NY Times conservative columnist David Brooks laments the demise of The Weekly Standard this week, even ripping into its billionaire owner’s Christianity in the process. (Brooks says “arrogant billionaire” Phil Anschutz even ignored the Christmas season when he closed down the superannuated conservative pub, a shutdown Brooks paints as calculated to inflict “maximum pain” despite Anschutz’s professed Christian ideals.)
After Brooks dishes out some surprisingly passionate and pointed digs at the billionaire and his executive suite underling Ryan McKibben, the columnist gets down to the real problem. It’s a new age, and the storied names of yesterday carry less weight, like it or not. Brooks recounts that when he was at The Weekly Standard back in the day, the “first masthead featured Charles Krauthammer, P.J. O’Rourke, Robert Kagan, David Frum, Chris Caldwell, Matt Labash, Tucker Carlson and the greatest political writer of my generation, Andrew Ferguson.” Yes and Lincoln had a terrific cabinet, says Doris Kearns Goodwin. Bill Cosby was America’s Dad. Times change, no? Anyway, so who is Andrew Ferguson, he of greatness beyond compare? (And are Frum, Carlson and Caldwell unhappy to read that they’re second fiddle?) Ferguson’s put a map of his thinking into the tomes below; have a read to find out for yourself. (Andrew Ferguson book titles: Fools’ Names, Fools’ Faces; Crazy U: One Dad’s Crash Course in Getting His Kid into College; Land of Lincoln: Adventures in Abe’s America.