its introduction), is that the something about the Anglophone countries made it possible to economically (and thus demographically) expand unlike others, including absorbing and assimilating newcomers into the system.
I look forward to the book as a primer for my children’s education.
I enjoyed Cousins’ Wars’ and would be interested in hearing what you think its flaws are.
People should bear in mind that the focus of this book is America, its current crisis, and what to do about it. The Anglosphere enters into it primarily in the way that our Anglosphere heritage has shaped the American way of life, and why that long history suggests that maintaining and building on our way of life as it has existed should and will be the basis of future policy and politics. The modern Anglosphere, including both the old and new English-speaking countries, is discussed under the categories of foreign and defense policies.
Replenishing the Earth is an interesting book, the introduction aside, as you say. But he makes his own prejudices quite clear. The story of the expansion of the English-speaking peoples in the 19th century is an important source of lessons learned about ourselves and who we are that is just starting to be understood. We have at the minimum a powerful toolkit for replicating self-governing communities and binding them together into effective Unions that aren’t quite the ordinary Western nation-state. This will be discussed at greater length in the book.
Lexington, Jim, I eagerly anticipate this book. Though please:
1. Do not throw in everything but the kitchen sink. This needs to be focused despite drawing upon diverse sources. Don’t make this an “Everything We Like” book. Have a focus, a point to it that is strengthened with the insights of the Anglosphere Challenge and singularity studies, etc, but razor sharp at the cutting edge of the analysis.
2. Why the focus on America and not the Anglosphere? Surely Jim has made plain that the nation state is not what is driving things. Or will the focus on America be appropriately contextualised by the Anglosphere insight?
3. Any book on the future of America – or the Anglosphere – needs to embrace the problem of Islamic fundamentalism, including jihadism and Islamist subversion. How can it not? These – the hard and soft ends of the world’s most pressing security concern – are surely what defines the challenges for liberty in the 21st century?
Sorry, just read Jim’s comments above. Glad that the planned book will take an Anglospherean approach, whilst being US-focused. What I’m curious about, though, is the notion of the US’s “crisis”. What constitutes this? Since that will determine all of what you say about what needs to be done. Yet this depends on what you deem to be under attack, which I guess must be related to the US’s liberty and security. Is this right? What’s the fundamental issue here? How can it not be what is deemed most important for the US’s future freedom and prosperity?
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