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Things That Matter: Three Decades of Passions, Pastimes and Politics

4.21  ·  Rating Details ·  5,621 Ratings  ·  605 Reviews
 From America’s preeminent columnist, named by the Financial Times the most influential commentator in the nation, the long-awaited collection of Charles Krauthammer’s essential, timeless writings.
A brilliant stylist known for an uncompromising honesty that challenges conventional wisdom at every turn, Krauthammer has for decades dazzled readers with his keen insight in
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published October 22nd 2013 by Crown Forum
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Sybil Massey Yes, I downloaded it from Barnes & Noble onto my Android Tablet. Works great.

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Dec 26, 2013 Linda rated it it was amazing
I made Charles Krauthammer's "acquaintance" via FOX over the past few years and found that he has been the person I listen to most carefully on a variety of current political and cultural topics. Why? Because he actually analyzes events from all sides and looks at the evidence logically before coming to a conclusion and not in lockstep with every other commentator, and that I find so refreshing.Truly a thinking man, but not unfamiliar with life's challenges or without passions-love that chess an ...more
I love this book! Krauthammer is brilliant, witty and, yes, at times sentimental (who knew? ;-). Of course, being a conservative politically I loved all of his political commentary - historical and current day equally. This book has so much more than that. A few of my non-political favorites were "Manners", "Of Dogs and Men" and "Don't Touch My Junk". I just finished adding all of my favorite quotes from this book to "my quotes"...I might as well have just typed out the entire book (and some of ...more
Sep 20, 2014 David rated it really liked it
While I am not in complete agreement with all of his conservative opinions, I found this to be an excellent, thought-provoking book. The book is a collection of his newspaper and magazine columns, and speeches that he has given on many occasions. As the subtitle mentions, the essays cover thirty years of politics and history. Also, a few of the essays describe his own life. I've read some of his newspaper columns in the past, but I did not realize that he suffered a paralyzing accident while in ...more
Clara Roberts
Jan 03, 2014 Clara Roberts rated it it was amazing
This book divided into sixteen chapters consisted of ninety essays or columns written by Krauthammer over thirty years. The most griping essay was Zion and the Fate of the Jew. K. goes back into history to 586 B.C. and discusses each of the efforts to destroy the Jewish civilization. No other group of people with the same language, religion, and culture has existed as long as the Jew. No other people have contributed so much to the good of the rest of the world. Still there is an effort to wipe ...more
Jan 25, 2014 Jeanette rated it it was amazing
This is not really a review of such differing and numerous topics published here, but just some adjectives. Superb prose. Courageous intelligence. Dynamic, deep, loving devotion to what is important for human moderns. These coming from a doctor of the mind and the body who has followed his own fate during a lifetime moving on some nearly impossible personal and context paths. And with grace and total lack of vitriol in every sense, as well. Do not agree 100% with this man, but his wisdom is more ...more
Tim Gerdes
Dec 28, 2013 Tim Gerdes rated it did not like it
I should begin by stating that I am not a Fox News viewer and I do not share Dr. Krauthammer's ideology. That said, I was given this book as a gift, I like to consider contrary viewpoints and I perceive myself as open-minded and persuadable to new ideas. I felt it fair to consider Dr. Krauthammer's opinions with as little prejudice as possible.

To the good. Dr. Krauthammer is an excellent writer. He is articulate, concise and often funny. He writes movingly about space exploration, baseball, ches
Mar 05, 2014 Kathy rated it it was amazing
Brilliant analytical mind that makes complex issues easy to understand. This collection of editorial essays on a wide variety of subjects hones in on what does indeed truly matter. I can't imagine anyone but the intellectually dishonest taking much exception with his clear and concise arguments which are presented on a wide range of complex subjects. learned a good deal from this collection of editorials that I believe could change the hearts and minds of many for the betterment of our world.
Christian Dibblee
Nov 23, 2013 Christian Dibblee rated it really liked it
It's tough to give full thoughts on this book since so many subjects are discussed and dissected. I am resigned to giving my general thoughts on his wider positions and the book's content.

First, the writing is impeccable. I don't know a political columnist who writes with such force and accessibility as Krauthammer. He defends his position in very concise ways and shows his general intelligence with a broad vocabulary and intellectual basis. His personal stories are great, especially when he goe
Carol Storm
Aug 21, 2014 Carol Storm rated it liked it
Urbane and civilized on the surface, callous and hypocritical underneath . . . Charles Krauthammer is a Conservative With Class!

