Although we haven’t reached the end of May, I have decided to hand out my second annual "Book of the Year" award. With over seven months to go, there is virtually no chance that a book as good as The Party of Death by Ramesh Ponnuru will hit the shelves by the end of 2006.
Ponnuru begins by educating the public on an issue that is both profoundly important and woefully misunderstood. Although that issue is abortion, one of the most talked about issues in America, it has remained misunderstood with the help of several decades of false media reporting, especially concerning the true extent of a woman’s so-called right to choose.
Toward the end of remedying that problem, Ponnuru tells the reader exactly what Roe did and did not say. And that is why Democrats and Republicans alike need to read this book. It will let both sides know just what they are arguing about.
But don’t count on much attention to The Party of Death coming from liberal readers – the ones who perhaps need to read it most. Despite its title, this is not an emotional book. It is instead a slow moving and logically compelling book, which might not be accessible to those who base policy decisions on emotion rather than logic and evidence.
Indeed, on nearly every page Ponnuru makes the kind of logically compelling remarks one expects to encounter once a chapter in a normal book. That, of course, means that this is no normal book. It also means there are about 250 good reasons to read it.
Readers should not worry if they find themselves getting bogged down by the sheer frequency of the author’s profound statements. Almost out of sympathy for the reader, he occasionally gives them a break with succinct summaries of his most important points before shifting gears. At the end of chapter three, for example, Ponnuru offers this summary of the view of abortion held by what he calls the (Barbara) Boxer Democrats:
Abortion should be legal throughout pregnancy. Teenage girls should not have to inform their parents about it, much less get their consent. Nobody who would let the voters deviate from these positions should be allowed on the court. The Senate shouldn’t even be allowed to hold a vote on such people. The law should not treat the murders of pregnant women as double homicides because it might lead people to look more negatively at abortion.