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The Leveling Wind: Politics, the Culture, and Other News Paperback – November 1, 1995


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (November 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140247025
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140247022
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,604,073 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Introducing his fifth collection of columns (these from the last four years), syndicated columnist Will (Men at Work) observes that "[t]he culture is news." When writing about books like Katie Roiphe's The Morning After and Shelby Steele's The Content of Our Character, Will tends to extract what buttresses his conservative views without challenging the books' shortcomings. Yet Will is always lucid, more erudite than many of his pundit peers and not always a Republican cheerleader. He nearly gagged at the 1992 Republican National Convention. And while Will scores popular culture and dysfunctional families for the nation's crime scourge, he acknowledges the importance of gun control and drug treatment. Many of his political views, on such subjects as redistricting to achieve minority representation, are predictable; his more interesting work is grounded in his recognition that a careerist Congress and a media-obsessed presidency are not what the Founders intended. Will's best columns surprise, as when he leaves his armchair to visit a Chicago housing project, or when he suggests we place cultural heroes, not politicians, on our currency, a la Europe.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Syndicated columnist, broadcaster, and Pulitzer Prize winner for commentary in 1978, Will is generally regarded as the most erudite spokesman for conservative politics. Here he proves again that political labels are often misleading. In his fifth collection of columns, Will suffers fools badly. He writes of the "emptiness of Bush's politics." Clinton's presidency, he writes, "has become a seamless extension of campaigning, at a cost to the deliberative processes of government." Ross Perot "is a blank book that Americans are judging by its cover." And "government," he contends, "is often imbecilic." There may be no finer writer in the field. Will is at the same time serious and witty, stretching political commentary beyond its normal boundaries. Recommended for all collections.
Chet Hagan, Berks Cty. P.L. Sys., Pa.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Eric Mayforth on August 6, 2009
Format: Paperback
In the first half of the Nineties, the period covered by "The Leveling Wind", George Will's fifth collection of columns, problems such as illegitimacy and identity politics were becoming more pronounced, and the author tackled these issues and many others, such as education and the Gulf War.

One of the best columns that Will has ever written was the column of June 18, 1990, on collective guilt. He goes so far as to say that the rejection of such guilt is a moral movement and that the country is "growing up" from guilt, in stark contrast to the professional guiltmongers themselves, who fancy themselves more moral and enlightened than the rest of the country. The author takes out his needle and skewers those souls who believe that quotas, reverse discrimination, and left-wing racial and gender indoctrination improve, not worsen, relations between groups.

Four of the author's year-end columns and two of his commencement addresses are here, as well as a column on basketball's centennial and columns devoted to Andrew Jackson, Pat Buchanan, Michael Jordan, Zachary Taylor, Henry Clay, and Barry Goldwater. This outstanding collection closes with Will's moving column concerning his son Jon, who was born with Down syndrome.
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By Mick Bysshe on January 22, 2014
Format: Paperback
The best part of this book is the William Butler Yeat's poem from which Will derives the title of his work---Come let us mock at the Great/That had such burdens on the mind/And toiled so hard and late/To leave some monument behind,/Nor thought of the leveling wind. . . Conservatives will like this book. Liberals will chafe at his remarks about Reagan especially the fact that charitable giving went up in the 1980s. At the end of the book he writes that the gift that keeps on giving is the fact that he became a father for the first time on his own birthday. The bulk of the book will face some leveling as history marches on. Has Will toiled to leave a monument behind or just footprints in the shifting sands of time?
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful By "nyak-nyak" on June 19, 2000
Format: Paperback
His conservative view of current affairs is the most inspiring articles I have ever read for the modern day-to-day history.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful By K.A.Goldberg on January 25, 2007
Format: Paperback
This collection of George Will columns from 1990-1994 is worth reading, but it falls a bit short of his 1986-1990 predecessor (SUDDENLY) due to his increasing partisanship. Will usually has a firm grasp of the facts, and his columns remind us of the themes of the early 1990's (George Bush Sr., Bill Clinton, Ross Perot, Gulf War, etc.). For these reasons this book is clearly worth reading. But Will loses some of his edge with his relentless knocks against President Clinton, and by endorsing fads like term limits. Still, these are informative columns, written by one not afraid to criticize friends or praise opponents. As a thinking conservative, Will is no screeching fool like Coulter, Limbaugh, or others that that twist facts, invent statistics, and slander dissenters. Thoughtful readers may often disagree with Will, but they'll usually learn something from his columns.
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