Things That Matter: Three Decades of Passions, Pastimes and Politics

Things That Matter: Three Decades of Passions, Pastimes and Politics

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by Charles Krauthammer

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 From America’s preeminent columnist, named by the Financial Times the most influential commentator in the nation, the long-awaited collection of Charles Krauthammer’s essential, timeless writings.
A brilliant stylist known for an uncompromising honesty that challenges conventional wisdom at every turn


 From America’s preeminent columnist, named by the Financial Times the most influential commentator in the nation, the long-awaited collection of Charles Krauthammer’s essential, timeless writings.
A brilliant stylist known for an uncompromising honesty that challenges conventional wisdom at every turn, Krauthammer has for decades daz­zled readers with his keen insight into politics and government. His weekly column is a must-read in Washington and across the country. Now, finally, the best of Krauthammer’s intelligence, erudition and wit are collected in one volume.
Readers will find here not only the country’s leading conservative thinker offering a pas­sionate defense of limited government, but also a highly independent mind whose views—on feminism, evolution and the death penalty, for example—defy ideological convention. Things That Matter also features several of Krautham­mer’s major path-breaking essays—on bioeth­ics, on Jewish destiny and on America’s role as the world’s superpower—that have pro­foundly influenced the nation’s thoughts and policies. And finally, the collection presents a trove of always penetrating, often bemused re­flections on everything from border collies to Halley’s Comet, from Woody Allen to Win­ston Churchill, from the punishing pleasures of speed chess to the elegance of the perfectly thrown outfield assist.
With a special, highly autobiographical in­troduction in which Krauthammer reflects on the events that shaped his career and political philosophy, this indispensible chronicle takes the reader on a fascinating journey through the fashions and follies, the tragedies and triumphs, of the last three decades of American life.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Required reading…Krauthammer is among the very best—and this is the best of the best, selected by him, with an engaging and fascinating introduction…Amazingly fresh, and full of thought-provoking formulations and arguments.” –The Weekly Standard

 “A fantastic read, a cerebral read, a fun read.” –Guy Benson, Townhall

“It’s going to be a big hit.” –Bill O’Reilly, The O’Reilly Factor (October 21, 2013)

“Krauthammer’s assets include steel-trap logic, an epée wit, a profound sense of history, and a withering contempt for journalists who would rather cringe in the dark than bring the truth to light.” –City Journal

America, you’ve got to read this for your own great pleasure and relief.” Hugh Hewitt (October 31, 2013)

"The best American columnists make their British counterparts look like bumbling amateurs,but none of them writes with more sense,sensibility and sanity than the Washington Post's Charles Krauthammer. Things That Matter, selected from a lifetime of writing, bears comparison with the greatest of American prose." -Daniel Johnson, Standpoint

"Usually thought of as a conserva-tive, this syndicated columnist has won both the left-wing People for the American Way’s First Amendment Award and the right-wing Bradley Foundation’s first $250,000 Bradley Prize. Readers of all political persuasions will find plenty here that’s thought-provoking and worthwhile." -Pittsburg Tribune-Review

“Krauthammer’s first collection in more than 20 years is a priceless introduction to the columnist’s writing. And for those who have thrilled at the sight of a Krauthammer byline for decades, Things That Matter is a window into the master polemicist’s habits of mind, heart, and technique.” -Matthew Continetti, Commentary

“For three decades, Charles Krauthammer has enriched American political discourse with his sharply-honed analysis, humane values, and questing mind.  From personal meditations to learned examinations of history and policy, Things That Matterstands as a record of a transformative period in the American experience, and a remarkable intellect at work.” -Henry A. Kissinger
"Charles Krauthammer is not only the most influential conservative commentator in America, his writing transcends the crush of daily events and can be read, with profit, always." –David Brooks, New York Times columnist and bestselling author of The Social Animal
“Amid today's clutter of print and cacophony of broadcast commentary, Charles Krauthammer's lapidary judgments stand out, and stand the test of time. Literature has been called news that lasts. Krauthammer's columns take journalism to the level of literature.” –George F. Will, Washington Post columnist

“Blending high-mindedness with strong conservative values, he has commanded respect on both the extreme and moderate sides of the spectrum, becoming the closest thing the factionalized GOP could have to a spokesperson, a de facto opposition leader for the thinking right.” -POLITICO