Krauthammer is the kind of guy who always wants to save civilization . . . as long as it's *his* civilization and not someone else's. He'll suck up to anyone to preserve his own comfortable status, no matter how high the price for those other people out there. His warm and loving tribute to Winston Churchill brought tears to my eyes. Somebody beat Hitler to his knees, b
Dec 06, 2015 Negin rated it really liked it
Charles Krauthammer is incredibly intelligent and articulate and I thoroughly enjoy his articles in “The Washington Post”, so I was eager to read this book. It’s a collection of his commentaries and essays. Reading this reminded me of another favorite of mine that I read almost two decades ago, “Think a Second Time” by Dennis Prager. Both are collections of articles that are brilliant and thought-provoking. The only reason that I’m giving it 4 stars rather than 5, is that some of the pieces are ...more
Nov 10, 2013 Ru rated it really liked it
A superb collection of political columns written over a 30-year timespan by an idol of mine. The life and times of Dr. Charles Krauthammer is worth a book unto itself. Having moved to Montreal at the age of 5 and lived there until after his undergraduate studies at McGill University, he went on to Harvard Med. What happens next is heartbreaking; Dr. Krauthammer suffered permanent paralysis from a diving accident. Refusing to let the accident define him, he convinced the school to allow him to co ...more
May 02, 2014 John rated it it was ok
I almost give this book three stars because it was often thought-provoking. But Krauthammer's utter contempt for "liberalism" often overshadowed his ideas. The final quarter of the book says the same thing in essay after excruciating essay. He also seems to fall in love with certain words of phrases. I know a guy whose every political argument includes the concept of liberals being "poo-flinging monkees." Krauthammer is no better, using the analogy of Gulliver being tied down way too often. Wors ...more
Schuyler Wallace
May 22, 2015 Schuyler Wallace rated it it was amazing

It would be a good idea to have a dictionary handy while reading Dr. Krauthammer’s collection of insightful observations, “Things that Matter.” The erudite author is clearly dedicated to plain speak but occasionally, like a body tic, he throws in a word that makes me fumble for Webster’s definitions. Sometimes even that doesn’t help.

I’m okay with that because I feel so much more intelligent after I read his material. I even understand and applaud most of it. I know. I’m showing my conservative u
Anita Pomerantz
Aug 17, 2014 Anita Pomerantz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just can't bring myself to give a compilation of columns, no matter how well chosen and organized, a five star rating, so we will have to settle for four stars, but that being said, the book is excellent.
Of course there are a few caveats:
- My review is totally biased because I love Krauthammer's writing and often agree with his views
- Although he is a former Democrat, he is now clearly conservative, and since I lean that way on almost every non social issue, well my views are especially simpat
Nov 09, 2014 Steve rated it it was amazing
Before this book I was only familiar with Krauthammer from his sporadic appearances on the Sunday morning talk show circuit; and in those particular settings he often struck me as overly pretentious and angry. I was wrong about him. Having completed this collection of columns and essays I was struck with the consistency in his philosophic worldview, which I admire. He is thoughtful, humane, and religious. He is a practicing Jew, and it seems to be his Western, Jewishness that forms his ethics an ...more
Keenan Johnston
Dec 01, 2013 Keenan Johnston rated it liked it
I was hoping this book would be more on the man, that his works. This is basically a collection of some of his best Washington Post essays. 30% are really interesting, 30% I didn't care about at all, and the rest were somewhere in the middle. I have a lot of respect for Charles Krauthammer as an independent thinker so reading his pieces are were stimulating. I enjoyed the way he infuses humor into his pieces, and came away with several new words to use due to his incredible lexicon.

His pieces ra
Dec 27, 2014 Don rated it really liked it
Krauthammer's best seller is a compilation of many of his articles over the past 30+ years. I enjoy reading his regular Washington Post columns every week. I was unaware that he started out as a Democrat and once worked for Jimmy Carter's presidency. Of course now he is one of the conservative pundits that skewers liberals on a regular basis. He says he left the Democrats when it came to domestic policy when he saw how liberal programs failed time and time again to achieve the promised results. ...more
Tony Taylor
Mar 04, 2014 Tony Taylor rated it liked it
This is a collectiosn of Charles Krauthammer's weekly columns and articles he has written over the many years as a political columnist. Many of his articles are interesting as well as well as enlightening; all of them are short and easy to read. This is one of those books that one picks up and reads a donzen pages or so in between other readings. Actually I found the introduction as interesting and informative as many of his articles. Krauthammer writes of his interesting background having once ...more
Sep 22, 2014 Joseph rated it really liked it
The author does indeed come up with a list of topics that do or should matter to most. And while the specific subject matter (i.e. baseball, chess, bioethics, the Middle East) may not be of particular interest to some, the underlying themes (i.e. fairness, the beauty of logic or physics) are.

