Every Krauthammer column is a joy to read—whether you agree or disagree with his particular position on a specific political issue or personality—because he combined graceful writing, compelling logic, brilliant argument, and well-reasoned and thought-provoking analysis ... Daniel Krauthammer...writes a splendid introduction and moving eulogy of his father ... The longest essay in The Point of It All ... is almost Spenglerian in its pessimism about the West. One can only hope that in this instance, unlike most others, Krauthammer’s gifts of observation and analysis failed him.
As expected, there are numerous treats and small treasures in The Point of it All ... Aside from...valuable insights, the meat of this book lies in what might be called 'The Krauthammer Doctrine.' There are several essays scattered throughout about the Cold War, and the world order installed and created by Harry S. Truman, confirmed and established by former Presidents Dwight Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy, and revived in the 80’s by Ronald Reagan, their successor in spirit ... Ever the psychiatrist (his former profession) Krauthammer has numerous insights into Cold War behaviors that elude other men ... This book should be read by every American, lest illusions grab hold of them, too.
It’s a cold argument, and The Point of It All...has some ice in its veins. The acceptance of human suffering that enables Krauthammer to hypothesize Iraq as a retrospective victory for liberal democracy is rather ruthlessly deployed throughout the collection on behalf of a range of subjects. Krauthammer is hard-faced, in particular, in defense of America, 'mankind’s first-ever universal nation' ... Krauthammer was also quite warm, even reverential, when he wanted to be. In columns in the new collection he is charming on fatherhood...and much else ... But mostly I find Krauthammer frustrating, a smart man and expert craftsman who lacked the intellectual grit to push at, or through, his own defenses and premises ... He was a facile writer of sentences, an excellent summarizer of ideas and a master architect of the op-ed, which is a notoriously difficult form. But he was a complacent thinker. Krauthammer stopped at the point when things threatened to become too complex or messy ... I think he introspected too little and forgave too much. But it’s worth admitting (as he would not, if he were in my position) that I might be wrong.
...Krauthammer’s self-assurance never drifts into hubris. As important as the success of democracy is the survival of intellectual humility. This emphasis on humility...informs his entire politics ... along with democracy and humility, veneration of greatness permeates every chapter of this book—when he writes of history’s Great Men and America’s great acts but also of daily displays as well. He celebrates not those who acquire ever more comforts but those who persist through discomfort with quiet dignity. In an age that extols self-love and self-aggrandizement, he champions self-sacrifice and what he calls 'our stubborn little common human greatness.'
In The Point Of It All, Krauthammer turns his attention to the nature and future of liberal democracy and offers a sustained attack on the 'politics of certainty' ... Krauthammer brings rare moral clarity to a range of domestic and foreign issues ... he has little time for Donald Trump ... At the same time, he maintains a welcome level-headedness, cuttingly dismissing the self-styled 'resistance' ... As this collection demonstrates, the world is poorer without Charles Krauthammer’s gentle but eloquent nudging.
As edited by Krauthammer’s son Daniel, who provides an engaging, sentimental portrait of his father at work, this collection of (mostly) magazine and newspaper commentaries highlights the columnist’s abiding interests: overarchingly politics ... Vintage Krauthammer, containing abundant examples of his often fierce argumentative style and small-c conservative values.