He was a movie star who played Moses and Ben-Hur, but some of his most famous roles took place on the stage of politics, writes Marc Eliot in Charlton Heston: Hollywood’s Last Icon.

In a 10-minute conversation with The Bookmonger, Eliot explains what make Heston such a compelling figure on screen, picks his favorite Heston movie (it’s a surprise), and describes Heston’s friendship with Ronald Reagan.

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Fifty years ago, the New York Review of Books savaged Making It, the 1967 memoir by Norman Podhoretz–and now, amazingly, the New York Review’s book imprint is bringing out a new edition.

In a 10-minute conversation with The Bookmonger, Podhoretz explains what his half-century-old book has to say to readers now, whether he was surprised by the offer to republish it, and how he became a neoconservative. He also discusses Commentary magazine, which he edited for many years, and reveals what he thinks of the performance of its current editor: his son, John Podhoretz.

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They plotted a literary revolution. Both became famous in their time, but only one endures in the popular imagination today, says James McGrath Morris, author of The Ambulance Drivers: Hemingway, Dos Passos, and a Friendship Made and Lost in War.

In a 10-minute conversation with The Bookmonger, Morris describes why Ernest Hemingway and John Dos Passos drove ambulances during the First World War rather than served as soldiers, how they became pals, and which of their books are worth reading today. He also describes the poltical journey of Dos Passos, who began life on the pacifist left and finished it as a contributor to National Review.

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What does Herbert Hoover have to say to 21st-century conservatives? Quite a bit, according to George Nash, who has written an introduction to a new edition of American Individualism, first published almost a century ago.

In a 10-minute conversation with The Bookmonger, Nash describes how Hoover became a believer in American exceptionalism and why so many historians regard his presidency as a failure. Toward the end, Nash–who also wrote The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America–explains what Trumpism means for the conservative movement.

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It sets us apart from animals, and it’s the subject of Roger Scruton‘s new book: On Human Nature.

In a 10-minute conversation with The Bookmonger, Scruton explains how his short volume differs from Edward O. Wilson’s influential book of the same name, whether human nature ever changes, and how science has the potential to dehumanize.

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How can orthodox Christians flourish in a hostile modern world? Rod Dreher proposes a way in The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation.

In a 10-minute conversation with The Bookmonger, Dreher pitches his idea, explains its inspiration, and insists that he doesn’t mean conservatives should flock to monasteries. He also tells us whether he still considers himself a “crunchy con”–the subject of his first book.

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Confronted by Russian aggression, Islamic terrorism, and rising nationalism, Europe is in an existential crisis, says James Kirchick, author of The End of Europe: Dictators, Demagogues, and the Coming Dark Age.

In a 10-minute conversation with The Bookmonger, Kirchick explains why Americans must care more about the continent’s fate as well as which threat worries him the most. Then he describes a worst-case scenario for the future of Europe.

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This big book of nearly 1,200 pages includes everything from Beowulf’s time–and that’s why they call it The Complete Old English Poems, translated by Craig Williamson and with an introduction by Tom Shippey.

In a 10-minute conversation with The Bookmonger, Shippey explains why this old literature is still worth reading and how it influenced J.R.R. Tolkien. He also discusses the Anglo-Saxon fondness for riddles and describes the paradox of how he became both a scholar of these aged works as well as the Wall Street Journal’s science-fiction book critic.

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It’s time to rediscover Booker T. Washington, says Kenneth M. Hamilton, author of Booker T. Washington in American Memory.

In a 10-minute conversation with The Bookmonger, Hamilton explains why Washington was the most important and influential African American of his time, why so many people mourned his death, why his reputation recently has fallen on hard times–and how we may need his message now more than ever.

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How should Americans love their country? Steven F. Hayward offers answers in Patriotism Is Not Enough: Harry Jaffa, Walter Berns, and the Arguments that Redefined America.

In a 10-minute conversation with The Bookmonger, Hayward explains the important of Jaffa and Berns, describes why they clashed, and reveals how their disputes shaped the course of modern conservative thought. He also gives a refreshingly brief answer to a vexing question: What’s a Straussian?

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American culture is like an open sewer, spewing waste and corrupting everything it touches, says Anthony Esolen, author of Out of the Ashes: Rebuilding American Culture.

In a 10-minute conversation with The Bookmonger, Esolen describes the decay of American civilization, why children should play outside more, and how we must recover a proper sense of manhood and womanhood. He ends on a hopeful note, offering advice on how to begin to recover what we’ve lost.

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What’s so bad about Common Core? Joy Pullmann explains in her new book, The Education Invasion: How Common Core Fights Parents for Control of American Kids.

In a 10-minute conversation with The Bookmonger, Pullmann explains why “accountability” and “standards” are so often meaningless buzzwords, how parents can tell if a school is good, and what the Trump administration should do to improve schooling.

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What’s the case for classical studies in the 21st century? Eric Adler offers an answer in Classics, the Culture Wars, and Beyond.

