Timeliness and relevance is on the minds of editors at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution Press, with two new books that touch on hot topics of the day: Clint Bolick’s Two-Fer: Electing a President and a Supreme Court, about the importance of the coming election in terms of the Supreme Court, and Fouad Ajami’s The Syrian Rebellion, about events in the Middle East.
These titles are being showcased at the Hoover booth, and both are more mainstream in their goals than the usual titles at the press, whose mission is to disseminate the intellectual work of Hoover fellows. The press’s strong bent is toward such subjects as individual freedom and rule of law, American individualism, growth of government, and issues of fiscal responsibility.
“These two books are focused to a broader readership, and both have timely subject matter,” says Julie L. Ruggiero, director of media relations in the office of public affairs. “The recent argument over Obamacare has brought into sharp focus the importance—and pointed internal division—of the Court,” Ruggiero says. “With Obamacare and the Supreme Court arguing its constitutionality, Clint’s book is about a subject that resonates with people, something they can talk about at the kitchen table. It’s not pie in the sky. And Ajami talks about all that’s gone on in the Middle East and the tension there, and how it affects our foreign policy.”
Two-Fer argues that Supreme Court appointments are one of a president’s most lasting legacies. “The Supreme Court is divided 5–4 on many of the most important issues of our time, from federalism and the powers of the federal government to gun rights, school choice, affirmative action, and property rights,” Bolick says. “The switch of a single vote could dramatically alter the balance on the Court.” Three justices, he points out—two conservatives and one liberal—will be in their 80s during the next presidential term, and the next president will likely have the chance either to reinforce the narrow conservative majority on the Court or to shift the Court sharply to the left. “In a very real sense, Americans will be voting this November not just for a president but for a Supreme Court,” he says.
Ajami, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, a MacArthur fellow, and an expert on Arab and Islamic politics, U.S. foreign policy, and contemporary international history, says his book “wrote itself” as the Syrian people fought for their liberty. “I was born and raised in Lebanon, next door to Syria. In the Syrian refugee camps on the Turkey-Syria border, I was treated to tales of unimaginable grief and noble stoicism. I thought I would provide this chronicle of a people tyrannized and betrayed. This book is a small debt I owed the good people of Deraa, Homs, and Hama.”
Both authors will be in the Hoover Institution Press booth (3068) this morning to sign their books—Clint Bolick at 9:30 a.m. and Fouad Ajami at 10:30 a.m.