James Burnham: Marxist, 1933–1940

James Burnham: Marxist, 1933–1940

By Francis P. Sempa James Burnham (1905–1987), who became a leading anti-communist and prominent intellectual figure in American conservatism, began his professional intellectual career as a Marxist. His early writings appeared in leading Marxist and socialist...
Niebuhr on the Crisis of Our Civilization

Niebuhr on the Crisis of Our Civilization

By Francis P. Sempa Reinhold Niebuhr (1892–1971) was both a theologian (teaching at Union Theological Seminary for over thirty years) and a public intellectual. The American diplomat and realist historian George F. Kennan called Niebuhr “the father of us all,” meaning...
James Burnham and the Asia-Pacific: 1941–1978

James Burnham and the Asia-Pacific: 1941–1978

By Francis P. Sempa James Burnham (1905–1987) was an American political philosopher and public intellectual who traveled the intellectual journey from Marxism (the Trotskyite version) to conservatism. When he broke with Marxism in the late 1930s, he began writing for...
A Life in Liberal Internationalism

A Life in Liberal Internationalism

Our Man: Richard Holbrooke and the End of the American Century by George Packer. Knopf, 2019. Hardcover, 608 pages, $30. Reviewed by Francis P. Sempa Richard Holbrooke’s life and career as a member of the American foreign policy establishment symbolized the decline...
All the History That Fits a Narrative

All the History That Fits a Narrative

The Final Act: The Helsinki Accords and the Transformation of the Cold War by Michael Cotey Morgan, Princeton University Press, 2018. Hardcover, 424 pages, $35. Reviewed by Francis P. Sempa People have a tendency, when they expend much time and energy working on a...

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