For 20 years, the Claremont Review of Books has been the gold standard for conservative criticism and political analysis. Now the CRB comes to the podcast world with a new interview show hosted by Dr. Spencer Klavan, the magazine's assistant editor. As each new issue comes out, Spencer phones up authors whose essays have prompted deeper reflection and discussion. Over a drink and a copy of the latest CRB, he'll chat with the leading minds on the Right about what's going on in politics and literary culture. New interviews appear once a month, and--as a bonus--Spencer will sit down once per issue with his boss and friend Dr. Charles Kesler, editor of the CRB, to discuss the major themes that have arisen in the news cycle and their deeper implications for the state of the nation.
Charles Moore on Conservatism in England and America
29:39Celebrated journalist Lord Charles Moore joins Spencer to discuss his CRB essay on the history and prospects of Thatcherism and its implications for modern conservative movements on both sides of the pond. On the one hand, the forces arrayed against Thatcher's legacy have never been stronger. On the other hand, the attitudes she represented--including the "commonsense view that people would probably be better at running their own affairs than governments would"--just won't go away. In the age of Trump and Brexit, but also of globalist bureaucrats and Conservative ineptitude, what is Thatcherism's future?
Fall 2023 Review with Charles Kesler
38:39Editor Charles Kesler and Associate Editor Spencer Klavan meet to peruse the fall CRB. Kesler’s editor’s note about the intellectual legacy of Henry Kissinger considers whether foreign policy realism is gaining steam on the world stage as multiple wars rage on. Mark Helprin’s essay on the grinding conflict in Israel takes a practical look at the situation, and Bill Voegeli’s essay articulates the predicament of the modern Left since October 7. Plus much more from the fall CRB.
Christmas Special: Algis Valiunas on The Enduring T.S. Eliot
28:35Algis Valiunas, a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and contributing editor at The New Atlantis, joins Spencer to discuss the great modernist and Anglican convert T.S. Eliot. In the spirit of the season, Valiunas explores how a mixture of tragedy, heartache, and providence led Eliot gradually from the sorrow and discontent expressed in his jarring masterpiece, The Waste Land, on through to conversion and the searing brilliance of Christian poems like Four Quartets.
The Future of AI in Hollywood
34:44Martha Bayles, frequent contributor to the CRB and prolific author and essayist, joins Spencer to discuss the perils and pitfalls presented by AI, especially as it pertains to the entertainment industry. Bayles elucidates the challenge of AI in entertainment as it emerged during the SAG-AFTRA strike. Will the strike’s goals be met in the long term, or is an AI future inevitable? Plus: reflections on how digital delivery systems have changed the media landscape, for better and for worse.
Summer 2023 Review with Charles Kesler
37:33Editor Charles Kesler and Associate Editor Spencer Klavan convene to survey the summer CRB. Kesler's editor's note about the decline of West Virginia University proves timely as universities across the country reveal their funding priorities. Christopher Flannery’s cover essay on President James A. Garfield introduces a neglected American statesman, while analyses of everything from affirmative action to modernist poetry round out the issue. Plus: some new authors make their CRB debut.
Wilfred McClay on Understanding the Midwest
29:14Wilfred M. McClay, the Victor Davis Hanson Chair of Classical History and Western Civilization at Hillsdale College, joins Spencer to discuss the virtues and the public perception of the Midwest. Professor McClay illuminates the "reservoir of idealism" hidden away in the Midwest's often unexplored but fascinating history. Plus: a deep dive into why the Midwest is so misunderstood.
Spring 2023 Review with Charles Kesler
32:44Editor Charles Kesler and Associate Editor Spencer Klavan sit down to rifle through the Spring CRB. There's lots to unpack, including but not limited to: Kesler's editor's note on the growing ideological divide among the states, Christopher Caldwell's investigation of unrest in France, and a new biography of MLK, Jr. Plus: incisive commentary on the Supreme Court's history with affirmative action, and a whistle-stop tour through the greatest hits of country music's first ladies.
Jesse Merriam on The Affirmative Action Machine
30:08Spencer is joined by Jesse Merriam, a Washington Fellow at The Claremont Institute’s Center for the American Way of Life who specializes in anti-discrimination and affirmative-action law, for a very timely episode. The two discuss the playing field of affirmative action and how diversity came to define our constitutional order, as well as possible solutions. Merriam outlines what is likely to come next in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision.
Michael Knowles on Trans Ideology & Our Uncertain Future
36:49Spencer is joined by Michael Knowles, celebrated host of “The Michael Knowles Show” at the Daily Wire, “The Book Club” at PragerU, and “Verdict with Ted Cruz.” They discuss the manic decline of the West and its long history, as well as its present manifestation in the form of trans radicalism. Fortunately, Knowles and Spencer also talk about how to cure what ails us, using selected portions from Knowles’ review of Spencer's book, “How to Save the West: Ancient Wisdom for 5 Modern Crises.”
Winter 2022/23 Review with Charles Kesler
36:18Editor Charles Kesler and Associate Editor Spencer Klavan discuss the stimulating new winter 2022/23 CRB. Listen in for reflections on Dr. Kesler's own editor's note and the speech from which it was adapted, discussing the continuity between today's "New Right" and the young conservative movement of the 1950s and '60s. Plus: a survey of ten more CRB essays, covering topics from Benjamin Netanyahu's autobiography to the LGTQQIAAP2S+ movement, and a teaser for the next can't-miss episode of The Close Read.