News & Media

The Twelve Books for Christmas

Gift buying can be stressful, but you can never go wrong (well, almost) by showing someone you’ve taken the time to think about new ideas, stories, or eras that they may enjoy exploring.

In that spirit, we’ve compiled the Twelve Books for Christmas, a guide for a range of readers on your gift buying list: the history buff, the college student looking for exposure to different perspectives, the media critic, or simply the intellectually curious at heart. The one thing the books all have in common is a link to Bradley. Some were published by Encounter Books, which the foundation has long supported, or were authored by a Bradley Prize winner or grantee.

We hope you’ll have fun perusing the list and purchasing one for someone this season.


The Twelve Books for Christmas -
A 2021 Bradley Holiday Book Buying Guide


critical_temper_FC-310x448The Critical Temper, by Roger Kimball, On its 40th anniversary, The New Criterion has brought together a winning collection of essays demonstrating the range and acuity that has established the magazine as America’s foremost review of culture and the arts. Edited by Kimball, this spiritual Baedeker is a timely repository of writing about the figures, controversies, and challenges that define our life in the first decades of the twenty-first century.


Bad News boook coverBad News, by Batya Ungar-Sargon, reveals how American journalism underwent a status revolution over the 20th century, as journalists shifted their focus away from the working class and towards the concerns of their affluent, highly educated peers.



Religious Liberty in Crisis book coverReligious Liberty in Crisis, by Ken Starr, explores the crises that threaten religious liberty in America. He examines the ways well-meaning government action sometimes undermines the religious liberty of the people, and how the Supreme Court has ultimately provided us protection from such forms of government overreach.



1620 book cover1620, by Peter Wood. When and where was America founded? Was it in Virginia in 1619, when a pirate ship landed a group of captive Africans at Jamestown? So asserted the New York Times in August 2019 when it announced its 1619 Project. This book sums up what the critics have said and argues that the proper starting point for the American story is 1620, with the signing of the Mayflower Compact.


Robert E Lee book coverRobert E. Lee: A Life, by Allen C. Guelzo, is the definitive biography of the general in all his complexity, following him from his refined upbringing in Virginia high society, to his long career in the U.S. Army, his agonized decision to side with Virginia when it seceded from the Union, and his leadership during the Civil War.




The Last King book coverThe Last King of America, by Andrew Roberts.The last king of America, George III, has been ridiculed as a complete disaster who frittered away the colonies and went mad in his old age. The truth is much more nuanced and fascinating – and will completely change the way readers and historians view his reign and legacy.



Rigged book coverRigged, by Mollie Hemingway, is the definitive account of the 2020 election. Based on Hemingway's exclusive interviews with campaign officials, reporters, Supreme Court justices, and President Trump himself, it exposes the fraud and cynicism behind the Democrats' historic power-grab.



The Dying Citizen book coverThe Dying Citizen, by Victor Davis Hanson. Human history is full of the stories of peasants, subjects, and tribes. Yet the concept of the “citizen” is historically rare—and was among America’s most valued ideals for over two centuries. But without shock treatment, warns historian Hanson, American citizenship as we have known it may soon vanish.



Maverick-A Biography of Thomas Sowell-1Maverick: A Biography of Thomas Sowell, by Jason Riley. In the first-ever biography of Sowell, Riley gives this iconic thinker his due and responds to the detractors. Maverick showcases Sowell's most significant writings and traces the events that shaped his ideas and resulted in a black orphan from the Jim Crow South becoming one of our foremost public intellectuals.


BLM book cover

BLM: The Making of a New Marxist Revolution, by Mike Gonzalez. Certainly, no person of good will could object to the proposition that “black lives matter” as much as any other human life. But Americans need to understand how their laudable moral concern is being exploited for purposes that many of them would not approve, as this book examines.



Woke Capital book cover-1

The Dictatorship of Woke Capital, by Stephen Soukup. For the better part of a century, the Left has been waging a slow, methodical battle for control of the institutions of Western Civilization. During most of that time, business remained the last redoubt for those who believed in free people, free markets, and the criticality of private property. However, that has changed and Soukup examines why and how to fight back.



Common Ground Book Cover-1

A Search for Common Ground, Conversations about the Toughest Questions in K-12 Education, by Rick Hess and Pedro Noguera. The authors, who have often fallen on opposing sides of the ideological aisle over the past couple decades, candidly talk through their differences on some of the toughest issues in K-12 education today – including school choice, testing, diversity, and privatization.