Kirkus Reviews
Pulitzer Prize–winning columnist Krauthammer collects 30 years of his work. The author is well-known for the pungency and forcefulness with which he expresses his political views, which have led some, like the Financial Times, to rate him "the most influential columnist in America." His starting point is the reaffirmation of his commitment to politics, "the crooked timber of our communal lives [which] dominates everything because, in the end, everything--high and low and, most especially, high--lives or dies by politics." Krauthammer's autobiography emerges in chapters organized around themes like "Follies," "Man and God," "The Jewish Question, Again" and "Three Essays on America and the World." Educated in medicine and psychiatry, the author came to Washington, D.C., to work for the Carter administration. He began to write for the New Republic and the Washington Post and found a new direction for his career. Presenting himself as a charming polymath, he writes on a variety of subjects, not just politics--e.g., a defense of the border collie as a working breed from the American Kennel Club, where it was admitted in 1994. Krauthammer draws on his scientific training to examine the arguments surrounding both creationism and global warming, and his interest in world championship chess and mathematics helps him ably convey the magic of the convergence of science and art in monumental expressions of man's political concerns and strivings. Among other topics, Krauthammer explores Washington's Holocaust Museum, New York's Hayden Planetarium ("it wraps an enormous cube around interior curves and spheres, just as science creates the lines that give order and solidity to the bending ephemera of nature"), NASA, Winston Churchill, the Transportation Security Administration, Woody Allen, ground zero and Social Security, which is not just "a Ponzi scheme," but "also the most vital, humane and fixable of all social programs." A sparkling collection that frames each of the particular contributions anew.

Product Details

The Crown Publishing Group
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Random House
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Meet the Author

