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Top Five (or so) Books I’ve Read in the Year of COVID-19

Johann Wilhelm Preyer, Still Life with Champagne, 1885.

960 words

Well, 2020 is one heck of a year. It’s certainly been the most unusual one I’ve lived through. I’ve thrived this year. It boils down to better use of time. I am fortunate that my day job has gone to teleworking status. As a result, the morning commute is from the bedroom to my makeshift household office. I don’t need to spend a penny on gas or a second on the road. Additionally, now that I’m home, instead of the endless office drama and trivia, I focus more on work.

Then the chores are easier to manage too. The laundry moves from the washer to the dryer between the virtual budget meeting and the virtual risk management assessment session. The grass gets mowed over lunch.

I’ve got debts extinguished, silver in the safe, more stocks in the portfolio, and more quality time with the wife and kids. I get more exercise in and have lost weight. So much, in fact, that I’m too embarrassed to publish the number here. There’s no more grabbing fast food at 7:00 PM on the way home from the office because I’m too tired to cook and the wife is driving a kid somewhere. I’ve also increased my output for Counter-Currents. Nearly one article a week this year.

There are two drawbacks to 2020, though. First, Donald Trump lost the election due to fraud. It’s terribly frustrating. There is always a price for dishonesty. We have slouched into a low-level civil war. The narrow vine of hope to which I cling is that “Senile Joe” Biden did help pass the 1994 Crime Bill which was and is an outstanding law. Perhaps he won’t be totally anti-white as Obama was in his dreary second term.

Note: If Biden’s “outreach to conservatives” is real, and you get “outreached” to, extend your hand back. You can make a huge difference being a good citizen. Don’t spitefully disconnect and do something stupid. Stand up straight and tall. Dress well.

Nonetheless, I weep for my country.

Second, I’m stressed out about how many people didn’t come through this quarantine well. Restaurants have gone under, brick-and-mortar stores shuttered, the rich seemed to have gotten richer and the poor poorer. I only hold out hope that I’m wrong and in the long run, that society will use technology and adjust so we all become better off. A crisis is both a danger and an opportunity.

I’ve also been reading. I’d like to discuss five books, or more accurately, book clusters that I’ve read.

5. Anglo Expansion

  • James Belich, Replenishing the Earth: The Settler Revolution and the Rise of the Anglo-World
  • Hackett Fischer and James C. Kelly, Bound Away: Virginia and the Westward Movement
  • Elwyn Robinson, History of North Dakota
  • Herbert S. Schell and John E. Miller, History of South Dakota

All these books show how the Anglo-Saxon people as well as the Europeans who joined them expanded. In Bound Away, the authors document just how important the Virginians were in exploring and settling the frontier. Many of the Virginians were from the upper class of England and felt that it was their duty to provide leadership in the United States. The history of the two Dakotas shows how Anglo settlement adapted to a semi-arid climate and created two prosperous states. The founders of the Dakotas, “were of the older American stock and came from New England, New York, or the states of the Old Northwest.” (Robinson, p. 199). Yankees can complement the Virginians!

4. Work

  • David Halberstam, The Reckoning
  • Frederick Winslow Taylor, The Principles of Scientific Management
  • Diane Vaughan, The Challenger Launch Decision: Risky Technology, Culture, and Deviance at NASA

Scientific Management shows how to work smarter. The other two books show how things can go poorly. Great reads to improve your performance at the day job. Read my discussion of Taylor here. Read my discussion of Vaughan here.

3. America’s Frontier:

  • Greg Grandin, The End of the Myth: From the Frontier to the Border Wall in the Mind of America

To sum up this excellent book, America’s frontier wars aren’t being won anymore. Therefore, pressures within the United States cannot be vented outwards. We now must directly deal with the race question. Hence the low-level civil war. Read my review here.

2. The New Cold War

  • Rory Medcalf, Indo-Pacific Empire: China, America and the Contest for the World’s Pivotal Region

In addition to having a low-level civil war on our hands, America is involved in Cold War II. This time it is with China. The above book tells the history of how it all came to be. Much of the strategy in this vast competition is directed by America’s Japanese and Australian allies. From an America First perspective, I’ll add that the bitter harvest of deindustrialization and a short-sighted trade policy is upon us. One thing you can do now is to make sure that Hong Kong residents and anti-Communist Chinese stay in China to be a problem for the Communist Party over there rather than escape to here and get involved in anti-white activity.

1. The Two Constitutions

  • Christopher Caldwell, The Age of Entitlement: America Since the Sixties

This book shows the history of how we got to the low-level civil war. There are two constitutions. The one we officially believe in and follow is an illicit one that truly calls the shots: the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The illicit Constitution wasn’t drafted by Boomers, it was created by valorous white men who’d been field grade officers during the Second World War. This book provides a target for pro-white activists to focus their energy upon. Get rid of the 1964 Civil War Act and we just might get our country back. This is the most important book published this year. Read my review here.



