J School Blues

by John J. Miller on January 11, 2017 · 0 comments

in Blog Posts

What college journalism programs need is more liberal arts. That’s what I argue in a piece for the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal (formerly the John William Pope Center):

Mark Twain—who was better known in his own time as a journalist than as a novelist—supposedly once quipped: “I have never let schooling interfere with my education.” We might update his remark for the present: Never let journalism school interfere with your education in journalism.


Can’t Happen

by John J. Miller on January 6, 2017 · 0 comments

in Blog Posts

In the new National Review, I write on how liberals use and abuse Sinclair Lewis’s novel It Can’t Happen Here:

Imagine this pitch for a dystopian novel: An ambitious 48-year-old Democratic senator from Illinois runs for president. He promises to raise taxes, restrict personal incomes, and collectivize everything. “Call me a socialist!” he says. Deposing a well-known senior member of his party, he goes on to win the general election. People call him “that sky-rocket.”

Sound familiar?

Then this happens: Shortly after his inauguration, the new president suspends the Constitution, imposes martial law, and governs as a fascist dictator.

Presented with this scenario, liberals would howl in horror. They’d label the plot preposterous. They’d denounce it as a right-wing fever dream. They’d accuse its author of racism and possibly run for a safe space. Or so it might seem. Instead, they’re praising an 81-year-old novel that reads in part like a biography of Barack Obama — and calling it a prophecy of Donald Trump’s presidency.

The book is It Can’t Happen Here, by Sinclair Lewis…


Meet the Preston

January 4, 2017

My latest podcast is with Douglas Preston, author of The Lost City of the Monkey God, a nonfiction, Indiana Jones-style story about finding an ancient ruin in an impenetrable jungle, full of jaguars, venom-spitting snakes, and deadly viruses. The book is really good–I read it in about 24 hours.

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Banks On It

December 1, 2016

My profile of Jim Banks, the new Republican congressman from Indiana, is in the new issue of National Review: His showing also suggests that although conservatives will support many parts of Trump’s agenda, their political survival won’t necessarily demand complete fidelity: Banks favors free trade, entitlement reform, and traditional strategic alliances, such as NATO.

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The Choice for You

November 23, 2016

Martin Roy Hill on The First Assassin: If I were to write a one-sentence elevator pitch for John J. Miller’s The First Assassin, it would be this: Gone With the Wind meets The Day of the Jackal. … Miller, who normally writes nonfiction, brings the America of 1861 alive with rich detail and believable characters. His picture of the pro-slavery […]

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November 1, 2016

My book review in last weekend’s Wall Street Journal isn’t the first time I’ve written on Lovecraft. Not even in the Journal. Here’s a piece in the Journal from 2005. And here’s a long one in the Claremont Review of Books from two years ago.

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