Charles Krauthammer, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, is a syndicated columnist, political commentator and physi­cian. His column is syndicated to 400 news­papers worldwide. He is a nightly panelist on Fox News’s Special Report with Bret Baier. He’s a former member of the President’s Council on Bioethics and current member of Chess Journalists of America. He lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Things That Matter: Three Decades of Passions, Pastimes, and Politics 4.2 out of 5 based on 2 ratings. 159 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Clearly, Cheryl44CP knows nothing about Dr. Charles Krauthammer.  Even those who strongly disagree with him, acknowledge that he is a brilliant man.  Calling him names adds nothing to the forum...perhaps people should read the book with an open mind and comment on the content instead of showing their ignorance.  People of all political stripes should find it interesting and informative reading. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dr. Krauthammer is a brilliant man.  He is a Harvard-educated doctor as well as a Pulitzer Prize winner.  Even if you don't agree with his politics, his intelligence cannot be disputed.  I would love to be able to have him as a dinner guest. That said Cheyl44CP is obviously unable to accept anyone whose views do not match with hers and I suspect the only prize she has ever won is a Moon Pie at a tractor pull.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very intelligent Man
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Krauthammer is a brilliant and impressive man.  It's easy enough to simply be in awe of him purely because he refused to let his physical fate dictate the rest of his life.  He is truly a hero in that sense and everyone should be able to see that regardless of your politics.  What impresses me the most is his ability to think and to translate his thoughts into a product that is easy to clearly follow.  It's a great talent and he does it with style.  For those who oppose his political views it is clear to see they don't have anything of real substance to counter with so they simply resort to pettiness.  It's a bit pathetic and quite typical.  There is no real substance to the complaint.  I suspect the anger results more from the lack of their own ability to say anything meaningful.  After all, so few people are really able to think things through these days.  To respond to the specific comment that it would have been better to focus on events in the past 4-5 years…  that simply wasn't the focus of this book.  He clearly stated that in his foreword.  Studying psychology, historical politics and how it relates to present day is essential.  If you are unable to unravel and understand the past, you'll be doomed to repeat the same mistakes in the future.  Unfortunately, when a large majority of society is comfortable letting other people make decisions for them, we may very well be heading in that direction.       
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cheryl44CP must have stumbled on this site looking for free stuff... Her comment would indicate that the most intellectual thing she does is read the back of cereal boxes...
FHT2006 More than 1 year ago
While Mr. Krauthammer and I would disagree on many policy issues and how to best revitalize America's place in this competitive world; reading such a compendium of his writing on a wide range of topics was truly enjoyable and a wonderful reminder that while we live across a vast expanse of geography we are individuals with many shared interests. It would make a great Christmas gift for anyone on your list.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Intelligent and truthful, best political commentary out there and just a brilliant man.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Charles Krauthammer is one of the most thoughtful and intelligent political analysts of our time.  When anything major hits the news, I am always looking for what Charles has to say about it.  This book is no exception ... Very well constructed perspectives informed by facts.
CasaDeColibris More than 1 year ago
Charles Krauthammer's "Things That Matter" is a retrospective ride through the headlines via the eyes of one who has observed the intricacies of life with an objective eye, acute observation skills, eloquent diagnostics into man and his place in the workings of society. All told with a voluminous, colorful vocabulary and often with tongue in cheek humor.
Noskcire More than 1 year ago
I knew this book was an accumulation of the author's columns but I really thought the content would be more current. Krauthammer's use of foreign phrases to describe an event is really meant for the New York City crowd, certainly not for me. I admire the author and respect what he is doing for conservatism but his musings on events of the past 4-5 years would be much more interesting.
Maswick More than 1 year ago
So much common sense in his articles. America needs to hear the conservative side of issues loud and clear to offset our mostly liberal media opinions. Well done, Charles!
corner More than 1 year ago
Excellent reading! Krauthammer is one of the most knowldgable and revered people of our times. It was wonderful to be able to learn more about what makes this super-intelligent and insightful man tick.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The final article in this book is the absolute best article I have ever read! It decimates liberal foriegn policy in a elegant and thorough way that asserts itself and has no counter arguement. A MUST READ
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a fun of Charles Krauthammer. I turn up the volume on my TV when it is his turn to speak on Fox Special Report . Very intelligent. always have interesting to say that Ilearn from him even at my age.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This author is a historian of political history. Exceedingly well-written, witty, and at times frightening in its revelations about current events, the essays kept me close to my dictionary and riveted to the pages from beginning to end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I would vote for Charles for President. Some intelligent common sense would do wonders for this country.
tarync More than 1 year ago
I absolutely adore Dr. Krauthammer! He is brilliant and articulate. This book should appeal to everyone, as it covers a wide variety of topics and many years of his writings. I received purchased it as a Christmas gift for my husband and imagine my surprise when I opened up a duplicate copy from my son! I passed it on to my dad and he also enjoyed it. Its a great coffee table book to pick up and read a chapter every day! Dr. Krauthammer is remarkable given his life circumstances and I look forward to hearing more from him in the future1
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The final chapter succinctly outlines the choices we face as a nation and contrasts our current path of apology and self deprication versus the possibilties we have as a nation, although sometimes flawed, but a nation that never ceases to provide relief to the world's disasters and has served as a balance for the world against the tyranous desires of countries like North Korea,Iran and perhaps in the future,China. As i read that last chapter I could help reflect on several books I read about our involvement, albeit late, in World War II. Our can do attitude at home mobilized our manufacturing capability to supply almost the entire allied effort and our GI's , numbering in the millions, sacrificed so much to save the world from the tyranny of Nazism. How sad a contrast that the determination and "pride in America" of that generation has neen replaced by the apologetic, self doubt that has become a hallmark of the current administration.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Charles Krauthammer has for the longest time been my favourite commentator. Therefore I had to read his book. I will not be able to say enough in his favour. Looking forward to his next book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book could serve as a guide to critical thinking. Simply brilliant!
mwdv More than 1 year ago
Dr. Kraauthammer combines his clear, lucid thinking with beautifully written prose. The book covers topics from world and national politics to pastimes like baseball. Every essay sparkles.
Debborah More than 1 year ago
This man is brilliant, wise and in forward motion. His book reveals how he did not, would not, let his set back take him down. Instead, he went on the be one of the most amazing people of our time and anytime for that matter. This book deserves to be a best seller.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent read. As an "Independent," I find Krauthammer a "stand-alone" in his ability to add  rational, provocative, intelligent thought to current political narratives. Highly recommend. 
TedJBologna1 More than 1 year ago
What A good read! The uniformed wouldn't understand it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dr. Krauthammer is one of the most interesting, erudite people I've read or heard, and this book proves it. A discussion between him and Buckley would have been interesting.