In a 10-minute conversation with The Bookmonger, Adler says that there’s more value in the study of classics than most people realize, but that scholars often don’t know how to respond to public interest in their field. He also describes the reputation of Victor Davis Hanson, probably the best-known classicist in the United States but also a controversial figure among his academic peers.

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What does Alexis de Tocqueville have to say about 21st-century America? Enough to fill a new book, according to James Poulos, author of The Art of Being Free: How Alexis de Tocqueville Can Save Us from Ourselves.

In a 10-minute conversation with The Bookmonger, Poulos explains why Tocqueville looms so large in the American mind, how he first came to know this 19th-century writer, and what advice Tocqueville would give to President Trump.

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Edward Jay Epstein says he hasn’t written a “whodunit” but rather a “howdunit,” in How America Lost Its Secrets: Edward Snowden, the Man and the Theft.

In a 10-minute conversation with The Bookmonger, Epstein discusses whether Snowden is a whistle-blowing idealist or a traitor to his country. He also describes the one question he would love to pose to the man who now lives somewhere in Russia, and suggests that there’s a lesson in all of this for President Trump.

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What’s the meaning of meaning? Now there’s a heady question–but one that Emily Esfahani Smith tackles with clear-headed, narrative prose in The Power of Meaning: Crafting a Life that Matters.

In a 10-minute conversation with The Bookmonger, Smith discusses the ingredients of a meaningful life, argues that happiness is overrated, and describes how the rise of social media and the decline of religious faith have shaped the modern search for meaning.

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It sounds like the subtitle of an Indiana Jones movie, but The Lost City of the Monkey God is the name of the new nonfiction book by Douglas Preston.

In a 10-minute conversation with The Bookmonger, Preston explains what it’s like to find the ruins of an unknown city in an impenetrable jungle full of venom-spitting snakes and prowling jaguars, how he and his team even know to look for the place in the most remote regions of Honduras, and who were the people who lived there centuries ago.

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Scholars constantly discover new information and offer new insights on William Shakespeare, says Gary Taylor, editor of The New Oxford Shakespeare.

In a 10-minute conversation with The Bookmonger, Taylor explains why so many people regard Shakespeare as the greatest author in the English language, how researchers have used big data to learn about Shakespeare’s collaborations with Christopher Marlowe and other writers, and why he likes Othello so much.

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William F. Buckley, Jr. called him “the greatest English novelist of the [20th] century”–and so does Philip Eade, author of Evelyn Waugh: A Life Revisited.

In a 10-minute conversation with The Bookmonger, Eade describes Waugh’s legacy, picks his best books, and explains his conservatism. Also, he answers the most important question of all: When Evelyn Waugh married Evelyn Gardner, did she take his name?

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Entrepreneurs are under attack, says Dick M. Carpenter II, co-author of Bottleneckers: Gaming the Government for Power and Private Profit.

In a 10-minute conversation with The Bookmonger, Carpenter explains that “bottleneckers” are creating cartels to keep people from becoming everything from hairbraiders to taxi drivers. He discusses how conservatives and liberals might come together to oppose these crony capitalists, also also describes how the new technologies of the sharing economy are helping Uber and Airbnb redefine the rules of modern business.

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They’re unelected, unaccountable, and out of control–and Paul D. Moreno takes them on in The Bureaucrat Kings: The Origins and Underpinnings of America’s Bureaucratic State.

In a 10-minute conversation with The Bookmonger, Moreno describes how and why Congress has allowed the administration state to grow in size and strength for more than a century–and what citizens and statesmen can do right now to recover what we’ve lost.

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Bernard Cornwell seeks to retell the history of England’s founding through his historical novels–and the adventure continues in his latest, The Flame Bearer.

In a 10-minute conversation with The Bookmonger, Cornwell discusses why Alfred the Great was so great, how his main character is loosely based on one of his own ancient ancestors, and for how long he thinks he’ll keep on adding new titles to this current series of books.

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From the Peloponnesian Wars and Punic Wars of antiquity to America’s 20th-century confrontation with the Soviet Union, we have much to learn from the clashes of the past, says James Lacey, editor of Great Strategic Rivalries: From the Classical World to the Cold War.

In a 10-minute conversation with The Bookmonger, Lacey describes the rules of rivalries, from how they start to how they end, and discusses possible major rivalries of the 21st century. He also provides advice on how the United States can prepare for the inevitable showdown.

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Art and politics always have mixed, but lately the art world has surrendered to the toxic cult of race, gender, and class, says Sohrab Ahmari in The New Philistines: How Identity Politics Disfigure the Arts.

In a 10-minute conversation with The Bookmonger, Ahmari explains how a rotten production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream compelled him to write his book, how contemporary artistic treatments of race differ from the sophistication of Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn, and where Americans can find great art today.

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It’s the most mysterious manuscript in the world, says Raymond Clemens, editor of The Voynich Manuscript.

In a 10-minute conversation with The Bookmonger, Clemens describes why people are so fascinated by this medieval document that has puzzled cryptographers and sparked imaginations. He also explains how it came into the possession of Yale’s rare books library and why Yale University Press has now issued a photo-facsimile edition of this beguiling book.

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