And while one may not always agree with the author’s viewpoint, he does present persuasive arguments and points to ponder from that opposing viewpoint in a respectful and measured manner.
Brendan Steinhauser
Feb 12, 2016 Brendan Steinhauser rated it it was amazing
I just finished this great book by Charles Krauthammer, one of the smartest, best writers on the right. The book is a collection of his writings over the decades for The Washington Post, Time Magazine, and other publications. His writing is compelling, intellectual, and conservative. This book is a fast read, and I am not surprised that it has sold more than one million copies since its publication. Congrats to Charles for an outstanding book.
Apr 05, 2014 Mike added it
Mr. Krauthammer speaks prose. He is currently a regular in the cable world and his comments require ( at least for me) some time to digest and/or ripen. Thats not an easy task in the fast paced media news format. I prefer reading Mr. Krauthammer. This is a collection of what he feels are important thoughts he's shared in his columns over the years. Indeed they are. They are enlightening and always entertaining.
Jul 16, 2014 Wendy rated it it was ok
As #1 in Politics on amazon and featured by Jon Stewart, I was expecting some really cogent analysis. I did know they were just essays which are usually too short to interest me, but gave it a shot. This book is way over-hyped. It starts with a bunch of eulogies, then a few more lame essays that sound like ones i wrote in high school about my dog and Presidential elections. I read 25% and stopped, having never found anything 'with meat'.
Oct 31, 2014 Delsa rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I have seen him on TV and have been impressed with his ability, sagacity and persuasion. This book is a collection of his column writings and lectures over a span of a couple decades. Loved his vocabulary and voice-I heard him the whole book. I found him interesting even when I didn't even care about the subject he was talking about.
Nov 15, 2013 Will rated it it was amazing
I remember when I was young, I would get so angry every time I read one Krauthammer's op-ed pieces in Time. I don't agree with everything he states, but he's a great thinker and a wonderful writer. If you want to learn some intelligent conservative viewpoints without subjecting yourself to Fox News, this is a must-read.
Apr 22, 2015 Lolo added it
how do you rate a book that attacks everything you believe in, in the most interest way. I loved the articles I've read here but some of them were truly offensive to myself and my religion. I can't decide what I should rate it so it's going to stay blank
Oct 23, 2013 Danmcgohan rated it it was amazing
Great Book! Heroic personality. I agree with all his positions, except I am not a Nat's fan. Go Reds! Mr Krauthammer presents all his presentations very logically. Would not work in Washington, makes too much sense.
Robert Dickson
May 25, 2015 Robert Dickson rated it it was amazing
Krauthammer's genius is simply dazzling. He is terribly under-estimated when relegated to the narrow category of "political" commentator. He sheds light, he points the way in almost every imaginable category of human knowledge. I admit it; I am a huge fanboy!
Cheryl Killingsworth
Oct 29, 2013 Cheryl Killingsworth rated it it was amazing
Funny. Insightful. Brilliant. Could be subtitled "Thoughts From a Genius"
Sep 23, 2015 Patrick44 rated it really liked it
4 stars, liked it. Some good insights on many topics. Don't agree with all of his opinions, but probably most of them.
Paul Martin
Feb 17, 2014 Paul Martin rated it really liked it

Excellent review of 30 years of thoughtful, intelligent and honest columns.
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Classic Readers : Classic Readers 1 3 Feb 18, 2015 11:58AM  
Monthly Best-Sell...: This topic has been closed to new comments. Review - THINGS THAT MATTER, by Charles Krauthammer 1 4 Jan 23, 2014 01:26PM  
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American Pulitzer Prize-winning syndicated columnist, political commentator, and physician. His column is syndicated to more than 400 newspapers and media outlets.
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“To understand the workings of American politics, you have to understand this fundamental law: Conservatives think liberals are stupid. Liberals think conservatives are evil.” 9 likes
“I don't really care what a public figure thinks. I care about what he does. Let God probe his inner heart.” 6 likes
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