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619 of 659 people found the following review helpful
on October 29, 2013
I admit it: I got it wrong in my opinion of Charles Krauthammer. I thought he was just an unoriginal talking head mimicking the latest right-wing rhetoric. After reading this compilation of some three decades of his writing, I see that Krauthammer is a thoughtful intellectual. I may at times disagree with his perspective, but I can absolutely see now how gets to said perspective. The highly personal introduction is fascinating and sets the table for the writings that follow. His sense of humor and his sense of humanity come through in many passages. At times I actually laughed out loud at his writings; at other times I was enthralled by his ability to "paint with words" (most noticeably his column of September 12, 2001). Krauthammer is generally not divisive in his politics and, in fact, has evolved some of his beliefs over time as any reasonable person often does. He also has a real knack for taking difficult and at times abstract concepts and boiling them down to a comprehensible essence. Approach this book with an open mind, you just might find yourself enjoying it.
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565 of 621 people found the following review helpful
on October 22, 2013
Charles Krauthammer is one of the most intelligent, lucid commentators and writers of our time. He is always insightful and fair. I trust his wisdom and have been looking forward for weeks for his book to come out. I downloaded it at midnight last night as soon as it was available, and started reading. It is everything I had hoped for and more. His is the voice of reason in politics and society today.
Dorothy @hensrule
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419 of 466 people found the following review helpful
on October 22, 2013
As Charles admits his views have been an evolving piece of his life, as he started out a liberal. Today he is one of the most influential conservative journalists. But....his views and mine do not mirror each other. He seems to favor beltway politics, much more than a constitutional believer should.

This isn't a new book full of new ideas, this is a new book filled with a collection of his writings over a long period of time. While he referenced Reagan in his evolution to conservatism, he isn't nearly as principled as Reagan was. Reagan showed for a period of decades how his views were not only consistent, they were strengthened over time. Charles....while very intelligent and thoughtful, often has quick dismissal of those who disagree with him.

So....why 5 stars. Because he is that good. He isn't nearly as polarizing as other conservative thinkers, and his voice carries great weight. Give Things That Matter a read, it deserves to be read. You may not agree with some items from 2005 or maybe 1995, but you will often nod in agreement.
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265 of 301 people found the following review helpful
on October 22, 2013
Things That Matter is a brilliant collection of Dr. Krauthammer's writings and work over the past 30 years. It is always great to hear his commentary on television and read is columns in the Washington Post-- this is a great addition to any political library!
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220 of 250 people found the following review helpful
on October 23, 2013
Wow, this collection is as good as advertised. Dr. Krauthammer has an uncanny ability to analyze and explain in concise but beautiful prose. I would imagine that self-described progressives may feel offended by some of the passages, but conservatives, centrists, and open-minded folks should thoroughly enjoy this book.
Can't wait for the next one!
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199 of 226 people found the following review helpful
on October 24, 2013
What a great book...I'll read it many times over.
Not only is Charles positively brilliant but he has the sharpest wit & funniest dry sense of humor of any author!!
I love him on t.v.; his book is pure Charles in insightful, uplifting, clever writing!!
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179 of 212 people found the following review helpful
Charles story is fascinating. How he was once a liberal and became the person he has become is a quintessential passage of humanity. You rarely see someone move in the other direction (from conservative to "liberal"). The classic term "liberal" has become twisted over time and what were once "liberals" are now an intolerant bunch who use ad hominem arguments with very little substance. It is obvious why Charles made that passage... because he is brilliant and there is no room in the modern sense of "liberalism," for such a thinker as Charles.

If you read the reviews which give this book a low rating, the case is made... ad hominem with no focus on the substance.

Well worth the read.
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110 of 129 people found the following review helpful
on October 24, 2013
Krauthammer has done it again. His book goes from personal meditation to his political discourse as well as his life as an MD. This man is highly intelligent.
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53 of 60 people found the following review helpful
on October 25, 2013
I love the format and the information/eloquence of this book! I was a fan of Dr. Krauthammer before the book, but this, I hope, is only the introduction of more to come. Thank you! You stretch my mind and my imagination.
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111 of 131 people found the following review helpful
TOP 100 REVIEWERon October 25, 2013
"Things That Matter" by Charles Krauthammer, who is winner of the Pulitzer Prize and named by The Financial Times the most influential commentator in US, is compilation of his weekly columns full of small wisdoms about government and politics, but also about many others interesting things which marked US in last thirty years.

Charles is saying that his views went through lots of changes during his career, starting as liberal and today being one of the most prominent conservative journalists.
And although I don't share his political views he must be admitted that he writes intelligently and thoughtful but, most importantly, in his writing he's not so strict, dividing things rigidly on black and white as many conservatives usually do.

Inside, reader won't find some new proposals or ideas, but it's nevertheless interesting to read his collection of writings about things that happened in 80's and 90's from this historical distance.
Besides being an anthology of his columns, a book provides additional part in which the author is speaking about the things that were changing his career, which influenced his writing style and philosophy in politics, which somehow explain and give more light to his gradual changes from one end of the political spectrum to the other.

So, although you don't need to necessarily agree with his political views, I nevertheless can recommend reading this book because Charles Krauthammer deserved it due to his style, erudition and intelligence.
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