Picks and Pans Review: Backward and Upward: the New Conservative Writing
Readers looking for a more conservative view can turn to this collection covering topics from fatherhood to finance by such writers as former Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan, novelist Christopher (Thank You for Smoking) Buckley and Yale professor Donald Kagan.
Many of these essays and speeches are entertaining, though certainly less sensational than Franken's work. Particularly winning are those pieces that deal not with proposing policy but with skewering common wisdom, like Joe Queenan's experiences as a smoker in an antismoking world and Danielle Crittenden's hilarious and apt "Knock Me Out with a Truck," in which she suggests that women in labor should just say "yes" to drugs.
If this collection doesn't change the way the majority votes this November, humorist P.J. O'Rourke, for one, probably won't mind. Conservatives enjoy being the political opposition, he writes. "Clinton may be a disaster for the rest of the nation, but he is meat on our table." (Vintage, $13)