Sunday, February 11, 2007

A Book Every American Should Read

The Party of Death: The Democrats, the Media, the Courts, and the Disregard for Human Life, by Ramesh Ponnuru

I put this book in my shopping cart when it was released last spring, but I somehow never got around to purchasing and reading it until a few weeks ago. That was a mistake. This is an important book. It has been out for nearly a year, and there hasn't been nearly the amount of discussion of it there ought to have been. Perhaps some pro-life people figured it had nothing to tell them, but I assume far more people were turned off by the title. The author has explained on NRO and elsewhere that the term "the party of death" did not originate with him and that, no, it does not refer to Democrats.(Although people hearing "the party of death" and assuming it means Democrats is interesting, no?) But this explanation of the term is somewhat undercut by the fact that the subtitle names Democrats and names them first. Surely a better subtitle would have been "Politicians, the Media, the Courts, and the Disregard for Human Life", because, as Ponnuru says, there are members of the party of death in both of America's major political parties and because I think that subtitle might cause many people who would benefit from reading it to dismiss it as just another divisive political diatribe. And that's a shame, because this is a well-reasoned and clearly written book setting forth a secular case--not necessarily the secular case; let's see what other authors have to say--for respecting the right to life. You don't have to be a lawyer or a philosopher or a politics groupie to understand this book; any average high school student should be able to read it and understand the arguments, and the chapters aren't so long that they'll tax many people's attention span. Read it and think about it.

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