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George Will’s latest book, a 600-page defense of what he considers the foundational principles of conservatism, never mentions the name of Donald J. Trump.

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On this week’s podcast, Will discusses his new book, “The Conservative Sensibility,” and says that the sensibility as he defines it is currently “in the ranks of the homeless.”

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“It’s a persuasion without a party, which is fine,” he says. “It may have to hope that the Republican Party, when it ceases being a cult surrounding the particular personality of the 45th president, that it will snap back. I’m not sure it will. But for the moment, it is homeless.”


David Maraniss visits the podcast this week to discuss his new book, “A Good American Family: The Red Scare and My Father,” which examines the paranoia and brutality of the McCarthy era through the lens of his father’s experience.

Maraniss is well known as a biographer of Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Vince Lombardi and other subjects.

“I’d spent a lot of my career studying people who were strangers to me at the beginning and became very familiar to me,” Maraniss says. “In almost every case I realized that I probably knew more about their families than they did, by the time I was done. I was certain of that in many cases. And yet it got me thinking a lot about — well, everybody’s like that. We all have myths that are passed along from generation to generation, and very few people have biographers going back to look at what really happened. And I realized that I should do that with my own family.”

Also on this week’s episode, Alexandra Alter discusses how literary fiction is increasingly borrowing from the horror genre to explore the fears and anxieties of modern motherhood; and Gregory Cowles, Tina Jordan and John Williams talk about what people are reading. Pamela Paul is the host.

Here are the books discussed in this week’s “What We’re Reading”:

We would love to hear your thoughts about this episode, and about the Book Review’s podcast in general. You can send them to [email protected].


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