It is impossible to read Mark Steyn for more than a couple of paragraphs without encountering a startling aperçu, formulated in arresting terms and usually with a felicitous wit surpassing the highest level of professional comedians and punch-liners. Whether in straight works of reportage, such as his immortal treatment of the events around the impeachment of President Clinton (“Air Force One is back in its hangar”), or more ambitious analyses such as he provides in his new book, After America, he always exposes problems with greater clarity and in starker (and more entertaining) terms than others have.1

Steyn (and I should reveal that we are friends and have often been associated with the same...


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