  1. Autobot
    Posted December 31, 2020 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    Thanks for posting this. I read the Christopher Caldwell book too—everybody’s reading it! The others sound muy interesante too. I myself might read the End of the Myth book. That’s what’s happening, all over the world, there’s no place to run anymore.

    I also read Jewish Century by slekine, which is excellent and helped me to understand the Jews in the twentieth century with much greater resolution. Spokesmen for god by Edith Hamilton, about the prophets of the Old Testament, and some poetry criticism by HR Leavis, which did a lot for me. I’m a very slow reader.

    • Lord Shang
      Posted January 2, 2021 at 12:35 am | Permalink

      Be aware Grandin is a major leftist.

      • Autobot
        Posted January 2, 2021 at 5:55 am | Permalink

        My god that book is incredibly leftist. I don’t see how the author of this article could stomach it.

  2. Weave
    Posted December 31, 2020 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    Dear Sir, I am glad to hear how well this year has worked out for you and I do not begrudge you an inch. Your happy circumstances likely color your willingness to grab good ole Joe’s (unlikely as hell) outstretched hand. My husband has been out of work for 6 months, however, and my ability to dress well for that occasion has diminished and I am flabbergasted at your suggestion to do such. In fact, let me get this straight: his team rapes us of a fair election then I am supposed to slap a smile on my face while my family likely starves and get on with it? No thanks. How about you add Revelation to your reading list and get yourself ready to take the hand offered you?

  3. HamburgerToday
    Posted December 31, 2020 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    If Biden’s “outreach to conservatives” is real, and you get “outreached” to, extend your hand back. You can make a huge difference being a good citizen. Don’t spitefully disconnect and do something stupid.


    Spitefully reject all attempts to co-opt your Whiteness. Unless they’re coming to you to join you in White Naitonalism or, at the very least, formal racial separatism, you’re not getting anything for legitimizing the regime.

    Stand up for yourself.

    Play the long game of delegitimization.

    They must lose so that we can win.

  4. Weave
    Posted December 31, 2020 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    “Don’t spitefully disconnect and do something stupid.” Please elaborate. I realize everyone else’s circumstances have not affected your enjoyment of yours, but I am really curious if you’ve lost your mind in addition to all the weight. So as long as you and yours remain comfortable you don’t want anybody rocking your applecart? You really should have left out just that one extremely stupid and out of touch paragraph. Read the room, buddy.

  5. Lord Shang
    Posted January 2, 2021 at 1:10 am | Permalink

    MVdC: “Get rid of the 1964 Civil War Act and we just might get our country back.”

    I’d like de Camp to elaborate on this assertion, because either his meaning went over my head, or he really doesn’t understand one of the first principles of racial nationalism. This statement, taken literally, implies that legislation and structures of power and/or incentives are what have poisoned race relations and led to our current Cold Civil War (and cold race war, with periodic eruptions into one-sided hot war when that side feels sufficiently aggrieved at the outcome of some fellow tribesman’s altercation with the police). This is what conservatives believe (and not by any means all of them), not white nationalists. Race realists (a category which includes all white nationalists, but not the opposite: there are many race realists – eg, Charles Murray, Steve Sailer, John Derbyshire, maybe Ron Unz, etc – who are not WNs) hold that diversity is inherently and virtually inevitably productive of racial conflicts. The 1964 Civil Rights Act and ensuing diversitist ‘lawfare’ regime have certainly aggravated the situation. But merely overturning the Act (and fat chance of that!) and its dependent bureaucrats is not going to eliminate or substantially change the fundamental, conflict-leading reality of genetically (and culturally) alien peoples coercively integrated into the same territory and polity. Nor would it be sufficient to allow whites to take back America. Take it back how? 40% of the US population, 50% under age 16, is nonwhite. That ship has sailed; it left port no later than Y2K.

    I thought all contemporary white nationalists understood this. Yes, we must use every opportunity and means to Educate for Whiteness and Fight for the White. But a durable order which realizes the 14 Words – and that is OUR ultimate goal – can only come about through total racial separation and new (white) sovereignty. Abolishing, say, the EEOC would be wonderful for white businessmen and some white workers, but reforming a racially dead nation won’t get us much closer to the Ethnostate.

  6. margot metroland
    Posted January 2, 2021 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    A real tour-de-force, Morris, and I confess I haven’t read any of these, except the Caldwell, which I’ve gone over a couple of times. A number would appeal very much to me and my other half.

  7. Eric
    Posted January 3, 2021 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    Dear Morris,
    Thank you for putting this list together. I enjoy reading your book reviews. I think this is a great idea and you should continue it. I would like you to list the top five worst books you read this year.

    Could you ask Dr. Johnson to make this a permanent feature of Counter-Currents Publishing (CCP). Each writer should list his or her top five book favorite and top five worst books they read that year. Reviewing books about controversial or politically incorrect subjects is a great way to encourage debate and attract attention from the public.

    I have a suggestion for you and the other writers. You should provide a link to the publishing house that published the book. Dr. Johnson will not provide links to or Barnes &

    Thank you for all the hard work you put in to your articles and book reviews.

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